Bill + Mar

Founded in 2010, Rosie Bonnar is the designer behind the innovative brand Bill + Mar (named after Rosie’s grandparents, Bill and Marian); who creates “unique designs for fun, fashion forward gals”.

After an inspirational year in Sydney surrounded by beautiful scenery, young and creative talent and immeasurable amounts of positive energy, Rosie returned to London with the motivation to launch her own directional fashion label.

Bill + Mar does not conform to regulations and is not afraid to deviate from mainstream trends. Its mix of fabrics, prints and textures make it stand out from the crowd. It is about creating a unique personal wardrobe with a focus on silhouette to best flatter figures.

Keen to gain a relationship with customers, the ‘show off’ section on Bill + Mar’s website allows customers to upload pictures of themselves in their new Bill + Mar clothing for everyone to see.  The brand is also gaining a following with celebrities too, with both Eliza Doolittle and Kimberley Walsh spotted out and about in their pieces.

‘Edgy and unique’ is a term that I would use to sum up Bill + Mar’s collection; and with products selling out fast, you’ll have to act quick if you want to get your hands on it!

To have a look at Bill + Mar’s offerings, head to their website; or check out their Facebook  and Twitter.

Strawberry Kats

I first spotted this brand about 3 years ago, on one of my first trips down to Spitalfields Market.  Walking through hundreds of stores and thousands of people, I saw some of the prettiest dresses I’d ever seen.  After a quick flick through, I selected three of the dresses, and rotated them around for most of the summer, and (I’m pleased to say!) that whenever I wore one of those dresses, there was always someone who would complement me and ask me where I got my dress from.  The answer was: Strawberry Kats.

Strawberry Kats’ mission is to offer newness, quality and fashion forward garments for their customers who want to “own it”; and they describe their line as “fresh, femininity, fashion”.  Mainly known for their beautiful strapless dresses, they come in dozens of colours and patterns, making them suitable for both summer and winter (the pictures show a couple of the different patterns available).  My personal favourite is one I picked up at the Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model (BINTM) Live Catwalk show in 2011 – black, with a gold paisley design for a mere £15!

In addition, with ethical clothing a hot topic at the minute; Strawberry Kats makes sure to tackle any issues by keeping in close contact with their manufacturers at all elements of the design from start to finish; and they encourage all customers to wash their garments in cold water.

Whilst Strawberry Kats are only trading via a stall on Spitalfields Market on a Sunday at the minute, they’re currently in the process of updating their website, which when complete, will show off their full collection.

Alternatively, you can check out their Facebook page here.

Fashion Graduate Finds ‘The Fix’

Its always the women’s lifestyle and fashion magazines that dominate the bookshelves in shops, while men’s fashion magazines are either hidden at the bottom, or in Britain’s case, nearly non-existant. The world has been waiting for a welcoming way for men to dress well – without having to try to afford a 5-digit look from GQ.

India Gladstone has found The Fix for Men, an iPad and iPhone app that carefully selects and pieces together affordable and wearable men’s clothing for certain occasions.

With a simple layout and no-nonsense approach, the app is straightforward enough for any male to navigate and select a specific occasion he may want to dress for, or possibly find a few staple pieces, how they are put together, and prices before he heads out to the high street.

“I’ve always been interested in menswear and personal style,” says Scotland-born UK native and recent London College of Fashion graduate India Gladstone. Gladstone is one of six siblings, two of those being brothers, who are keen on always feeling comfortable and aware of the clothing they put on. “I have always been surrounded by men who are interested in what they wear, in the sense that great clothing gives you character. But men don’t always need to be completely fashion-conscious like women do. I was never fully aware of the lack of simple style guides for men until I attended fashion school.”

It was this realisation that led Gladstone to devise an idea for an app that would interview insiders in a casual manner for those who aren’t always clinging on to each and every trend. The app is clean, minimal, and laid out simply, with tabs for occasion, journal, or an edited selection of buys for everyday clothing that would suit any man who does not necessarily have all the time in the world to file through the clothing racks.

“I understand that men these days prefer to online shop, but then again they aren’t completely aware of what is available to them, or what to wear for certain occasions if they aren’t given some sort of direction by a friend or a website. It is unlikely a man is going to pick up a fashion magazine the way girls do,” India explains.

The Fix contains an editors section, a style guide based on occasion, Instagram favourites, and a selection of street style.

“I find menswear much more interesting, its very personal and particular to a man’s personality if he is wearing a certain style or brand,” says Gladstone, “I just hope that men realise it is simple and shouldn’t be stressful or expensive to try to dress well. With this app, men won’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt to a business casual cocktail party.”

The Fix is set to launch later this year, look out for it for your iPads, Androids or Smartphones.

Time to Get Better Clothing with Margate’s Alex Foster

This week I was charmed by Margate’s very own Alex Foster and his eclectic and humorous graphic illustrations. Working with print, designing editorial wonders or making the bride smile with adorable wedding invites, Foster’s got it covered alright. Wait, did I forget to say the boy does zines too? Fresh out of Middlesex university, this young spud of a graduate has not only focused his attention on his studies but worked with a variety of clients too with projects from widely distributed magazines to an upcoming children’s book.

Not only that but the wizard has thrown his talent and know-how into his illustration cauldron, boiled it down and poured what was left over some pretty, awesome t-shirts and merchandise too, giving birth to his latest project, Get Better Clothing.

After two sell-out collections under his belt, summer 2013 brings a collection with inspiration drawn from Foster’s childhood toys and nature, bringing fun and naivety to the brand. Designs include playful cowboys and indians battling it out on mountains whilst tattooed bears show off their ink all available from the beginning of August. Foster makes sure Get Better Clothing is as eco-friendly as it can be too, using water-based inks, organic bamboo based t-shirts, paper packaging and recycling where ever possible.

So now, not only can you appreciate the boy’s immense talent as is but you can kit your wardrobe out with it as well – from a fashion girl’s point of view that’s a win win. I also like to think of him as a bit of a social media hussy treating his beloved clothing child to it’s very own blog, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Go on, eye up Foster’s illustrations at his official website over here, you know you want to. Or if you really, truly want to go the extra mile and have a face-to-face perve on it then head on down to Margate’s Harbour Arm Gallery where Foster will be showcasing illustrations relating to his seaside hometown in exhibition ‘Coming Home‘. Of course, if you hadn’t guessed it, the exhibition is run by the man himself showcasing talent from some of London’s top illustration and sculpture students and graduates following the theme of hometowns from sunny seasides to cool California, wherever that artist calls home. It will be running from 24th-30th July. 

Also exhibiting in ‘Coming Home’ are: Chris Alton, Chloë Greenfield, Mark Holihan, Eileen Kai Hing Kwan, Amy Stevens, Liz Tweedale, Maddy Vian and Dawn Williams.

 

 

ALEX FOSTER OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GET BETTER CLOTHING OFFICIAL WEBSITE