Monday, 10 June 2013

June 2013: Trendy Alternatives!

So there are many shops on the high street, ones that are chained, ones that do good for charity and ones that are little diamonds that must be treasured for their one off pieces and quirky fashion finds. I set out to find as many different gems as possible, and I managed to find four. Four boutiques and privately owned fashion houses that are harvested by fashionistas looking and craving for that unique piece(s) in their wardrobe that would make an outfit that even more special, and so here they are, four fashion boutiques that you NEED to know about if you're visiting the amazing cities they're housed in.

Me And Yu - Manchester
I found this fabulous place when I first started shopping in Afflecks a few years ago, which is on Tib Street and pretty central to the main shopping destination of Market Street and The Arndale in Manchester. The thing I love about this brand is that all their patterns and pictures are hand drawn and hand printed onto their garments and every season is fresh, new and a must see if you're visiting the city.

 1. What made you want to open your own store and start selling your own fashion?

I've always loved fashion and after ten years of selling our wares at markets and events, opening our store seemed a logical progression.

2. What do you love about the Manchester fashion scene?

Manchester is eclectic and has a strong youth culture - anything goes!

3. What do you love about Afflecks and why would you recommend people to come and shop here?

Afflecks is like no where else, it's a great mix of stores and vibrant people - there's something for everyone.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your products from?

Everywhere and anywhere - we take little bits of inspiration from lots of different places and put them together in our own way.

5. What's your favourite piece in your current collection?

There's a lot of great designs in our new collection. We're introducing more style of womens tees and I particularly like the new slouchy tops with the fresh design or the long sleeve cameo T-shirt. In menswear there are some great pieces coming soon including handmade shorts and trousers which are limited edition.

You can shop on their website here or at Afflecks in Manchester and follow them on Twitter.

Torah Clothing - Newcastle
The next little gem is an up and coming menswear brand based in the North East of the country in Newcastle who believe in uniqueness and creating products aimed at Newcastle's younger fashionistas. Keeping it simple and interesting, they mix their products around the base of art and fashion together to come up with idea of uniqueness and diversity, which gives their customers a different concept of fashion and a unique scene of sanctification to be different and to be able to stand out from the rest of the crowd.


1. What made you want to open your own store and start selling your own fashion?

For the past 9 years I've worked in the fashion industry. In the past I had worked with some big name such as FCUK , USC and AllSaints. They all are very different to each other but the one thing they have in common between them is creativity and their ability to take risks by introducing new ideas in the market. My inspiration come from passion for retail and understanding of the fashion industry. I believe in one thing: to be the best you have to beat the best, so after working with these big names I was able to see the gap in the fashion industry. The concept of Torah Clothing is to open a Holiday shop so through out the year you can find vests and t-shits any time of the year. Our product are not only for your holidays, you can use them for day to day wear.

2. What do you love about the Newcastle fashion scene?

Newcastle is famous for its Geordie crowd. People love to wear jogging bottoms and Newcastle United football shirts, but in the past 10 years there is a revolution change of how people dress now. We have the right mixture of indie and urban fashion in Newcastle. We have different age groups which represent different fashion styles so you can find all kind of styles here, it's like a multi-cultured fashion ground.

                 3. What is your personal style like? Do you stick to the seasons TRENDS?

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” - Oscar Wilde. I can describe my style as a 21st century gentlemen with a touch of corkiness. I always try to dress to impress, I'm quite trendy but I try to keep classic British look in my dressing.

                           4. Where do you get your inspiration for your products from?

I'm a big fun of uniqueness, i'm also have a love for abstract art. Stand out, you need to do something different, but at the same time you need to keep your style simple and basic. We also want to do something different to what we can see in market, so we decided to introduce the concept of using two colours and try half side printing. I keep the young crowd of Newcastle in mind who love to party so we tailored our product around our customers.

5. What's your favourite piece in your current collection?

I have to say the Torah graphic vest in black is one of my favourite pieces from the chapter one collection. It took us two weeks to design this piece after we changed the colour sachem quite few times.

You can shop their pieces on their website here, follow them on: Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Gemma Goldstone - Essex
Next we have Gemma Goldstone, a womenswear clothing and accessories brand based in the town that's a bit like Marmite (you either love it or you hate it; shut up!) it's Essex of course! This  brand is all about creating fashion for the bold and beautiful, the designs are a fusion of unconventional fabrics with strong clean silhouettes which represent the young, the edgy and the vibrant fashion scene of the UK.

1. What made you want to start making and selling your own fashion?

I have always dreamed of having my own fashion label and it is one of the reasons I decided to pursue fashion. After 5 years of fashion education and 3 years of working in the industry I feel like I learned all I needed to in order to make my dream a reality. Designing has always been something that I really enjoyed and I wanted to show my ideas to the world and with my manufacturing experience I had the skill set to make this happen.

2. What do you love about the London fashion?

London fashion is so unique and inspires me very much in my design. It is a city with its own personalities from the chic to the extreme, London streets are like catwalks and is a place where you can express your individuality without being judged. It is such an inspirational place and is recognised for its style around the world.

 3. What do you love about Oxford Street, the UK's favourite high street and why would you recommend people to come and shop here?

Oxford Street brings together all the top high street stores to one place to create a massive shopping destination.

   4. Where do you get your inspiration for your products?

I draw my inspiration from various different sources. For example, my latest collection was inspired by the 90s revival and bringing it up to date making it relevant within the industry today. I also draw a lot of inspiration from fabrics. My signature style is the fusion of un-conventional fabrics with sleek, clean cut designs and I feel that the fabrics that I use heavily influence the final look of the design and the effect the garment has.

  5. What's your favourite piece in your current collection?

Obviously I love all the pieces in my collection but if I had to pick one I think I would go with the Electric Blue Fur Bag. It’s such a fun design and is a great way to style up the simplest of outfits by adding a splash of colour and texture. 

You can shop their pieces on their ASOS Markeplace shop, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

And last but certainly not least, Avant-Garde fashion label Kweku Clothing which is based in  the Camden Stables Market, London. The brand is the brainchild of Ghana born, London raised designer Kweku Quagraine and specialises in bold abstract art on garments and accessories. Kweku started his label believing he could offer affordable yet cutting edge alternatives to mainstream brands. While at Goldsmiths, amongst his creative peers, Kweku developed his appreciation for abstract art and his eye for fashion, this is certainly evident in the use of the Avant-Garde imagery used in his designs. The KC brand represents individuality and expression and his use of the abstract imagery appeals to a wide demographic of people, specifically those with an interest and appreciation of art.

1. What made you want to open your own store and start selling your own fashion?

In the first instance, the lack of individuality and originality amongst my peers growing up which motivated me to develop my own brand.

2. What do you love about the London fashion scene?

There are so many fashion scenes within one city just a few miles apart. For example if you travel a few miles east to Shoreditch you're likely to to see an abundance of vintage clothing fashionistas teaming skinny jeans with brogues or Air Max ones. Travel a few miles north into Islington, you're more likely to find an individual sporting the modern day 'mod'. In addition to the mix of cultures and ethnicities, mean that you often see people sporting different accessories or fabrics from all over the world to add to the uniqueness of their outfits.

3. What do you love about Camden Market and why would you recommend people to come and shop here?

Camden in the summer is an amazing place to be. There is so much to see and different things to eat. However Camden has changed over the past few years. There aren't as many independent clothing shops as there once was due to the rising shop rents. The ones that have remained and have newly emerged I believe offer a refreshing difference to what you will find anywhere in London. The vintage clothing stores go from strength to strength, the selection of stores are unrivaled. Also the last remnants of of the famed punk and thrash metal scene of Camden mean you always have an extremely diverse group of people walking around on a daily basis.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your products from?

From the world of abstract art and music. I can listen to a beat from one of my favourite house music producers that will inspire me to create or develop an idea I have been forming in my mind over a period of time.

5. What's your favourite piece in your current collection?

My current collection is called 'KC' from it, the short sleeve KC body con dress is my favorite piece. It's a dress that really accentuates the curves in a woman's physique.

You can check out their products on their website and follow them on Twitter.

And so there we have it, four fabulous fashion houses that are bustling with trendy alternatives that you won't find anywhere else. Whether their inspiration is from art, music or culture, you're sure to find a fabulous piece that you will be proud to have hanging in your wardrobe for all eternity. What do you think of their products, let us know in the comments below or tweet us @TREND__FASHION.
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