Yesterday I headed off to the Business Design Centre in Angel with 9 week old Nia in tow, to immerse myself in kids fashion at the Bubble trade show. The move from the Olympia to the airy, design led venue in Islington was a smart one and made a visually more exciting show. As always there were old favourites and some fabulous finds.
There seems to have been an explosion of labels using Liberty prints going on plus other vintage inspired prints touched a lot of collections. The nature obsession continues with birds fluttering all over prints and adorning wonderfully bright baby gear. I’ve tended to feel that many organic clothing labels for kids can be bland and safe, but organic’s are warming up and going brave – hallelujah! Stripes continue to reign but are getting more refined and clever, so nautical without screaming ‘Hallo sailor!’ ‘Pastels’ are creeping in (big trend) and where they can often be downright scary and have your poor child looking washed out and twee, pastels have stayed on the right side of cool by warming up and being mixed with bright injections of colour.
When you entered the show, there was a smaller exhibit area that was chock full of young, hip British talent. From my boys at Mini Moderns who have launched a new ‘Lost and Found’ range of limited edition, exquisite cushions in unwanted vintage fabrics that they have rediscovered, to Tze Ching from Monsters & Munchkins who was showing her wonderful Jake & Maya organic clothing range (I recently raved about this) which included whimsy dresses in Liberty prints and chic detailed bib fronts and a gorgeous, golden yellow double breasted jacket with cream detailing.
Brands to watch include East London based Ola + Olek who wowed with adult inspired cuts and styles in silks, cotton, and Liberty prints with vintage buttons and diamantes, and Fluke who are also brand new with casual cool pieces like the gradient knitted cardi on the laughing chap on the right, plus there was more exciting organic clothing from Belgium based Brit designer Cotton and Milk who’ve taken knitwear to a new level with delicious vintage and nautical inspired hand knitted bright clothing. Think rainbow stripes against cream backgrounds on a loose top with a drawstring waist for casual, fitted chic.
Oobi Baby, one of my favourite Aussie labels are introducing a fantastic bird print and a retro spiral on wide sleeved dresses, 60s style dresses, another Brit fave Dandy (they do the cool made in the UK t-shirts with cool illustrations including their famous tiger pictured above) have got lots of new designs in plus they have sweatshirts (yes so 80s) coming out in the autumn that parents will be begging for adult versions of, plus mugs and posters.
Danish label Green Cotton is definitely one to watch. They’re stocked at Lula Sapphire but just that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Even though there are lots of babywear pieces in cool prints with peacocks and cactai (or were they balloon dogs…) in complimenting clashing colours like peach and purple, there were also ‘ethnic’ prints and cool cottons on tunic tops and baggy MC Hammer type pants.
On the playful, decor front, the Danish had me all overexcited. Snooze Baby had a lorra lorra felt delights going on with owl wall storage, mobiles, playing blankets, and bed linen featuring a bird in a pocket. But the stand that had me making a show of myself, gushing and mentally working out how to do a snatch and grab on the whole lot was Sebra, who had tricked me into believing that they only did my Most Absolutely Favourite Cot Ever, the Kily, but who it turns out have a vast range of crochet and knitted toys and decor accessories as well as furniture and storage. Thankfully Nubie have been quick off the mark and are the first to stock their table, chair and bench sets, and their colourful shelving.
With so many brands featured, I can’t mention them all here although I’m still seriously partial to a spot of Hucklebones, ej sikke lej, Molo, Moccis (our babies share the same birthday), Poppy & Ned, Aravore Babies, Lale, and Petra Boase, but to name a few! Look out for plenty of posts!
And a big shout out to my peeps that Kat (BG contributor and my most dedicated tipster) and I met up with for lunch at Wagamama yesterday – a mix of blogging, shopping, and twitter buddies.