Well, it has certainly been a year hasn’t it. The less said about that, the better, as I’m sure we are all sick of talking about it now one way or another. But one of the things about this year which has stood out for me the most (and for me in particular as I’m a small business owner myself) is the importance of supporting small businesses. So without further ado I thought I would share with you some of my favourite small businesses that I love and who need your support this Christmas (and of course every other day of the year!) but i thought with the festive season literally just around the corner (how is it December tomorrow?!) this is the perfect time to shop small and independent brands for all your Christmas gifts this year. I’ll be doing a snazzy four part series of these, the first being of course clothing (and these are all handmade brands too!) then jewellery, accessories and homeware. So hopefully from these if you’ve not heard of some of these, you may discover some new favourite brands to love for years to come.

Studio Rosalie

With one of the most aesthetically perfect instagrams around (I mean who doesn’t love Paris as a backdrop) Studio Rosalie is a size inclusive, made at home French brand. With their signature ruffle blouses and beautiful imagery I just want to live in the Studio Rosalie world. They release new pieces weekly on Sundays. The hardest decision you’ll make is which piece to choose !

(photography of the first image by Nastasia Moreira)

Before July

With all their pretty dresses and tops handmade from deadstock fabric, Slow fashion brand Before July is a puff sleeved dream. You can also choose to customise your dress or top, to make it unique to you which is just an incredible service from a small brand. They design 1-2 collections per year and are made to order in the UK-so go get your orders in in time for Christmas! The Madeline dress is a personal favourite of mine-I have it in the green but I love all the other colours it comes in !

Faith Rowan Leeves

Handmade right here in Brighton, Faith Rowan Leeves is a designer and crocheter. With the perfect balance of beautiful wool pieces and stunning vintage style dresses inspired by Faiths personal collection, this brand is an absolute must have on your radar. The amount of detailed information on the website about all the deadstock fabrics and wool used is also incredible-an inspirational slow fashion brand. All the dresses and wool pieces are timeless classics that you will love for years to come.

Maison Cleo

Made to order magic from France, Maison Cleo is a mother daughter team who handmade everything to order from leftover fabrics from their studio. Their web shop opens on Wednesdays at 5:30pm UK time for a limited time only and then orders take two weeks to make. You have to be so quick ! I have seen they are making a mini capsule collection especially for Christmas though which is launching soon-I can’t wait to one day have a piece in my wardrobe.

Studio Katya

If you want bespoke made to order luxury items-look no further than Studio Katya. The attention to detail from this brand new cute and sustainable brand is beautiful – just look at those pearl button cuff details. I love that kind of attention to detail-it really makes the designs special. You can also of course get custom fitting too.

Looph

Looph is a new brand on my radar, and I’m so glad I discovered them. Their clothing is handmade from organic, reclaimed materials and foraged dyes. They are also completely zero waste and are committed to only using materials that do not harm animals, humans or the environment.  An amazing sustainable size inclusive brand with the cosiest knitwear around- you can order their new AW20 collection via DM through their instagram.

Particular Pieces

Another recent discovery (and I’m so glad I found them) Particular Pieces are the chicest handmade French brand with a mission to change consumption habits. All their fabric comes from collecting, buying and recovering second-hand textiles to hand make limited unique pieces with it. All their blouses are absolutely beautiful – I have the Gigi pastel already, and it is so beautifully made I want them all!

ALSO…

Two of my other favourites which have now closed for Christmas but you can shop in the new year:

 

Molby the Label

First up we have the incredible Molby the label, which has fast become one of my favourite brands this year. I’ve got quite the Molby collection now, and have been lucky to have received a few gifts too, but I can honestly say it’s one of the best handmade brands out there-everything is made so so well, the material and the designs are beautiful and they are nothing like anything out there at the moment. Everything is handmade to order too.

Peggy’s Room

A brand new brand that you need on your radar immediately- Peggys room is gloriously girly with a rock and roll edge-original and like nothing I’ve seen before. I love love love the Belle dress. Oversized frilly collars and quirky heart pocket details on designs made from the most decant fabrics set this brand apart from the rest. Oh and everything is made to order too! the current collection ‘Tea and Oranges’ has closed now but they’ll be releasing a new collection next year !

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In this weeks Wednesday wishlist, I’m loving all things QUILTED (but let’s be clear here, not puffa I prefer a quilt right now) and checks are making a big appearance too. I’ve just purchased the yellow Monki trousers below which I’ve lived in since I’ve bought them (see above), but should I go for the matching jacket too? And I’ve got my eye on those black and white ones. That red check suit from Maje is Emily in Paris heaven. On the hunt for the perfect longer quilted coat, I’ve already got the Arket one but I’m really feeling all the pattered ones too, on the hunt for the perfect vintage one…

 

 

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Writing this on a rainy Tuesday which is quite ironic but this (was) a wonderful little outfit for the pretty Autumn sunshine we’ve (had been) kind of having, when it wasn’t throwing it down. I worked with a new photographer I’d not worked with before, Olivia Bossert a few weeks on a film test shoot and I’m so pleased with how the images turned out. I love shooting on film, that retro look you can never quite recreate with lightroom or photoshop, trust me, I’ve spent HOURS and (too much money than I care to mention) on presets trying to. Sometimes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, film photography is still alive and well and I love that. Remember when you were little and you’d take your holiday snaps (from your disposable camera) to Boots and were so impatient to get them developed ? Instead of agonising over hundreds of photos you have 36 to choose from. Saying that I still can’t decide which I like the most! Honestly I am the most indecisive person ever, I question myself so much, which is something I don’t like about myself. Goals for this year: be more assertive!

I borrowed this lovely brown leather vintage dress from Waiste for the shoot as the leather trend is everywhere at the moment, but it’s so rare for me to find something like this vintage that actually fits me, so I may end up keeping it ! It goes so beautifully with this Lily and Lionel blouse, just look at those sleeves. Edit: I did end up keeping it, and styled it up differently on my instagram here

Honestly though I feel like I’m having a bit of an identity crisis with getting dressed at the moment ! I think there’s so so much inspiration out there, especially on pinterest and instagram sometimes I feel like I get a little lost with it, and comparing myself to others but also trying to keep true to my style, (even if I don’t know what that is at the moment)

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This rainy week I’ve been lusting after black chunky loafers (which I love with socks) cute knitted vests   or sets that go great with a collared shirt underneath, chunky knit cardigans and leather trousers among other things. I’m on the hunt to find the perfect ones (that won’t break the bank) but it’s so hard as I rarely find trousers that fit me properly but I want to try and give some of these a go. I’m holding off on the coats as it’s not that cold…for now but I’m on the hunt to find the perfect winter ones for next weeks wishlist.

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*Press Trip to Artist Residence*

Last Thursday I was invited for a little overnight staycation in the amazing Artist Residence hotel in Brighton and to try out their new restaurant, the Club House. Our flat in Hove is basically the size of a shoebox, so let me tell you I jumped at the chance for a change of scenery after staring at the same four walls for the past few months. During lockdown our flat was full to the brim of vintage clothes with the shop being shut. I feel like I had been VERY lenient on letting Oliver take over the living room to do music all day or play COD (he’s now sold it) until the early hours of the morning, and I basically lived in the bedroom all day everyday. So I was definitely looking forward to a change of scenery and I was ever so grateful I was able to stay over for the night. It was an absolute treat to get dressed up and go for dinner too-I’ve not done that in such a long time !

I’ve only ever been to the Brighton Artist Residence hotel either for press days or for shoots so I was so excited to be able to stay overnight, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages as the whole hotel aesthetic is just so cool. I have eaten at the previous restaurant several times, both for breakfast and for tea so I was looking forward to seeing and trying the new menu. After the stay it’s definitely cemented my view of it being the coolest hotel in Brighton, that’s for sure. It’s situated in the heart of Brighton on Norfolk square and is basically practically on the beach(ish), ok it’s like a two minute walk to the sea. See it is close!

So I arrived on Thursday afternoon (by myself first) as I wanted to just chill out by myself in the room for the afternoon, do some work and make the most of that incredible bath ! The room was absolutely lovely, absolutely massive and just look at that bed, and we had the perfect sea view. To be honest it’s now inspired us to invest in a new mattress after sleeping on said bed, it was the best nights sleep I’ve had in ages. I brought a couple of outfit options with me, my Doen sale dress from Net a Porter (sadly sold out now but I’ll keep a lookout in case it restocks) and my new Omnes pink leopard print wrap dress. You may remember I have the lilac colourway of this and I loved it so much I had to get it in this pretty pink colour too. Anyway I’m going off topic here-back to the hotel, and let’s talk FOOD.

The Clubhouse menu was my kind of menu-basically one of those that you can either choose lots of small plates or a large and sides, or if you are feeling particularly hungry, go small and large. I love that kind of Mediterranean style menu that has amazing small plate options as I can never decide on a ‘main’, and I always, always get food envy. Not this time. I went for the burrata, padron peppers, and the smoked almonds and lemon and ricotta flatbread (to share) and Oliver went for the Plaice and tender stem broccoli. It was absolutely delicious- in particular the flatbread (I could have eaten that twice) and if it was acceptable to lick the plate, I probably would have. Finished with a cheeky amoretto sour for dessert, the whole meal was a taste sensation from start to finish. The restaurant looked absolutely lovely and was perfectly intimate, great for a date night, as you can book just for a meal and not to stay, so we will definitely be back for sure.

PS: I wore the Omnes dress for dinner with my Chloe sale clog bargains.

After a beautiful nights sleep it was time to check out, but not before we had chance to sample their Club House breakfast. I’m usually a very basic avocado on toast kind of girl for breakfast (don’t hate me I just love avocados ok) so I thought I would try something completely different and go for the pancake option (complete with berry and vanilla compote) and it did not disappoint. Honestly I have such a sweet tooth I don’t know why I’ve not had them for breakfast before.

This won’t be the last time either, I definitely need to go back soon to get my pancake fix. We went home after we checked out, as we needed to go see our fluffy baby who had his own sleepover at our neighbours, but if you wanted to explore Brighton from the hotel it’s a two minute walk to the beach, and about a 5-10 minute walk to town and the shops. It’s in such a great location in the heart of Brighton and everything is walkable from there including the train station. If you’re looking for a great hotel in Brighton with a cool vibe, interiors that could have come straight from a Pinterest board, sea views and great food, then this is the one for you.

Thank you so much Artist Residence and Club House for a wonderful staycation!

 

 

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