Monday, 23 April 2012

Best of British

As most of you fellow Brits will know, today is St George's Day. I've never been 100% sure why the day a saint allegedly killed a dragon has become a day to celebrate English pride, but instead of questioning it I've decided to go with it. I am British after all.

We English do a few things pretty well - afternoon tea, tennis matches, inventing clever slang swear words that American's can't pull off - but there is one thing I think we do bloody brilliantly. Any guesses?


Not only is the UK, London in particular, famed for having a unique and diverse style, but it's also home to so many incredibly talented designers with a seemingly endless amount of new ones popping up all the time. We all know and love the big ones (Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen - I could go on and on...), but today I want to share my love for five emerging designers that I am mildly obsessed with. I can't tell you how hard it is to pick just five. If I had more time, I could write about hundreds!

Be prepared to fall head over ultra high heels...

Draw In Light
If you ever read my styling blog (*cough* Frankie Murray Styling *cough*), you'll already be fully aware of how much I adore this incredibly innovative design duo. Each of their ever so dreamy pieces is printed using free-hand silk-screen techniques, which is why each item is completely individual. Not only is everything they make insanely beautiful, but their pieces are also incredibly comfortable! I am lucky enough to own one of their dresses, and it feels like wearing a very light and stylish nightie. Their Autumn/Winter collections never fail to make my secret inner goth's heart skip a beat and dribble a bit. Too much information? Sorry.

Charlotte Taylor

Yet another designer that I talk about a lot over on my other blog (just go and have a look already, then maybe I'll shut up...)! Charlotte Taylor has recently become massively sought after and loved for her adorably quirky and unique prints, which seem to get even cuter season after season. I mean, who wouldn't want a dress covered in sweet little bumble bees that won't sting the crap out of you?! I defy you to look at Charlotte's pieces (ideally over at my favourite website, and not fall in love. Go on - try it!


I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I love fashion that tells a story, and no one tells a story quite like Mr Longshaw. Whether it's a haunting tale of a murdered loved one or the biography of the much-loved Maude the fashion mouse, David creates a surreal and magical world to draw his fashion inspiration from. The result? Unbelievably beautiful pieces made to fashion forward designs. I've been lucky enough to use some of David's pieces for a photoshoot I styled for Tantrum Magazine (coming VERY soon!), and I can't tell you what an absolute joy it was. Each item is truly a work of art.

I must confess that I may have a slight bias towards this brand as they are looked after by the lovely people at Push PR, but that does not detract from the genuine love I have for their beautiful leathery goods. The very clever folks over at TUSTING have been working with leather for over 130 years (that's beyond vintage!), so it's safe to say they know what they're doing. For years I wanted a Mulberry handbag, but now I'm saving for a Kimbolton of my very own! But the question is, which colour to go for?! There are so many options!

Ayten Gasson
Last, but certainly by no means least, is my favourite lingerie designer Ayten Gasson. Not only is the woman behind it all, Ayten Roberts, a very good friend of mine, but the woman is also bloody talented! Her pieces are all about luxury, mixing sweeping silks and lace trims to make lingerie that is unashamedly sexy, yet perfectly refined and elegant. As if that weren't enough, all of her goodies are designed and manufactured right here in the UK, which she was doing way before the likes of Mary Portas. Go and have a look at her site right now! Your underwear drawer will thank you...

Who are your favouite UK designers? I'm always on the lookout for fresh and delicious British meat, so please do share!

Until next time...

Much love,

Swell Vintage