Real Kimonos

Kimonos have been very much in fashion in the last few year although they have strayed from the traditional Japanese garment look, the styling has been faithfully to the meaning of the word. “Ki” is from the verb to wear while a “mono” is a thing, a thing to wear. Some renditions have been pretty tacky especially when trimmed with ludicrous fringing.

A traditional Kimono is a Simple T shaped long garment with long deep sleeves that is wrapped around the body and secured around the waist with a sash tied at the back called an “obi”. The length of the sleeve denotes whether the wearer is married, young unmarried women have sleeves near trailing on the ground.

These days they are mostly worn on special occasions by Japanese women with the traditional elevated sandal with split toed socks. Japanese men will occasionally wear them for weddings etc unless they are Sumo wrestlers who are obliged to wear the garment when out in public. A true Japanese kimono is highly valued and the more complex garments in silk can involve both woven and printed ornate decoration.

When visiting japan you may see parties of ladies dressed up in a rather cheaper looking garment but these are more often than not visiting Koreans who like to dress up when visiting Japan. Rather like those children who put on Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears when in Disneyland.

Viv Darling was looking for something special to wear for her brother’s wedding a dozen years ago. She looked around and was very uninspired by the offer on the high street and started to wonder whether she could find something a bit more adventurous and began investigating kimonos on the web. Eventually, after much research, she bought one on Ebay and was not only bowled over by the garment but the fascinating traditions and cultural history she had discovered in this search.

It is fair to say that Viv is quite the expert in this field. She has travelled to Japan and visited Kyoto the ancient capital and centre of silk weaving. Here she linked up with a Japanese lady who has a permit to sell and export secondhand kimonos. Viv sells these are various locations around the Southwest and can be contacted though her facebook site;

Last summer I stumbled across these wonderful ladies attending a wedding in Bath and the view from behind was as stunning as that from the front.



The printed sleepwear brand, Yolke, was bought to our attention after a collaboration with Whistles last year. The brand was launched by friends Ella Ringer and Anna Williamson in 2013 after working at Temperley together. The pair describe the brand as ‘a loungewear brand with a DNA in print led design’ which is definitely apparent across their vibrant patterned range. With Ella Ringer designing the brand’s contemporary bespoke prints, pattern is really at the heart of this brand and is a very important factor in each collection.


Anna Williamson and Ella Ringer, founders of Yolke


Anna Williamson and Ella Ringer, founders of Yolke

Yolke created a range for Whistles featuring two exclusive prints (Fly Away and Wild Thistle) across silk pajama sets and eye masks.

The combination of fashion forward, playful prints and luxurious fabrics has gained the brand a reputation as a contemporary, stylish leisure label. Now a well respected, sort after brand in Selfridges, the brand is going from strength to strength.


@yolkegirl Instagram


@yolkegirl Instagram

Here are a look at some of their current collections:


Botanist collection


Havana collection


Stripes collection

We also love how you can shop collections visually by prints.




With valentines campaigns in full swing, roses emerge as February’s favourite floral in prints over the high street and high end fashion labels. Pink and red grounds sit beneath fun conversational such as lips, hearts and even romantic slogans really vamping up the excitement for Valentines day or as many places are promoting, ‘Galentines day’, embracing a fully feminine look.





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Love Moschino




Kimchi Blue






Sister Jane



Scoop is a premium and contemporary womenswear and accessories tradeshow held at the iconic Saatchi Gallery, London. The exhibitors are leaders in the industry – directional, talented, successful and unique.

Scoop was launched in February 2011 by fashion industry expert Karen Radley. With an impressive line-up of premium collections, Scoop is based around creating an international design-led and London-based exhibition for niche designers; one where labels do not have to battle one another for attention and where the diverse brand offering guarantees visitors something they have not seen elsewhere. Today, Scoop has become a key destination for showcasing over 250 international contemporary designers.

We went along to spot brands that had interesting prints looking for colour, style, quirkiness or sheer beauty. The environment was clean bright and inviting and as a visitor a truly pleasurable experience.

Below are some of the collections that really caught our eye and some we will review in more detail in future blogs. We were debating whether to go as we are so busy and the moment on Friday afternoon and then realized that it is too easy to sit at one’s desk thinking that inspiration might come to us. Wrong, inspiration has to be seeked out and this day gave us a tonnage of ideas.

We hope that you enjoy our picks


Great ladies in lovely prints.

The Name Drop


Versace, Pre Fall 18,

Luxury fashion brands are reviving a trend that encapsulated the 90’s, branding, or as we like to call it, ‘The Name Drop’. Looking forward to AW18, brands such as Valentino, Fendi and Versace are all playing into this look and this is expected to be a big trend from a print perspective. We see logos wrapped around necklines, hems and in studding in accessories. Versace have created an all over print with their micro sized logo and it is worn from head to toe, really emphasizing the significance of this trend re surfacing.

Here we take a look at some of the key brands who have played into this 90’s inspired trend:

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Fendi, Pre Fall 18,

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Versace, Pre Fall 18,

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Altuzarra, Pre Fall 18,

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Emilio Pucci, Pre Fall 18,

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Monse, Pre Fall 18,

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Missoni, Pre Fall 18,

Prints Mapped In The Stars


Rixo London

With star studded prints gracing the catwalks last year for AW17 collections, we take a look at how this has become the most desirable print trend of the season. The release of the new and highly anticipated Star Wars film has certainly helped ramp up this trend and suddenly everyone is wanting to wear a sprinkling of stardust.

Chanel AW17 Ready to Wear

Chanel had this trend written in the stars with space themed conversational and cosmic scenes.

Dior AW17 Ready To Wear

Cosmic landscapes with a delicate sprinkling of sparkle wrap around the Dior dresses. We love the placement of the print on top of deep indigos and bleak blacks.

Taking lift off this season with record breaking sales were M&S and their constellation print midi dress which they later re-released due to the starry eyed popularity of the garment.




New fashion brand, Rixo London, who are proving to be very popular among bloggers and celebs, have gone to town with their astrological prints.


Rixo London

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Rixo London

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& Other Stories

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Lilly and Lionel