We love Indian womenswear brand Kanelle

I’m always on the lookout for great brands championing slow fashion, taking many factors into account. I want every item I wear to come from a place of awareness, with less wastage, using organic agriculture that uses less water for irrigation (and is free of poisonous chemicals), fair conditions for workers, and a generally holistic approach to crafting clothes.

One of the tools I use to find clothing items that fit these characteristics is Ikkivi, a slow fashion shop that focuses on selling and promoting Indian brands that match at least two of their core values: the pieces have to be handcrafted, organic, fair, with minimal waste, local or traditional technique, and vegan. Kanelle is one of the brands on this marvellous platform, and it’s been a joy owning one of their pieces: the Asymmetric Lilac Dress. It’s a beautiful handwoven chanderi dress that I’m always proud to wear; it’s not only a gorgeous garment, but there’s a whole set of unique cultural values behind it. I love the care Kanelle puts behind its fashion, crafting clothes that speak volumes.

Out of the six Ikkivi core values, Kanelle fits into four: the pieces are handcrafted, traditionally made, with minimal waste and by workers who are paid and treated fairly. Every item is made by hand in the traditional Indian way, incorporating some modern tailoring elements for two reasons: first, to ease things up for tailors and workers; and, second, to provide a new twist to crafting clothes. The work is a combination of different techniques, combining what has worked with hundreds of years with cutting-edge technology; Kanelle uses block printing, 3D embroidery, and stitch detailing in materials such as linen cotton, chanderi, kota linen, khadi, and silk organza.

While it’s undoubtedly a slow fashion brand, Kanelle focuses its image on its style, which strives to find balance between keeping traditional Indian attire and opening up to modern trends, within the country and well beyond its borders. Designer Kanika Jain is India-born and England-trained, an exciting combination when it comes to creation; she has a background of marketing and fashion studies in London. The style and colours she’s looking to promote never shy away from showcasing her culture, with only a tinge of western sensibilities to connect with her modern outlook on how to dress. The result is breathtaking, with delicate and comfortable garments that expand on the Indian approach to femininity, with lovely overflowing pieces that feel a little like walking around in a cloud. Trendy, minimalistic, and comfortable are some of the words that best describe Kanelle.

Kanika stumbled into the gist of her collection in her New Delhi workshop: as she walked around and saw the beautiful and fashionable women working on her designs, splattering the entire area with colour, she realised she needed to carry that intimate feel to the outside world. Kanelle is a brand made by a woman and inspired by those women who go from style to style effortlessly, particularly the Indian ladies who make fashion look easy. In each item of Kanelle’s apparel, there is a sense of awe towards women with the ability to combine Indian traditional with a modern approach while also adding a few western elements here and there.

Keeping the precious secrets and practices of traditional creation is an essential part of sustainability, particularly when it pertains to fashion. The massification of clothes is only a few decades old, yet the need to clothe ourselves and look stylish while doing so has been going on for centuries. Every culture on Earth has included part of its soul into garments, and it’s our duty as a society to uphold the values and techniques that have worked for generations. The way each piece of cloth is created, treated, dyed and sewed must be preserved as not only a greener manner of living on this Earth but also as a respectful way to the creations of the cultures of the world.

I love the work of brands like Kanelle, those that strive to take the traditional out of corners and expand it to new horizons. Seeing fashion evolve to a different feel while retaining what makes it unique is always a joy to watch – and wear. Visit the official website here.

Sustainable time-keeping? We love VOTCH Watches!

Sustainable fashion doesn’t end at clothes any more than fast fashion does. Accessorising is important to any fashion lover, even those of us who strive to be conscious about what we wear. What’s interesting is that there are more and more new brands that follow the path to sustainable wearables. One industry that has been a little slower on the uptake is watch making, as so many brands still work with less-than-ideal materials for straps – which is how Votch was born.

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Votch is a brand of faux leather watches launched in London but produced in Shenzhen, China. The brand stems from a fully vegan perspective, looking to create fashionable accessories that don’t damage animals and, ultimately, the environment. While they’re always working towards finding new materials, the latest Votch collection uses a mix of TPE, cotton and polyester in its straps. The brand is also free of PFC, PVC, plasticisers, phthalate, bromine and heavy metals; they’re REACH and RoHS compliant, PETA approved as vegan, and including recycled and renewable materials.

Read more…

VOIX Meets Mode Editorial Shoot Look Details

Created by Gea Antonini, Federica Croce and Laura Zama Hebe – three Italian designers who bring together experience from brands such as Valentino, Roberto Cavalli and Vera Wang – womenswear brand Hebe Studio is quickly becoming known for immaculately tailored suits with a clean, fresh femininity. Essentially designing wardrobe dead certs and everlasting pieces these women are onto something. The brand combines conventional with contemporary to deliver some of the best cuts in trousers or jackets you will ever try on – dress up, dress down, thoughtless wearability meets urbane polish. Read more…

Toolally Spotlight

Toolally is a colourful British brand, born and raised in Yorkshire, with every handcrafted piece fashioned from acrylic and finished in gold vermeil or sterling silver fastenings. Toolally have reimagined the aesthetic of jewellery by combining unconventional materials such as Perspex, stainless steel and solid brass to produce collections bursting with unique shapes and bright colours. Describing their work as ‘jewellery sculpture,’ Toolally aim to combine art and fashion to create bold yet wearable pieces. According to creative director Mags Walker, the Toolally style is a fusion of her obsession with fashion and head-of-studio Kelly’s passion for art.

You can shop the brand here on their site, through independent fashion store (and one of my favourites) Wolf & Badger here or here at John Lewis.

Modal and vintage Rokit

Whilst filming my second instalment of the Headwrap series I wore my ASOS Modal skirt, a vintage Rokit denim shirt and my Lily & Lionel headscarf. Here is some info on my look below…

ASOS have a soft modal midi skirt with splices in the mix as part of their eco-offering, and it’s really gorgeous. A type of rayon, modal is a semi-synthetic cellulose fibre made by spinning reconstituted cellulose. It is used alone or with other fibres (often cotton or spandex) in household items such as pyjamas or underwear, but in recent years it has started to transition into being worn for more fashionable purposes. A second generation cellulosic fibre, modal is well known for its softness; commonly described as ‘soft as a feather’ and the ‘softest fibre in the world’ – keep an eye out for this fabric as it makes a resurgence. It really soothes against your skin. Read more…

British Vintage-Inspired Fashion

RIXO was founded by London College of Fashion alumni (and best friends) Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey. The two friends found their symbiosis in 2015, and have since been focused on vintage-inspired distinctly British womenswear.

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What to expect? Think contemporary pieces with signature details, including intricate hand painted original prints and devil-is-in-the-detail trim. Think anti-mass production and pro-timeless design. Find out more about the brand here.

Chop Jollof En Vacances with Frost & Onyx

Founded by by Funmi, a British-Nigerian lawyer based in New York and London, Frost & Onyx offer an easy collection of luxury Tops and Tanks with bold African statements – I’ve worn their ‘Melanin Chic’ and ‘Chop Jollof’ tees and have to say the fit of the latter is gorgeous – delicately draped, it has a slight crop to the body which gives  a sexy laid back silhouette.

WEAR THE LOOK: T-Shirt – Frost & Onyx  | Shoes – Opificio V Milan | Sunglasses – Rokit Vintage

They keep their collections super tight and streamlined, focusing on simple originality. Made in the Netherlands, these t-shirts also feel lush, fit comfortably and are the epitome of  casual-lux inspired by the ‘modern African girl’. Designer Funmi wanted to create a brand which captured the essence of her British African friends, women she knew to be conscious, well-travelled, intelligent and most importantly, proud of their African heritage. Read more…