Looks Like Rain Bunty
Belle & Bunty launched their debut collection at On I Off at the National Army Museum three seasons ago, and due to popular demand had to stage two consecutive shows. Belle & Bunty is centred around original prints and embroideries on silks, cottons and chiffon. It’s pretty, luxurious and stylish and is already building up an impressive list of stockists. Their latest Spring/Summer 2005 collection entitled ‘Looks Like Rain Bunty’ was also shown as a part of the On I Off schedule last September. Inspired by the infamous ‘Morning after the night before’, the range mixes up feminine printed pieces with the boyfriend’s boxers, slouchy trousers and shirts, for that walk home in the rain. Prints and embroideries borrow from palms and umbrellas while bright hues clash with subtle base tones.
Q How and when did you begin your label?
A We set up the label in April 2003 after the 3 of us (Alice, Hannah & Toby) had been talking about doing it for a few months. Once we had a manufacturer in place ready to do our production we were ready to start sampling and showed our first collection “Belle & Bunty Go Wild” as part of doll’s On|Off London Fashion Week Sept 2003 at the National Army Museum.
Q Tell us a bit about your latest S/S 2005 pieces..
A ‘Looks Like Rain, Bunty’ is inspired by the idea of staying at your boyfriends after a big night out and realizing you have to walk home in the summer morning rain with nothing to wear! It’s all about mixing masculine and feminine garments to create a sassy, sexy look, teaming your high heels with his slouchy trousers and ultimately looking better in his clothes than he does! Prints are heavily inspired by traditional English sewing crafts the sort your grandmother taught you! Including tapestry, needlepoint and cross-stitch. Accentuating colour and scales whilst remaining sensitive to grandmothers we have given a gentle twist to the old.
Q You showed your S/S collection at On-Off London Fashion Week – how did you find the experience?
A On|Off is a fantastic vehicle for British designers as it offers them the opportunity to showcase their designs both on the catwalk and at a well attended exhibition in a fantastic setting for an accessible price. We were extremely happy with the way it went and have been well looked after by the doll team that put it all together.
Q Do you have show plans for February?
A We will once again be taking part in On|Off and are just sorting out venues in Paris and New York for exhibitions.
Q What are the best and worst aspects of working in the fashion industry?
A The best is probably getting to do what we truly love on a daily basis. We have met some really wonderful people and there can be a sense of community about the industry as well as competition (which we like!) The business side is something that can be tough but you have to embrace it in order to achieve sustainability. The more we learn the more we get our heads around it and the less scary it all becomes.
Q Are there any designers that you particularly admire?
A We really admire what Phoebe Philo has done for Chloe in recent years. She has real vision with her style which appeals to so many and holds such weight with the high street. Whilst the more spectacular end of fashions couture can be breathtaking in design terms we tend to admire labels that can really create a wearable fantasy.
Q Future plans/projects on your agenda…
A We do quite a bit of consultancy on the side but the immediate future is really just about developing the label and increasing its exposure. We have recently been collaborating with a company called Purista who treat cotton garments to make them stay fresher for longer. Belle and Bunty is the first designer label to offer this and are excited about the prospect of continuing the relationship as it offers our customer something extra and unique. We are constantly in meetings about projects and potential collaborations but always keep things under wraps until things become signed and sealed.
Q Current stockists:
A Stockists in the UK:
Fenwicks, 63, New Bond Street, London W1A 3BS.
Mee, 9a, Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2Q2.
Missymoo, 19, Green Street, Bothwell, Glasgow, G71 8RL
Ruby and Tallulah, Church House, Overy Rd, Burnham Market, Norfolk PE31 8HH.
Sirene, 37, Trafalgar St, Brighton, BN1 4ED.
Supra Girls, Unit 1/2 253, Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11.
Belle & Bunty Studio,
45a, Brecknock Road, London, N7 0BT.
Tel/Fax: +44 (0)20 7267 3322