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.

Belle Bow Boutique

I first came across Belle Bow Boutique a few years ago at the Clothes Show Live, and I think it is a seriously underrated brand.  Founded in 2010, the brand offers feminine clothes in dainty blues, greys and pastel pinks in delicate fabrics. The attention to detail on each piece is incredible: floral-embroidered ribbon stitched around waistbands, with tiny pearls adorned on top.  If pretty dresses are your thing, then Belle Bow is going to become a firm favourite for your wardrobe.

And it’s not just dresses that Belle Bow offer (although the two bestsellers are the Tia tiered dress and Skye shift dress, both of which I own and have worn frequently; with the Skye dress probably my favourite goto outfit in my wardrobe; it’s great to just throw on and take you from day to night).  Tops, cardigans and bags are on offer too, all adorned with thoughtful extras such as lace trims, heart-shaped buttons and leather bows.

Perhaps unusual for brands nowadays, Belle Bow doesn’t have much of an online presence. No twitter account and their Facebook page hasn’t been updated since 2010, which is a shame because if used properly it could give them so much more exposure.  But you can shop on their website, although only a selection of their collection is available on there.  The best way to check out the full offering of Belle Bow is to head down to their stalls either at Portobello Market on Saturday or Spitalfields on Sunday.

However, such difficulty of tracking down Belle Bow Boutique provides an air of mystery and there’s nothing wrong with exclusivity, right?  I’m not going to lie, whenever I wear one of my Belle Bow dresses someone always complements me on it, and I can guarantee that whenever I say it’s a ‘Belle Bow’ the complimentor is none the wiser.

To check out a selection of Belle Bow Boutique’s offerings, head to their website.