Arriving almost straight from FIMI tradeshow, Valencia, we were greeted by similarly sunny climes in Amsterdam - home to Holland's largest childrenswear tradeshow, Kleine Fabriek. With over 260 international children's clothing labels as well as a record number of footwear and homewear stands at the SS12 season show, we couldn't wait to browse the busy aisles.
One of the biggest stand-out trends was African animal print; as previously championed by D&G for SS11. We spotted a gorgeous yellow and nude zebra print side-tie top at Finger in the Nose and were drawn onto the Replay stand thanks to it's 'safari' setting complete with tall giraffe and sand decoration. For boys, Replay & Sons showed chino trousers and denim shirts, both with rolled cuffs - as also spotted on the FIMI catwalks. For girls, Replay & Sons have introduced a pretty cross-stitch rose design, which appeared on everything from baseball boots to bags.
The penchant for referencing bygone eras is still key next season, as seen at Russian label Oilily (above), who have used fairytale prints set against retro gingham in classic cherry red and pale green. The full skirt (as seen above) surely looks set to be the shape of next summer.
Nautical is still key at the Junior Design Award winning Junior Gaultier - hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it - with the gorgeous addition of delicate floral silk dresses and dip-dye tulle skirts. Blazers, brilliant white and graphic print T-shirts are still a hit with the boys - just add the key turn-up trouser. It was also time to set sail at Guess for the girls too, with a mature looking, silk navy dress with nautical print.
Ditzy florals, in abundance at Bubble London, are as popular as ever. Simonetta Tiny set the standard for pretty floral dresses, with cap sleeves, double layering and bold colours set on white. The colour combination of nude and bright yellow, as seen at Antik Batik, is highly reminiscent of designer Richard Nicoll, proving that the trend for colour blocking will still be prominent in childrenswear next Summer - hooray! Lilac is also another key colour, as seen on boys and girls at Miss Grant.
Accessories wise, orange against turquoise colour palette continued to set a trend at Kleine Fabriek - snapped at Ash Shoes, on suede and leather hi-tops, and again at Hugo Boss boyswear and Levis. Easy Peasy showed some soft sole baby brogues in a variety of cool colours and straw trilby hats seemed to be atop of a lot of the mannequins - notably Pepe, which teamed a rather cool straw trilby with a double denim outfit and floral neckerchief. For the boys, the straw hat was styled with khaki slim fit cargo trousers and a sporty hooded jumper, with large number design. Miss Grant's straw hat was a much larger, floppier affair which looked super cool with a graphic print T-shirt and double layered tulle skirt. Tulle skirts and tutus, made even more popular by the release of Black Swan, are going nowhere and proved more popular than ever at stands including Gro as well as Miss Grant. Not forgetting the faithful Summer shoe - the Havaiana. For SS12, the children will be able to choose from a range which smells like ice cream (dubious, but they are certainly sweet smelling).
The stand-out collection has to be to be from Danish label, Sprout by Gro. Sprout by Gro offers muted nude tones, greys and burgandys in soft jersey fabrics and minimalist deigns. The boyswear is a gorgeous combination of mustard yellow and navy.
All photographs taken by Catherine Hudson using the iPad 2, available at Vodafone price plans from £229