Back in 2006, I remember watching a short documentary entitled Tricky Business. It focused on the rise and challenges of a budding designer label - Belle and Bunty. At the time, I was fresh out of university, interning at my first editorial role and still very much an aspiring journo. Watching the programme, I was fascinated by the journey that Belle and Bunty were embarking on and I've continued to follow the brand, which remains an inspirational story to me.
Since the launch of their first collection in April of 2003, designers Alice & Hannah have consistently produced a stylish carnival of designs; combining print and embroidery in a refreshing, modern way. They've also generated a strong celebrity following with the likes of Kate Bosworth, Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters and Fearne Cotton coveting the brand's wardrobe essentials.
Their collection for Spring/Summer 09 has to be their most exciting and stunning to date. Surprisingly, Charles Dickens and the story of Great Expectations played a major conceptual role and the designs pay homage to the character of Ms. Havisham; A woman whose memories of the good the life, the joy of people and parties remained with her, even when all that remained were broken tea cups and wine glasses entwined with ivy.
Much like Ms. Havisham's nostalgic romanticism of life, the collection fuses a vintage style with a modern twist; Estelle rose and delicate daisy lace prints combined with youthful raspberry, somber grey and antique blues will leave you feeling ardent and enchanted. Entitled "She'll Only Break Your Heart", the pieces have that all important wearability - key to Belle and Bunty's appeal. You'll find kaftans ideal for Summer lounging, flirty jumpsuits excellent for drinks on a long summer night and dresses, perfect for garden parties at the weekend.
Here are more of my favourites:
Belle and Bunty Boutique
45a Brecknock Road,
London, N7 0BT
Tel: 020 7267 3322
Online Shop: www.belleandbuntyboutique.com
Also available at the ASOS Outlet