There are always so many excellent women I'd like to tell you about, so this week I've decided to feature more than one, in a round-up of some up and coming female designers. Their work is fresh and original, and pieces are made with the love and care you won't find on the high street. Prices reflect the unique, handmade nature of their clothes, but are still possible to save up for. Invest now before these brands all become celeb favourites and we have to scour ebay to even get a look in.
Velvet Johnstone is one London stylists' best kept secrets - her pieces have already been worn by the likes of Kylie Minogue, Lorde, Alex Winston, Eliza Doolittle and Kelly Rowland. Cheryl Stephenson is the designer behind the brand, specialising in super feminine, luxury pieces. She's also used Velvet Johnstone to support the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaigns, producing special, limited edition designs for the charity.
Kelly Shaw makes pieces that make you just want to throw on a dress and head to the beach. These two striped numbers are some of my favourites, epitomising the laid-back, comfortable nature of Kelly's clothes. Make sure you also check out her trademark slogan dresses and T-shirts.
Crazy cat ladies look out! Here's a new designer you'll go nuts for. Vicki Murdoch makes the most beautiful silk scarves covered in animal, insect and fruit prints under the name Silken Favours. Her lookbooks are always an absolute joy. Look up her fantasy animal prints- who doesn't want a silk scarf covered in flying pigs? Also stay tuned for silk shirts and cushions - they're not on her site yet but if you follow her on instagram you'll see they're coming soon...
Here's a video with Vicki for Liberty London.
Beautiful Soul also works with prints, bringing florals up to date with gorgeous English-garden-inspired colours. Nicola Woods is the designer behind the brand - she worked in corporate insurance for 11 years before taking a trip which convinced her to trade it all in for a chance to embrace her childhood love of design. Her pieces have become favourites for alternative bridesmaid dresses, and also for celebrities when they're expecting, as they come with adjustable waists.
Ekaterina Kukhareva makes knitwear, but not as you know it. There isn't a chunky knit in sight. Instead expect modern prints, exotic colours and streamlined silhouettes.
Lu Flux is a wonderfully quirky brand that embodies all your fashion nostalgia in one go. Designer Lu sources wonderful vintage fabrics to work from, making her brand an eco-lovers joy. Expect lots of embroidery, patchwork and knitting - she's just launched this gorgeous line of children's wear, entitled 'A mouthful of milk teeth'.
It's worth following all of these designers on Twitter or Facebook, or sign up to their newsletters as they often hold pop-up sample sales with great discounts, and a chance to meet the designers themselves. These are all lovely ladies who are happy to invite you to their studio for a cuppa to show you their wares or maybe discuss a commission you might have in mind.