Designs with a conscience

2014 March 18
by admin

Clothing with a conscience or an eye on sustainability is a popular focus these days, and it’s good to see so many brands considering not only their impact on the planet and available resources, but also how they can help enrich other people’s lives. We look at two very different brands and their approach.

Mobile phone case design company Kidogo Kidogo got in touch with us earlier this year. The name translates to “little by little” in Swahili,  and was created by two sisters with the aim of lifting the financial barrier preventing women in Tanzania from having access to life changing mobile-technology. In Tanzania, only 36% of women own mobile phones, and the number one reason preventing them from ownership is the initial cost of a mobile handset.

The gorgeous cases are putting life changing mobile technology into the hands of women across Tanzania. When you buy a case, they buy a phone (or phone credits) to give to a woman who couldn’t otherwise afford it. The phones are then distributed to women through established non-profit partners already working in Tanzania.

The cases are priced to retail at US$30 each, and have been designed byTanzanian-based artist, Sarah Markes, which feature some of Tanzania’s most iconic wildlife.  There are five iPhone 5/5s case designs and two iPhone 4/4s case designs. Unfortunately, you can’t buy the cases in the UK yet but there are plans to ship internationally soon.

If you want to know more the website is: www.kidogokidogo.com

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one shell of a case design

Kidogo Kidogo in Tanzania

flamingo design

More recently, new Cardiff based clothing company Amazing Aardvark got in touch with their range of animal inspired tees for adults and children. Based around letters of the alphabet and appropriately named animals, the first range includes tees and sweatshirts emblazoned with either ‘amazing aardvark’, ‘barmy badger’ or ‘crazy camel’, the rest of the alphabet to follow! The range is ethically traded, eco-friendly and organic and is priced between £12.00 and £35.00. Go to www.amazingaardvark.com for further info.

junior-tee-800x800 [1024x768]-Crazy Camel Mens Rolled Sleve Black-800x800

Plenty more posts to come soon as we’ve got a bit of a backlog happening at the moment

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Urban T’s

2014 January 22
by admin

Statement T-shirts are not always easy to find.  Unless you want to be emblazoned with a known brand it can be something of a challenge to find something that you’d be happy to wear across your chest, that makes the right statement for you. So we’re always on the look-out for new designs that are fresh and creative. Two brands that we’ve come across recently are Tarnished Souls and Square Clothing . Run by relatively new, young designers, they’re focused on simplicity, creativity and affordability. Take a look at some of our favourite designs from these emerging brands below.

Deer God T-shirt Black £12

Tarnished Souls Deer God T-shirt Black £12

Square Clothing BB Short Sleeves TShirt £15

Square Clothing BB Short Sleeve T-Shirt £15

Tarnished Souls Alexandra T-Shirt £12

Tarnished Souls Alexandra T-Shirt £12

Square Clothing Grey LS T-Shirt £20

Square Clothing Grey LS T-Shirt £20

 

 

 

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Chanii B Shoes & Boots

2014 January 7
by admin
Paprika Blue Brown £275 (were £325)

Paprika Blue Brown £275 (were £325)

You can always tell a lot about a person from their shoes, and unique shoes are something we’re always on the look out for. So we were pleased when Chanii B shoes got in touch recently, and told us about their new collection and the opening of their first store in the UK.

Chantal Pilon is the designer behind Chanii B shoes and is one of three generations of footwear retailers, with over 12 years personal experience.  She studied art and fashion design in Ontario, Canada, as well as at the prestigious Cordwainers College in London She has also designed for the likes of Kenneth Cole NY and Clarks.

Ribboned Grouse Boots £249

Ribboned Grouse Boots £249

In 2009, Chantal moved to the UK and began to work on her own designs. All Chanii B shoes are individually hand-made in Portugal using high-quality European leather. Only small quantities of each design are produced, ensuring each pair is a limited edition and with its own story to tell.

Colour contrasting or use of mixed material are distinctive themes throughout Chanii B designs; some of the most popular items featuring black leather with contrast fuschia stitch, green on brown, or grey on navy. This season’s focus on casual trends is reflected in items such as her low, ribbon-laced ‘Canope’ boots, and blue rubbed suede and grey leather tall, military-style ‘Cadeau’ boots.

Our personal favourites are the ankle ‘Grouse’ Boots with ribbon laces in Stone Red. But there are loads of uniques boots and shoes and the Winter sale is now on, so take a look, there’s plenty more cold days to come!

Voyage Black £220 (were £275)

Voyage Black £220 (were £275)

For more info visit Chanii B and there’s also the flagship store in Milsom Street, Bath, now open.

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The Cook his Wife and her Shoes

2013 November 8
by admin

single shoe

For starters, what a fabulous name for a shoe boutique! Although I must say the film namesake, which I’m assuming it’s taken from – ‘The Cook, the Thief, his Wife and her Lover” – was a film that actually traumatised me somewhat when I went to see it as part of my fashion course, to take note of the Jean-Paul Gaultier costumes that were designed for it. It was a little difficult to focus on the costumes, considering the rather disturbing storyline, but anyway…..back to the shoes!

interior

Delectable display of delicious shoes!

I wandered into said boutique on a lazy Saturday afternoon in Surry Hills, Sydney, and was immediately captivated by the store layout, the attention to detail, and of course the exquisite shoes. Speaking to the husband of the owner duo, presumably ‘The Cook’, it was clear to see the store had been opened from a desire to share gorgeous shoe discoveries, from across the globe, with the population of Australia.  A mix of shoes from Spain,Italy, Iceland etc. along with a local collection, means there are some truly unique designs that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the city, and whilst the price tag may be a few hundred dollars, the craftsmanship of the shoes certainly warrants it.

exterior

I’ll certainly be going back to chose my favourite pair, and also maybe to test a few Welsh words on the owner, who bizarrely hails originally from Neath in Wales, just down the road from my hometown! It is indeed a small world! If you’re passing by or even in the vicinity of this lovely boutique, pop in and take a look, you won’t be disappointed. If you can’t wait and want to find out a little more now, visit  www.cook-wife-shoes.com

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Sydney Market Scene

2013 October 21
by admin
Bondi Markets Men

Bespoke Men’s Jacket at Bondi Markets

As the Sydney summer starts to gather pace and the temperature starts to soar, we look closer at some of the more unique places to bag a fashion bargain across the city. Apart from the usual high street collections, established Aussie designers and new emerging designers, there’s a really healthy market scene across the suburbs of Sydney, selling a range of new designs, vintage garments and great accessories.

Bondi Markets on a Sunday, Paddington Markets on a Saturday on Oxford Street, Glebe, Newtown and many others all offer a great range of hand crafted and locally produced garments, bags, jewellery, and much more. From simple shift dresses to bespoke leather jackets, custom men’s tailoring, and some of the softest leather bags we’ve seen anywhere in Sydney.  One of our favourite suppliers is Boheme Art + Design (we’ve bought three of their unique bags already!). There’s also loads of vintage items, dresses, shoes, hats and much more. What it tells us at Cardiff Fashion it that there’s an interest and desire to buy something locally unique, and there are loads of talented people willing and able to make a range of new and innovative fashion offerings.

Bondi markets women

Vintage pieces at Bondi Markets

Sydney and the rest of Australia, may be far away from London, Paris and New York, there may be less than half the population of the UK here, but there’s a really vibrant and energetic fashion scene, one that we hope continues to survive and prosper, even as the growth of the international offering continues to expand in earnest. We’re  the first to admit that we’re excited to see H&M coming to Australia in 2014, Topshop in Sydney is a popular shopper attraction, and ASOS is still a favourite site, but there is a healthy and we hope completely sustainable fashion scene here, from low end to high end.

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Cardifffashion Pops Up Down Under

2013 June 28
by admin

We’re reporting from sunny Sydney (although it’s thundering down right now!) for the foreseeable future, and as fashion blogging is a global occupation these days, we’re still going to be reporting on what we see and love, fashion-wise, whether it’s in Australia, the UK or anywhere else in the world. For our loyal Welsh followers we’re still receiving news and updates from our regular contacts, but we’re now expanding our focus to include fashion and trends from wherever we travel next.

Our first look at the Australian fashion industry has mainly been around the  high street offering, which is quite different from when we were last here many years ago. The global luxury brands have upped the ante and their presence, with stores in the City centre as well as locations like Bondi Junction. Armani Exchange, Chanel, Gucci and many others now have a strong presence in the Aussie capital. But we were pleased to see the newly created ‘Australian Fashion Walk of Style’ in a favourite haunt, Oxford Street, Paddington, which links the Eastern Suburbs with the CBD. The series of boutiques clustered together over a couple of streets, known as The Intersection offers an insight into where the Australian fashion industry has developed in recent years as well as some of the more established names. Simona, Easton Pearson, sass & bide, Josh Goot all have a presence here. The industry has taken hits from the global brand influx, a strong dollar, the familiar seasonal issue, amongst other challenges, but still looks healthy and really innovative, we’re pleased to report.

Melbourne born retailer Dangerfield offers a younger ‘vintage’ inspired collection of brands, at a much lower price point, sort of like your Urban Outfitters of Australia.

Dangerfield

There’s loads more to explore, so we’ll keep you updated as we stumble across our latest Aussie fashion designer, and we’re seeing some fantastic Sydney ‘street style’ fashionistas too, that we’ll be sharing with you.

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2013 Search for Faces of Talbot Green

2013 March 22
by admin

The 2012 Faces of Talbot Green

The Faces of Talbot Green Shopping Park is running again this year, for the sixth year in a row. The competition is on the look out for four ‘Faces’ from South Wales to be part of the Park’s 2013 advertising campaign, and this year the organisers are asking the public to have their say on the final four selected .

The competition is open to men and women of all styles and ages (must be over 16 years).  Entries are to be uploaded via a new Facebook app on the Talbot Green Shopping Park Facebook page. Entries close on Sunday 31st March at 11.59pm so if you fancy being a ‘Face’ upload your pic and details soon!

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LFW Street Style

2013 February 28
by admin

 

A personal take on the floral trend

LFW AW13 was a breath of fresh air with the ‘Street Style Spring Catwalk’ in full swing.  Amidst the collections for cooler days, after a long winter (still with us!) of bitter cold and loads of rain, it was great to see some colour, creativity and the inimitable quirky British style worn by the editors, buyers, celebrities, fashionistas and bloggers attending the latest season’s shows.

We thought we’d share some of our favourite looks with you.

 

The oversized clutch is big news

 

Cool but very, very warm

Vibrant Blue a key colour for Spring

Colour in abundance!

Images by Morgan Ellis Williams for Cardiff Fashion

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Heels and Wheels

2013 February 24
by admin

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Events Management students from Cardiff Metropolitan Uni held a Spring Fashion Show recently to raise funds for the charity Whizz-Kidz. Whizz-Kidz provides disabled children with the essential wheelchairs and other mobility equipment they need to lead fun and active childhoods.

The extremely well-run event included stalls from vintage clothing suppliers Rock’ola Reborn and Penny Lane (both can also be seen at the Cardiff Fashion Quarter in Womanby Street, which is worth a look). Rug Life t-shirts designs were also on sale and a host of other stalls.

The catwalk show included high street brands as well as vintage looks.

Sara Head was guest of honour, Table Tennis Bronze medallist at the 2012 Paralympics, who was provided with a wheelchair by Whizz-Kidz herself when she was younger. We even got a sneak peek and a hold of her impressive Olympic medal.

It was a great night run by a professional team in aid of a fantastic charity. Thanks to Amy Harvey and the team for the invite and their kind hospitality.

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Photos taken by Morgan Ellis Williams for Cardiff Fashion

For more info on Whizz-Kidz click here

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Timely Jewellery

2013 February 17
by admin

Steampunk Pendant £14

Ruby Horology is a new line of unique jewellery made out of small watch pieces.  Gina, the brains and creativity behind the brand, started playing around at home with a big box of watch pieces that she ordered online. She’s created some really interesting pieces which she’s named her ‘Steampunk’ inspired range, and calls her jewellery business Ruby Horology.

Key to My Heart Necklace £12

“I named it Ruby Horology, firstly because I live in an area of Devon called Ruby County and the soil is very deep red in colour, and secondly because rubies themselves have been used in Horology (The art of measuring time) for centuries,” Gina told us.

Brooch £5

The pieces are pretty unique, they support the idea of re-using old items, and are also very affordable.

The website Ruby Horology, shows Gina’s most popular pieces for sale. Her Facebook page Ruby Horology has more of her work.

 

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