It’s time to report from the celebration of weird and wonderful fashions and lifestyles that is the LondonEdge weekend! I’ve compiled my usual top picks of brands from the event, this time with a technicoloured, glitter-tastic, eco-conscious, festival fashion theme
It’s been a whole year since my first experience at LondonEdge (and the first time I introduced myself to someone as a “Blogger”!), and 6 months since the last instalment, and it remains my favourite fashion trade event to be inspired by new brands, chat to the amazing creative people behind these companies, and let loose at the after party -this time featuring a burlesque act with a live snake (check out my Insta for a video)!
While I’m usually on the prowl for new finds amongst the vintage reproduction (the likes of Collectif, Hell Bunny etc.) and alt. brands (Dr Faust, New Rock, Crime City Clothing), this time I was particularly inspired by the lively colours and hyperbolic collision of prints and materials at three festival-wear bands, plus an eco-conscious glitter cosmetics company.
Festival clothing is represented more and more at this event, and you certainly can’t miss it- sequins, lycra, psychedelic prints, and faux fur all smushed together in one outfit to create a visual feast, perect for cheering up even the muddiest of festival fields. As someone who did not go to those kind of festivals and wore black every day for over a decade as a younger Goth, I admit a surprising love for this irreverent style that breaks all fashion and taste “rules”!
Beyond style, these brands also have impressive ethical credentials, with a focus on local manufacturing and sourcing sustainable mateirals. Read on for my low-down on the shiny, yet ethical, fun…
Eco Glitter Fun
Recently, there has been a meteoric rise in the popularity of glitter, spreading out of Glam/Glitter Rock and Rave cultures and into the mainstream. You can’t seem to avoid it- it’s all over Instagram, YouTube tutorials, and most of my worldly possessions after hugging friends at a Goth festival a couple of weeks ago! While I do find glitter hypnotically appealing, I am concerned about the negative environmental impacts.
Most glitters are made from aluminium and “microplastics” (particles less than 5mm in length), which can be eaten by sea life and birds and enter the food chain. This plastic has also been found to break down and release harmful chemicals that impact the hormone balance of wildlife as well as humans. Some have even called for glitter to be banned, as we’ve seen with the UK ban on microbeads in cosmetics in early 2018.
The glitter itself is made from compostable cellulose film, derived from sustainably sourced eucalyptus trees…
Enter Eco Glitter Fun to save the party! Their products and packaging are cruelty free, vegan friendly, and completely plastic free. The glitter itself is made from compostable cellulose film, derived from sustainably sourced eucalyptus trees. Once this eco glitter is washed off and enters the sewerage system, microorganisms begin to metabolise it and break it down before it reaches the oceans. If any does enter soil or oceans, it will harmlessly biodegrade over several months- the magic of science!
Co-founders, Sophie and Noemi, are not only passionate environmentalists (10% of profits go to the Plastic Oceans Foundation), but they really know their stuff about makeup and skin care: I love their ingenious suggestion to apply to face and hair with organic aloe vera gel instead of glue- it’s much kinder to the skin and really does stay on (I had a glittery hand for the entire day on the two occasions I’ve met with their lovely team!). Not to leave the menfolk out, they recommend almond oil for applying to beards, which conditions while you look marvellous.
Who doesn’t love sparkles, and now they can be enjoyed guilt-free (unless you spill them on my carpet, then you’re going straight to hell!).
I also find their colour combinations to die for. At DragWorld convention, I purchased two pots in beautiful mermaid and candy floss tones of pink, turquoise, and silver. I’m really impressed with the different sizes of particles included, which give a really nice texture when applied. Who doesn’t love sparkles, and now they can be enjoyed guilt-free (unless you spill them on my carpet, then you’re going straight to hell!).
Quite frankly, these clothes immediately make me want to go to Burning Man, trade (eco)glitter as currency, and create art in the desert! Burnt Soul stood out to me as they include some slightly darker tones, which I feel I can work in to my Cyber Goth aesthetic while out clubbing (I need to ease in to this style gently!).
Their star products for me are the immaculately cut lycra catsuits. I’m so impressed with the flattering shape using chevron cut outs around the waist in contrasting fabrics to contour the body and create a hourglass shape, plus differing arm lengths to suit body type and occasion (plus sizes available). They also offer a customise service to swap out panels, adjust legs, or create bespoke fabric combos.. Their fabulous leopard print catsuit with mesh cut out is firmly on my extensive “go on, treat yourself” list!
Creative Director, Robyn, founded Burnt Soul in 2012 in Bristol, and shares an eco-imperative. Her pieces are handmade locally using an eco-Lycra called Life Lycra, made from recycled fishing net and tulle. Whatsmore, leftover fabric is recycled by fellow independent fashion company, Headspace Headresses, and turned into fabulous headwear- perfect to pair with a catsuit! You can read more and see videos about their behind the scenes world here.
Dazzle and Jolt
Absolutely living up to their name, Dazzle and Jolt’s unique prints cut a striking figure. These prints spawn from the playful mind of the graphic designer behind the brand, Jess Holt. Inspired by a tropical colour palette (her dedication demonstrated through her fabulous rainbow hair !!), animals, and the matra of “more is more”, she founded the brand in 2012 to encourage individual expression.
My favourites include the delightful prints inspired by the good old British seaside, such as an ice-cream crop top and mini skirt, and T-shirts featuring fairground rides, seagulls and lollipops. The leggings, skirts, and dresses are made and printed in the UK, so extra ethical/patriotism points. Prints called “Cosmic Cat” and “Intergalactic Unicorn” are also available in phone cases, so you can even jazz up days in the office and count down until the next festival!
That New Label
Based in Melbourne, Australia, That New Label offers a large range of products for all your festival clothing needs: from catsuits, festival jackets, leggings, bodysuits, and short/crop top sets, to nipple covers, dust masks and even UV bunting to decorate your festival camping site! Each gorgeous psychedelic print is designed by founder, Ashley, in her Melbourne studio, and each garment is then hand constructed (no slave labour here).
Several of her items imho, should come with a health warning, as they feature those sequins that you can stroke in one direction and then the other to reveal different colours- this is dangerously hypnotic, and I was enthralled for at least 10 minutes petting a jacket. Ashley too, admitted the addictive nature of this material (as she helped pull me away from said garment), and we bonded over the mysterious and unavoidable urge to write your name on it…
Clothing that doubles as a notebook can’t be wrong- I’m placing an order!
I was really inspired by the number of new and emerging brands with ethical and eco-conscious ethos at this event. It’s heartening to see young, independent designers running successful fashion businesses using local manufacturing and recycled materials – there is a future for sustainable fashion, and you can find it partying hard in a field!
I’ll be back at the next London Edge in February 2019 with my top picks, but plenty coming up in the meantime- hit Follow to receive quick email notifications of new content… Watch out for my next “fascinating lives” profile post – you’re not going to want to miss it!