Part of my job is to research, and thanks to having some time on my hands, I have been improving my fashion knowledge. Usually this is reserved for late night phone scrolling, but you know, I should really allocate that time for more sleep. Carving out relationships within fashion may sound like a vacuous activity, but it takes time to be considered as an authority. One way I do this, is to write about brands I’ve discovered or for which I have developed a fondness. Isolating has given me an impetus to manage the brand relationships I have, but also to start some new ones. Some names may be familiar to you already, and some may send you down a rabbit hole of Instagram to do some style stalking. Either way, I have found some nice clothing and lifestyle brands for you peruse.
Based in Hawaii, and typically a label that opts for Spring Summer styles Alohas seem to have a covetable mule or espadrille that I cannot be without. This brand was an Instagram discovery for me – yes, those ads that pop up and I clicked in. There is something Bottega-esque about the designs for sure, but if you don’t have a Bottega budget, then this label will more than suffice the discerning shoe lover. Another distinguishing feature – the work on a pre-order system to manage their inventory and production process, to avoid waste and any environmental impact. This allows them to forecast demand accurately – it also creates a marketing dream; hype. Their warehouse is based in Spain, so for European buyers, there is no customs charge. Phew.
Not new at all, but I’ve never spent so much time looking at website than I have with Sézane over the last month, I even made a purchase (the blue blouse above). A youngish label, having only been started in Paris in 2013, the focus is on quality, essential items and a very important thing – timelessness. The brand ethos echoes what I mentioned above, a focus on production management. An online business only, they eliminated intermediaries to create efficiencies in how they make clothes. Prices are upwards of €90 and seem to include free shipping and returns.
My style stalking of KHAITE started at the Brown Thomas fashion show (you can read my review here). The aesthetic is polished, with an emphasis on balance. Structured knitted tops versus billowing which shirts, form fitting denim pitted against feminine fabrics like tulle. KHAITE will be more of an investment in your wardrobe with denims around the €300 mark and knitted tops over €1000 in some cases. But what draws me in is this alignment in design like Sézane, there is a simplicity there, that I’ve seen underpinning this season’s collections. If you like understated you will love this. Currently available online, and stocked at Brown Thomas.
Back home, we have evolved as a hub of creativity. Behind the paint brushes, kilns and looms are a growing list of local stockists and retailers who are giving the new names in art and design a voice, and notably, a place to sell. Hen’s Teeth, formerly of Fade Street, Dublin 2 are now in a larger, loft-inspired space in the Liberties. Home to an array of indigenous talent, I will also head there when we are allowed out again to see their café and shop. I am on a long design adventure to modernise my 1960s built bungalow and I have been watching for pieces to add to my home. Hen’s Teeth have art from Carly Palmour (the motel poster above), scarves by Niall Sweeney and plenty of lifestyle books to ponder over.