British textiles

November 2, 2012

Frock on Friday: Poppy


I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen a really gorgeous little frock for a three-year-old and wished there was a version in my size. And apparently I’m not alone. It was only last week at my local childrenswear shop that I discovered that the lovely tiny wee toddler’s frock in the gorgeous tropical print had also been the object of many a grown woman’s affection. And – hurrah! – word had got around that Zimmermann had a dress in the exact same print. For (much) bigger girls.

So I’m delighted to hear that UK childrenswear designers Poppy Children have responded to popular demand for adult versions of their delightful vintage-inspired kids frocks with the launch of their first womenswear collection. Featuring Poppy’s trademark storybook illustrations, the collection is inspired by a 1950s aesthetic and is available in a range of prints, styles and sizes (10-18).

Naturally, I adore their new London print, which also features on a range of frocks for little girls. Each dress comes with its own story book about Poppy and Fred’s adventures in London. I love that the vintage-inspired design features a thoroughly modern London, complete with the Gherkin, London Eye and a wandering giraffe. The collection is made in the UK and is one hundred per-cent cotton.

My favourite style is the Beatrice dress, which is superbly flattering with three-quarter length sleeves, a wide bateau neckline at the front and a V at the back, which can be worn either way and is available in five colour ways, for £129.99. Ladies can also purchase a matching petticoat for extra swoosh factor, as well as a pair of stripey cotton tights for winter.

The London print is also available on the Millie dress for girls, which features a Peter Pan collar and looks ridiculously adorable with a matching little cardigan. It would make a super-sweet London-themed bridesmaid’s frock, and it comes in sizes 0 to seven years for £62.50. There is also a range of matching fluffy petticoats and darling stripey tights for little ones.

www.poppychildren.co.uk


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August 10, 2012

Wee Olympic finds: The top 30 non-crap London souvenirs

I’ve been obsessed with London souvenirs for as long as I can remember. From the spectacularly crap to the artfully awesome, there is something about a flash of Routemaster Red that makes my inner magpie sing. Over the last few months I’ve brought you the top 10 London souvenir mugs; the 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs; the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs; and had a Union Jack love attack.

And now, with the London 2012 Olympic Games drawing to a close this weekend, I present my top 30 non-crap London souvenirs.* But really, can you blame me?

* It’s actually 31 non-crap London souvenirs, with Charlotte Olympia’s magnificent perspex clutch pictured at the top. It’s sold-out on Net-a-Porter, but her London 2012 Union Jack clutch is still up for grabs!

What’s your favourite London souvenir?


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August 7, 2012

Wee London Olympics find: Custhom for Anthropologie tea towels

I was actually considering doing an Olympics souvenir tea-towel round-up but then I spied these incredibly lovely specimens by Custhom for Anthropologie and I decided to call it quits. (If you’ve started to fret at this sorry news, cheer yourself up with my fabulously nerdy Top 10 London Olympics Souvenir Mugs.)

Whoever made the call at European Anthropologie’s head office to collaborate with British design studio Custhom deserves a big pat on the back, because it really is a fabulous collection, featuring Custhom’s signature hand-finished prints, vivid colours and a retro aesthetic.

Custhom is the brainchild of Nathan Philpott and Jemma Ooi, who are both graduates of textile design at the Royal College of Art. They were inspired by 1930s vintage textile repeats in the design of their Games print collection. Each print represents a specific sport: diving; hockey; cycling; sailing; and athletics, and they are hand screen-printed on cotton drill tea towels. There is also a collection of five postcards as well. Athletics Hockey Tea Towel, £10 from Anthropologie.

Anthropologie
158 Regent Street
London, W1B 5SW
Tel. 7529 9800
Nearest tube: Piccadilly
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

Opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday 10am-7pm
Thursday 10am-8pm
Friday to Saturday 10am-7pm
Sunday 12 noon-6pm

Want more London Olympics souvenirs? Here are some other recent posts:
Click here for London Olympic Games souvenirs
.
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.

Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.

Have you seen a gorgeous Olympics souvenir tea towel? Tell me about your favourites.


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August 5, 2012

Best of British: Liberty print Union Jack scarf

I’ve always thought that the savviest and most stylish souvenir one can take home from London is a Liberty scarf. On my first trip to London I didn’t have quite the budget to stretch to a proper Liberty scarf, but I made do with a large cotton Liberty handkerchief, which I subsequently wore knotted around my head.

The iconic London department store is renowned for its iconic prints and textile design, and their scarves have been in demand throughout its considerable retail history. In 2009 Liberty acknowledged the importance of scarves to its heritage and opened a dedicated Scarf Room on the ground floor, showcasing the largest variety of scarves in London. Liberty’s Scarf Room is a must-visit on any fashion-lover’s London itinerary.


In this extra-large and super-patriotic scarf, Liberty has taken three of their classic floral prints (red Christelle, blue Retro Flower and blue and white Felix) and worked them to represent the Union Jack. If you’re a Brit, show your support for Team GB with this large silk chiffon scarf draped around your neck; and if you’re not, snap it up anyway – it’s one of the most stylish souvenirs of the London 2012 Olympics I’ve come across.

Best of all, if you buy the scarf before 12 August, you’ll receive a complimentary set of scarf styling cards valued at £15, featuring 12 ways to wear your scarf.

Liberty has also created a series of how-to videos demonstrating the various ways you can tie a scarf. Here is the Oversized Scarf: The Liberty Way To Tie a Scarf.

Large Liberty Print Union Jack Scarf, £195 from Liberty.

Liberty
Great Marlborough Street
London W1B 5AH
Tel. 0207 734 1234
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
Click here for a Wee Birdy map.

Want more Wee Birdy picks?
Click here for the 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs.
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.

Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.

Disclosure: Wee Birdy is an affiliate of Liberty and makes a small commission from each sale.


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July 25, 2012

The 25 best London Olympic Games souvenirs: the non-tat edition

Medal Necklace by Tatty Devine.

You know I love me some awesome London souvenirs. So I’ve been in a veritable flap all year with Britain’s designers putting their considerable talent behind all sorts of desirable and highly collectable stuff to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympic Games.

You won’t find any “official” London Olympics merchandise here, because frankly, I couldn’t find anything I fancied. And I’m sure you’re going to be hit over the head with the stuff over the next few weeks. Furthermore, the official mascots are kind of hideous and I can’t look at the official 2012 logo without seeing Lisa Simpson performing an adults-only act. Oh dear.

Instead, I’ve scoured the net for great design, a playful approach and stuff I’d actually like to wear – or have in my house. And you’ll find that most of the pieces are designed or made in Britain, if not London itself. Take Thorsten van Elten’s collaboration with East London creative agency CREATE, which offers a line-up of five “well considered” souvenirs by British designers that serve as an antidote to the “overly-commercial, tacky souvenirs on sale across London this summer”.

Are you ready? Steady. GO!

What’s your favourite Olympics souvenir?

Want more London souvenirs?
Click here for the best Union Jack souvenirs.
Click here for the best non-tat Jubilee souvenirs.


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July 20, 2012

It’s Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday! Win a picnic set by Anorak!


To celebrate Wee Birdy’s 5th birthday, I’m giving away FIVE fabulous prizes over FIVE days. Each prize is something I truly love and hand-picked especially for you, my dearest and most lovely readers.

Today is the last day of my week of giveaways and the prize is a picnic set of four melamine plates and and matching four melamine beakers in the gorgeous binoculars print from British homewares brand Anorak, with a total prize value of £40.

I distinctly remember stumbling upon Anorak years ago, when I first spied the genius rabbit-print picnic blanket.

I was living in London and up until then, the only water-resistant picnic blankets I could find were fairly dismal in design. So when the beautifully graphic rabbit print arrived on the scene, I was instantly a fan. It’s now one of Anorak’s best-selling products, and British textiles designer Laurie Robertson, a graduate of the Royal College of Arts, has expanded her design-led indoor-outdoor products to include a range of bedding, sleeping bags and storage trunks.


The cushion collection demonstrates the breadth of fabulous designs that Anorak has launched since 2008, which all feature the bold graphic prints that have since become Anorak’s signature. It’s hard to choose a favourite, but I’m really rather taken by the seagulls print.

I also love the fabulously retro-sounding ‘Kissing Rabbits tuck box‘, which is evocative of midnight feasts in Enid Blyton novels, as well as the rather glorious ‘Kissing Stags steamer trunk‘, which represents a stylish alternative to boring old plastic storage boxes.

The bedding collection is equally covetable, and offers beautiful retro-inspired  graphic prints to make your bedroom pop, with pillowcases starting at £14.

HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Follow these two steps to win:

1. To qualify to win, you must follow or ‘like’ Wee Birdy on either Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter – or all three if you like! If you’re already following me on one of these platforms, you are automatically qualified to win.

2. Leave a comment in the comments section of this post and ensure you enter your email address in the space provided (your email address will not be published).

The competition closes on Saturday 21 July, 2012 at 5pm AEST. Winners will be drawn at random on Sunday 22 July. Winners will be announced and contacted by email on Monday 23 July, 2012.

Winners have one week to respond to the initial email from Wee Birdy confirming that they have won. If Wee Birdy doesn’t hear from the winner of each prize within a week, the winner/s will forfeit their prize and Wee Birdy will randomly draw another winner/s.

Have you entered the other competitions this week?
Click here to win a bottle of Penhaligon’s new fragrance, Peoneve.
Click here to win a fine bone china mug and birch tray set from Howkapow.
Click here to win an Alex Monroe ‘All the Best’ crown necklace.

Click here to win classic Tatty Devine Name Necklace.


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