Being based in an industry which is SO competitive I have realised the importance for independent clothing brands to support each other. As a consumer I’ve found myself becoming incredibly picky about where I buy my clothes from – I can’t remember the last time I bought direct from a high-street chain. Instead, I search on second-hand sites such as depop or buy from like-minded, handmade or small, manufactured brands where I can understand and appreciate the crazy amount of work, risk, effort and creativity gone into each garment. I also buy about 10 X less clothing than I ever used to but will spend more on a singular piece that I really love and will keep for ages- rather than be a victim to ‘ fast-fashion.’ I love how many more people are buying into hand-made clothing and also how many more festival brands are popping up over Instagram BUT I can’t help feeling the festival market is becoming way too over-saturated. There are so many brands, big and small, completely copying each other products. Where is the creativity in taking a basic top pattern and replicating it in EXACTLY the same fabric? In this blog I have picked out some of my favourite festival and street-wear brands which are completely innovative in their designs and textiles, bringing back originality that this market is starting to lack.
‘OUR 7 WONDERS’...
For all you sequin gals.. let me introduce..
#1 Kingdom of Badmen by Romy
I first discovered Romy on ETSY last summer when I was on a sequin hunt for something sparkly, fun but just that lil bit different and omg, I certainly found it… A hooded pink/pearly pom-pom playsuit! Unsure if the one made-up would fit me, I contacted Romy and we arranged to meet up so that I could try it on (based in Glastonbury this was local-ish to myself.) Within 2 weeks I found myself at the local café she worked in, locked in the toilets with my friend trying on this sequin beauty before proceeding to withdraw all funds from my bank to buy it! I instantly fell in love with the bodysuit and still am. Since then I have also bought an exotic orange/ yellow sequin strapless bikini top which had its first outing at Balter festival this summer. What I love about Romy’s pieces is that not only are they different designs, all the sequins are handsewn on by her to such a high quality. More so, the quality is carried through to the presentation, beautiful packaging, and extra attention to detail. For example, when I bought the bodysuit in person she hand wrote a receipt and when I received my new top it also came with matching orange glitter and bikini bottoms. It’s not just simply buying and receiving a garment – you can tell a lot of love has gone into making and delivering it. So if you are looking for that staple sequin item- then I would definitely recommend Kingdom of Badman by Romy!
PHOTO ABOVE: Wearing Kingdom of Badmen Sequin Top with Bellisa X Hotpants.
Etsy: Kingdom Of Badmen
Psychedelic and graffiti- art lovers? Here’s your next wonder
#2 I am Piffy
It’s super hard to come across an active-wear/ festival/street wear brand all in one – but Piffy has nailed this. AND the best part? All textiles prints are designed by them and have a strong identity. They are bold and colourful and cleverly mix psychedelic with graffiti- style art. With a complete variety there is sure to be a print that you love. The collection features a range of set garments – from leggings to a shirt- which can be bought in any of the prints you like. (Men’s and accessories are available to.) I love how all items could be styled in a way that they would suit and add fun to any occasion. I am Piffy is a brand for all to enjoy. I am yet to buy a creation- as the only difficult part is deciding on what print design I want! Take a follow on their Instagram page for a very creative feed!
Are you a performer looking for an out-fit to make you stand out?
Jaimoda is an up and coming brand that I really love. I appreciate her energy to continually push the boundaries of pattern cutting to consistently bring you new and innovative designs. If you love complex panelled clothing, then Jaimoda is where you need to shop. Specialising in performance wear, Jaimoda can design and make costumes beyond your wildest imagination- one of my favourites is the GB ‘god save the queen’ numbas for Dollzentertainment. The geometric panels are so cleverly placed to not only flatter the body and look funky, but also inkeep with a theme.
Based across the pond in Washington, we have communicated a lot through Instagram and gotten to know each other’s work quite well. She’s also been so helpful in teaching me ways of social media. I feel like I can relate with Jaimoda on so many levels- the struggle to get people to understand designs which technically have a lot more skill than your average 1 piece of fabric top. Don’t get me wrong I wear tops like this, but as brands and essentially influencers we have to keep new ideas flowing. Such detail to intricate pattern cutting is largely over-looked in a lot of Instagram brands, but Jaimoda uses it to create some really imaginative, special pieces. This brand doesn’t get enough credit as it deserves, so head over to Instagram to follow her work- https://www.instagram.com/jaimodallc/
Animal lovers we got the puuurfect t-shirts for you…
#4 Tulas Threads
Do you love Humour? Animals? Fashion? Tulas Threads brings you the 3-in-1 ultimate-t-shirt. A niche design yet suitable for anyone to wear, whatever the occasion, age or gender adding that lil bit of fun to your outfit. Being based in East London, they are inspired by street fashion and youth culture combining that style with unexpecting animals to create a quirky design. All illustrations are digitally-drawn by Tula and printed onto high-quality t-shirts for a fair price. In general, with most t-shirts the brand is what makes them, but what I love about Tulas Threads, is that they have such a strong personality. You’re buying this t-shirt because you love the design- not just because it has a certain tiny logo. With the popularity of t-shirts leading to sales overseas in Ireland and USA, this brand is sure to go far. Stay tuned for more wavey designs coming soon!
Do you seek to make a colourful statement?
#5 An Original Leroy
Wearing my 'An Original Leroy' Top with Bellisa X AW17 Trackies
I was thinking of ways to perfectly describe this brand and what it stands for but nothing could really compare to their own description on Instagram… ‘Brash, bold and Unapologetic. Clothing brand for the movers, shakers and risk takers.’ !! ….. Amazing.
I first discovered An Original Leroy, when they moved into Rex, Bristol ( the shop Bellisa X used to sell in) and found myself spending a lot of time browsing through their pieces. I love how this brand has such a distinct style with dynamic sharp panelling, contrasting colours and funky prints. A style that’s carried across a complete variety of products so you’re sure to find something you like. They create clothes which create a smile, adding light-heartedness to the fashion scene. Based in London, keep an eye out for many of the pop-up festival and market stalls that they are selling at this summer for a chance to grab yourself An Original Leroy gem!
After something a lil bit different to compliment your Bellisa X with?
#6 Adele Catchpole
Wearing Skirt by Adele and BELLISA X NEW Stripe Bardot Top
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered Adele Catchpole’s clothing on Instagram. Although different to Bellisa X style clothing , I really admire the new collection’s contrasting textures, prints and pastel shades. All textile prints are hand-designed by Adele featuring a quirky mis-match of animal/ cat drawings, markings and fluid squiggles to create unusual shapes and printed onto high quality natural fabrics like cotton and cotton jersey. There is a lot of intricate detail in the textiles but they are so cleverly designed that it doesn’t look too much, or too over-crowded- the balance is just right. I now own a skirt (featured above) and since buying it I have lived in it because it’s so comfy (particularly on hot summer days) and will go with any outfit. Adele’s business is just starting up, so to purchase it’s best to message on her Instagram page where you receive very quick and helpful replies.
And finally, Tracksuit lovers? Heres ya man..
#7 Domozillionaire // FadedNY
The flyyyest tracksuits going- if you don’t know, then get to know! I was shown his work a couple of months ago by a friend, and wowza it’s definitely something very different, innovative and G. He’s mastering pattern cutting, experimenting with daring fabric choices (hello PVC) and every new piece he shares just gets better and better. It’s amazing to watch the sudden growth of a real creative making big movements, and more so, big impressions. I feel that Domoz doesn’t limit himself to the regulated fashion calendar but will introduce new pieces when he feels it – again showing off his limitless abilities. I love how every creation is so unique yet you can still clearly see his style coming through! For daily inspiration take a follow on his Instagram: