The Whitepper

As it turns out, Tumblr is not only the most addictive blogging platform in the world. It can also be a good starting point when thinking of setting up a new clothing brand – that’s how it started for The Whitepepper back in 2011. Quickly, it led the brand to open their own boutique on ASOS marketplace and later start their own website and consequently being stocked by Topshop on Oxford Circus and independent retailers from all over the world.

Founded in East London, The Whitepepper are still loyal to their British roots with all of their products designed right where it started. Heavily inspired by streetwear and Tumblr culture, their clothes are original, eye-catching and just the right amount of quirky. Refreshingly, there is something for both boys and girls to have a look at and prices are high street affordable.

But The Whitepepper are not only about the clothing; they have their own magazine, TWP, where you can order for free, from their website. They also still keep their Tumblr page which is an endless source of inspiration and regularly share their own London secrets on the brand’s blog!

Finally, being a girl in love with everything sparkly, bubblegum-y and festive, I have to focus on the brands’ newest winter lookbook. Presenting not only a collection of perfect Christmas-party dresses (think velvet, collars and glitter), but also genius accessories (two words: UNICORN. CLUTCH. Ok, couple more: PINK. GLITTERY. SHOES). It is all you need to make these cold months a little bit more enjoyable and special.

If you are bored with your wardrobe and feel like you can’t find anything on the high street without looking like everyone else, check out The Whitepepper’s website. Be warned: it may result in vivid dreams about having your own, perfect unicorn clutch!

Lauren Smith

Graduate Fashion Weeks are the best occasions to spot new, refreshing talents on the British fashion scene and what screams ‘the next big thing’ more than winning a Gold award at London’s GFW? Not so many things, let me assure you. Last June, the award went to talented hands of Lauren Smith from Edinburgh College of Art.

The collection, that Roland Mouret himself described as “emotional” won Lauren £20,000 to launch her fashion career and a capsule collection for George. Don’t think that it stopped the young designer from developing her skills even further – right now, she’s doing her Masters in Textiles at ECA.

Lauren’s designs are really emotional indeed – delicate and dreamy they spread the feeling of nostalgia but also bring the unexpected with the strong, architectural structures being shown next to neon-yellow tulle and loose jumpsuits.  The collection, constructed around two primary colours – yellow and blue – is inspired by the relationship an artist forms with their sketchbook, making Lauren’s designs even more personal and even kind of intimate. After all, those are her sketches that we can see embroidered on the garments.

Other than winning a Gold award at GWF, Lauren has more successes in her portfolio. Recently, she designed a dress made of… 50 kilograms of chocolate for the National Chocolate Week to enjoyment of all of the sweet tooth our there (myself included).

I am more than excited to see what the future holds for this 23-year-old designer, remember her name,  this year you will see Lauren’s designs everywhere!

 

Santal 36

There is no bigger luxury than a beautiful accessory created from the finest materials with the greatest attention to detail. Well maintained, it can serve you many years and become your best style friend, no matter of changing trends and seasons. That’s why I am always on a hunt for new accessories designers and I have to admit it, my heart skipped a beat when I came across Santal 36’s and their beautiful bags.

Santal 36 is a brand started by Miryam Lozano, Spanish-born but  London-based accessories designer who graduated from London College of Fashion earlier this year. The philosophy behind her brand is a big focus on quality and original designs made using sustainable materials such as veg tan leather, laminated pony skin and wood-look laminated leather sourced from Italy. Bags designed by Miryam are also versatile and have parts that can be removed or adjusted, depending on the will of their wearers.

Amongst her biggest inspirations Myriam mentions furniture designers such as Charlotte Periand and Jean Prouve and clearly states she’s opposite the visible, vulgar branding of her products. As a result, the pieces designed by her are simple, classic, timeless and fresh and remind me a little bit of a good rawness of high-quality Scandinavian design. With their beautiful, wood-like pattern they are also in the running to become iconic items sought after by every fashionista.

Miryam still works on making her collection available to buy and plans to launch Santal 36’s online store in March 2014. I can’t wait!

Catherine Pape

Thanks to the great number of social networking websites and blogging platforms, inspiring images, illustrations and works of art have never been more accessible to those looking for their daily dose of some visual pleasure. However, the quality does not always come with the quantity and sometimes we may find ourselves furiously scrolling through another Tumblr, trying to find something actually worth looking at.  Today, I am going to make this tremendous work a little bit easier for you, especially if you like your things delicate and feminine, yet definitely not forgettable. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I present to you Catherine Pape.

There is not much information about Catherine herself – she is from Suffolk and graduated with First Class Honours from the University for the Creative Arts in Maidstone. As she says on her website she is inspired by

“Plants, maps, patterns and the bits of blue and white pottery that you find in the soil at the bottom of the garden.”

When you do some more investigating (also known as web stalking), you can find her Twitter profile and see a delicate, young girl smiling shyly from her profile picture. Exactly how I imagined her when I first saw her illustrations.

Catherine illustrates books and comics as well as creates murals, patterns and elegant prints which you can buy from her website. Her creations are incredibly delicate and feminine, with a magical touch of something mysterious and indescribable.  Thanks to that, the illustrator does not bore us and manages to stand out in the sea of aspiring artists and creators.

Catherine’s work has been recently noticed by WGSN and if someone knows who the up and coming illustrators are, it’s these guys so keep your eyes peeled for more news about this young talent!

To see more of Catherine’s work, visit her website.

Elly Cheng

Sometimes to let your creativity roam freely, you need a change of scenery – moving to another city or country can be a life-changing experience that will allow you to truly express your real self. For Elly Cheng, originally from Hong Kong, her hometown was a big but not open-minded or revolutionary place when it came to the young and emerging designer, so she decided to move to London after taking a pattern-cutting diploma and a year in fashion marketing in her motherland.

In London, Elly graduated from the London College of Fashion’s design course with a collection that is everything but tame and predictable. Inspired by her childhood memories of aprons and floral dresses, Elly has created designs bursting with pastel colours. Although colourful and childhood-inspired, her garments are incredibly feminine and grown-up thanks to the great amount of thought behind them. The collection took the young designer a year to research and design and another two years to make.With her attention to detail and use of unusual materials such as hand-dyed sheep skin (she couldn’t find one in London so she decided to use hair dye to dye it!), the results are astonishing.

What is more, other than clothes, whilst designing Elly thinks about the complete look and feel of her projects. That’s why amongst her work we can also find silicone backpacks and Velcro trainers that when matched with bubblegum pink fluffy skirts and glittery eyebrows, give the lookbook shots of her collection an eclectic feel of 1990s and Harajuku streets.

What does the future hold for this bright young designer? Right now Elly is working freelance as a pattern cutter but also, as she admits in many interviews, just experimenting and finding inspiration. Hopefully, we will hear more about her in 2014!

To see more of the designer’s creations and inspirations visit her Tumblr.

British Sea Power

“ALERT! ALERT! ACTUALLY DECENT BAND PLAYING IN YORK ALERT!”

Now, upon reading the above on my Facebook news feed, my naturally inquisitive mind wants instantly to investigate. And, the (slightly over-egged) announcement is quite right, these guys are a decent band!

British Sea Power are a six-piece band variously originating from Cumbria, Yorkshire, Ealing and Shropshire who are currently based in East Sussex and on the Isle of Skye. Their multi-instrumental style (guitars, bass, keys, drums, a viola and a cornet) gives them a wonderfully rich and unique sound that seems to have thrilled their fans and reviewers alike. The Sunday Times have called them “the best band in Britain” while a Rolling Stone review dismissed the entire line up of the Reading Festival as “puerile drivel” and adding “we’re off to see British Sea Power”.

Far from starting out, British Sea Power are ten years more mature than their debut album (released 2003), but their new album Machineries of Joy sees them really hitting their stride. Their hard work and perseverance really shows: a recent poll of BBC 6 Music listeners on the most important tracks of the stations lifetime but British Sea Power’s track, ‘Remember Me’ at number 9. Putting this into context, that’s just above Radiohead and just behind Johnny Cash.

If you want to check out this band properly, visit their website – http://www.britishseapower.co.uk/ – where you can find links to all of their social media, videos of their performances as well as tour dates, so you can appreciate them live.

Gabby Colledge

Who said acoustic music was dead? The era may be over, but its echo continues to reverberate and inspire the young, up and coming musicians of today. Despite the vast advances of music technology, most aspiring singers still cling to the jazzy sounds of an acoustic guitar and the steel strings beneath their callused fingers. It’s what we grew up with, what we all instinctively know. And it’s this sense of deeply rooted nostalgia that London-based, singer-songwriter Gabby Colledge teases out from between the eaves of your ears.

Colledge’s soulful voice rises and sinks like a wave, like satin with grain. It could have traveled here from another time, an eclectic, golden period of folk and jazz. Of her inspirations, Gabby muses:

“I generally love all acoustic music, especially stripped down versions of dance songs, and the YouTube channel Watch Listen Tell. I grew up loving classic soul singers such as Etta James and also more folk-based music like Laura Marling.

At the moment I’m listening to more chilled out, almost electronic music, such as London Grammar.”

Forever in a dream / about the texture of your skin / safety in your arms / I’m free from harm.

Thus far, Colledge has composed three songs on her soundcloud, Waiting for me, Anybody could be fooled and Done with you. There’s something particularly enchanting about the second song, with a lilting melody and lyrics that make you sigh with the beauty of it all – a feeling or memory you’ve forgotten in the corner of your mind — in the haze of your eyes / anyone could be fooled — and leaves you wanting more as the last notes linger and melt away.

To listen to Gabby Colledge’s music, visit her soundcloud, and let us know your thoughts below.

George Ezra

Hailing from Bristol, this singer-songwriter has just hit number 5 on the BBCs ‘Sound of 2014’ list. And he’s only 19.

According to his page on the BBC, he was first spotted in 2012 by BBC Bristol who were “championing his bluesy, acoustic ballads”. Since then, he’s had a slot on the Glastonbury Introducing Stage as well as recording sessions at Maida Vale (the BBC recording studios in London for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term).

Zane Lowe recently described him as “One of the most compelling and powerful new vocalists around”, and I would have to agree. George’s vocals are far beyond his years, and his bluesy style is reminiscent of the greats like Bob Dylan and his hero Woody Guthrie. He fits very nicely into the emerging style in the industry, creating a beautiful vintage sound and merging it beautifully with modern accoustic tracks.

In spite of his recognition from London, George stays true to his roots, playing a lot of gigs in Bristol and sticking around his hometown. According to him, the town is exciting and “things are happening”.

To hear more of George’s songs or to see where you can see him live, visit his website: www.georgeezra.com

Dawson Denim

Are you a keen lover of vintage clothes but also like to see some innovation in your wardrobe from time to time? And maybe you also happen to be a lover of denim (don’t we all?)? If yes, I may have something just right for you: Dawson Denim.

With all of the products made in their own specialist workshop in Brighton, Dawson Denim is a family brand focusing purely on clothes made from red-line  selvage denim sourced from Japan. Coming from a 100-year-old mill, this type of denim is the oldest, most authentic denim woven on the original looms.

Working on antique sewing machines, Dawson Denim are real denim geeks – on their website, you can even find a denim glossary! Ever wondered what is a Japanese term to describe the fading creases and seams of a jean? Or maybe what Genoa, Italy, has to do with the denim history?  Well, these guys have all of the answers and made you think how much of history goes behind just one type of fabric.

With a great attention to quality and detail, Dawson Denim make sure every piece of clothing they make is historically accurate and could as well be found in a working clothes shop somewhere in 1930s. And if you are still worried whether your jeans are not going to fall apart in a month, every product comes with a little log book, entitling you to a free service within the first six months of wearing a garment, with all of repairs carried out in Dawson Denim workshop in Brighton.

Fashion is changing – more and more often we find ourselves nearly attacked by the “Made in China” labels and try to look deeper and find something regionally made.  It is a good thing to know that more and more brands decide to stick to their roots and offer us clothes made in Britain from responsibly sourced fabrics.

Way to go, Dawson Denim!

 

Visit Dawson Denim’s website! Click here.

Eastie Empire

In majority of my entries I tend to focus on recent art school graduates, high fashion designers who have just entered this big and competitive industry and sometimes have not yet produced any clothes that a fashion lover can buy.  This time, I am more than delighted to write a few words about a brand with a wide range of beautiful clothes available to buy and love.  Hope you are as excited as I am, because your wallets will not be! (At least mine, hey, I’m on a student budget!)

 Eastie Empire is a creation of Sara Weston, a self-taught designer with a love for vintage menswear. Echoes of her personal style and passion for every tiny detail, cut and piece of fabric can be seen in each garments she creates with all of the items and fabrics sourced and made in England. Designed in London, Eastie Empire’s clothes are also heavily inspired by the trip to India taken by Sara a couple years ago – the charm and elegance of old-fashioned East struck the designer so much she decided to incorporate this part of the world into her brand’s name.

The fun fact? Eastie Empire is all about menswear… made for women! Sara’s designs blur gender boundaries and can be worn by anyone. Unique and worn by individualities, yet for all – sounds like a philosopy every fashion brand should follow and the vision of fashion of the future.

As a girl spending approximately 6 out of 7 days a week wearing an item from her boyfriend’s wardrobe, I am all in. As a fashion journalism student – even more!

Vist Eastie Empire’s store here.

Tom J Newell

Having lived in Camden Town my whole life, moving to Sheffield to study was a strange experience. It can be hard balancing a life in two cities, one wishes that there were something you could bring with you to both places. Imagine my delight when I discovered the striking similarity between the dark yet fascinating cartoons I was used to seeing on the side of the Unicorn Pub down the road from me in Camden and the equally beautiful and twisted work on the walls and in the burger menus within The Harley, Sheffield.

The man responsible for these home comforts (and the beautiful artwork) is artist and illustrator Tom J Newell. Raised in Chesterfield, Tom J Newell has worked on all kinds of projects. Aside his fabulous wall murals he also produces paintings, comics, posters and all things in between. Born and raised in Chesterfield, he has now moved to Sheffield a five year stint in London, working closer to home in a city that is bursting with creativity.

Tom’s inspiration seems to spring from all over the place, which perhaps is what makes his work so unique. Taking influences from the Beano and Dandy as a child, he began drawing comic book characters, and was further influenced by video games and graffiti as he grew older.

Moonlighting as a DJ, its not just the visual that keeps his creative juices flowing. He also takes a lot of inspiration from music and literature. “Music and musicians inspire my artwork just as much as visual sources” he says, “I approach the construction of a new image by manipulating existing imagery”.

It’s not hard to see that Tom is a forced to be reckoned with, his illustrations alone have had something of a viral effect already. His artwork is splattered across the menus of the Twisted Burger Company, Kraken Rum and all over the walls of bars, tattoo studios and galleries.

What’s more, despite significant grounds for arrogance, Tom J Newell strikes me first and foremost as a a wholeheartedly Decent Guy. Won’t take my word for it? Ask Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he ran workshops in 2010 “That was another great excuse to get out of the studio,” he told me “and seeing the approach that kids have towards drawing is always inspiring.”

Still working in his studio developing old doodles that he did in school and having his work put up all over sheffield and beyond, Mr. Newell is a fireball of compassion, talent and ultimately an unrestrained creativity. His imaginative, sometimes slightly unhinging illustrations are impossible to forget.

Curious? Visit TomJNewell.com.

Thea Sanders

I am sure everyone appreciates the great feeling of putting your favourite jumper on when the little chill starts hitting in. Let’s talk knitwear then! And not just any ordinary knitwear, but the creations of winner of the Stuart Peters Visionnary Kintwear Award 2013.

Thea Sanders recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University and won the hearts of last year’s Graduate Fashion Week judges with her eccentric but wearable collection of colorful knits. Dresses and skirts in the vivid shades of blue and yellow paired with even more boldly-coloured tights are present in Thea’s collection, brightening up even the coldest winter ahead. Inspired by the patterns of floor tiles, the young designer incorporates domestic knitting and weaving into her collection, the results of which are one in a kind garments that create a strong statement the second you see them on the models walking on a runaway.

Being in early stages of her career, Thea managed to achieve something that a lot of young designers try to get for ages – strong and distinctive sense of own trademark style that helps her with standing out from the offerings of other creators trying to make a break in the fashion industry.

There is not a lot of information on Thea or her work to be found and that is what makes me look at few pictures available online with even more interest – I don’t know what we can expect next from this one, but let me ensure you, it is going to be SOMETHING!

Image source: knittingindustry.com