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Pure London is an annual trade show, in which over 800 exhibitors display their finest collections. Some visitors include buyers from the likes of Asos and Harrods, others are just like me, searching for brilliant brands to fall in love with. And how Pure London delivered! Brands originated from across the globe, from fine Italian jewellery to wild African prints. Yet I was on the hunt for the best Well Fashioned, made in the UK or sustainable, brands. Here are a few of my Well Fashioned highlights of Pure London…
Here is my first Well Fashioned Friday Find, where every Friday I will highlight and celebrate one of my favourite brands featured in the Well Fashioned directories!
We are all susceptible to a bad-fashion day at work, whether there wasn’t enough time to wash our favourite top or perhaps our hair is doing that weird-sticky-up thing. But who cares as long as you feel good.
And, we all deserve comfort as well as style, to look and feel great at work… and this leads me to my first Friday Find…PolkaPants.
PolkaPants have noticed that unlike many of us, female chefs are saddled with the choice of loose fitting, unflattering trousers aimed at a unisex market and therefore don’t often get the opportunity to feel stylish or comfortable at work.
But no more. PolkaPants have created tailored and stylish alternatives to the usual baggy options. Some designs are bold, including their signature polka dot print, adding a unique flare to a chef’s uniform whilst others are simple to ensure that they are suitable for any establishment. The designs are high waisted, slim fitting and cropped at the ankle, keeping style but, above all, comfort in mind. What’s more…PolkaPants are made in London!
My question, do I need to be a chef to wear them? If so, I’m re-training 🙂
I’ve been searching high and low for ethical womenswear to add to my #ethicallymade #slowfashion directory (coming soon) where I can champion the very best of ethical style that lasts. First up, kimono dressing gowns ethically-made in India by Verry Kerry.
Now, I’ve been on look out for a kimono dressing gown for longer than I care to remember, well for as long as my old faithful has been out of action in retirement after refusing to be repaired any longer. It has had a good innings. Bought second hand and given me years and years of comfort and touch a glamour, even in the mornings – and that is a BIG ask.
Yet, despite its passing, I’m not ready to let go, not until I can find a replacement and one that is ethically made and #wellfashioned. Enter Verry Kerry.
I’ve got a thing for socks. I carry one with me – a lucky one that is – but I’ll save that story for another time, and many many years ago my mum used to work for a sock factory in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire.
Yet, despite my love of socks and fond sock-making memories, my collection is sadly lacking and I don’t get the gift of socks anymore.
Instead, I always end up borrowing those of my other half – the half that always gets the socks for Christmas, birthdays, Father’s Day and maybe (if he’s lucky) Valentine’s Day.
But no more – us women shouldn’t be ignored on the sock front – so campaign ‘give me socks for all seasons’ starts now, and will even be buying my own as well as more to borrow too.
In my mind, socks so do indeed maketh the shoes especially when your shoes are a bit down in dumps, so in my attempt to be a bit more #wellfashioned here’s a few Made in Britain sock makers for you to check out.
I found the textiles artist Bernie Murphy thanks to Margaret Molloy and her #WearingIrish campaign, and just fell in love, in love with Bernie Murphy’s 2017 collection – her piece or rather pieces of Ireland all imagined, designed and handcrafted in Donegal, Ireland.
My words can’t do her collection justice so I’ve picked just a few of my favourites from her collection:
Hat & collar
Wrap scarf & culottes
Collar & cape
And, taken these words from Bernie Murphy herself to explain where her inspiration comes from:
“Standing on the shores of Donegal, on the Wild Atlantic Way, feels like standing on the edge of the world; there is colour and texture and inspiration wherever you look. This is where I find my greatest inspiration – where my imagination can feast on the blues and greys of the wild Atlantic ocean, where the fields and hills suggest patchworks, lines and patterns, where the barren lands and peat bogs blend the russets of trees and heather with the neutrals of sheep fleeces and stones… all combine to suggest the structures, colours and textures for my contemporary garment sculptures.”
Maybe it’s the Irish in me as I write this on possibly the hottest day of the year as I shelter indoors – but I feel connected to Bernie’s collection and can almost feel the fabric through my computer screen.
I’ll be interviewing Bernie Murphy very soon about her work. If you can’t wait till then, feast your eyes on this short film about her work and see Margaret Molloy in all her Wearing Irish glory wearing the Gortyarrigan tunic top (love this) in my previous Wearing Irish blog post.
Well Fashioned Credits
Bernie Murphy is Made in Ireland in Donegal and shipped worldwide