Sweetpea, online childrenswear boutique, was shortlisted in the Junior Design Awards 2013 for Best Online Fashion Retailer. We caught up with Sweetpea's creative curator, Louise Atkinson.
Why did you decide to work in childrenswear, Louise?
Fashion and retail have always been a passion of mine, so when I became a parent myself the two worlds merged. And I haven’t look back since. I found it hard to find a choice of affordable, well-made clothes with good design detail on the British high street, and discovered the wider choice of children’s fashion in Europe. So, I started to build a wardrobe for my girls and a business for myself, with some fabulous new brands starting with brands from Spain.
What are your earliest fashion memories and what did you wear?
I remembering loving pinafore dresses and knickerbockers. I also loved dressing up and making sure I looked the part, whatever the occasion. From an early age I understood the value of quality not quantity, and remember days out with my mum to buy clothes from lovely independent shops, which sadly only a few of which exist on our high street today.
When you think of your childrenswear label, what words spring to mind?
Simple and stylish is what I strive for. Clothes that both feel and look good and let the child stand out from the crowd.
What were the inspirations for the childrenswear SS13 collection?
Bright citrus colours jumped out at me this season, the lemons, limes and peach colours look so fresh and cheerful – perfect for children.
What are your top three tips for dressing children this Spring-Summer?
I always say you can’t go wrong with lots of layering: a pop of colour and, of course, comfort with soft organic cotton, fleece linings and plenty of stretch!
What are your top three must have pieces from the SS13 collection?
I would choose the yellow gingham sundress by Nicethings Mini – it has captured all the trends in a gorgeous classic style perfect for any little girl. Also, the cream and red stripe jumper by FUB - gorgeous on anyone and just what you need to keep off the chill. And I love the apple green and grey stripe by Milibe, which will take you through the season and beyond.
Can you give us your hot tip for autumn winter 2013 childrenswear?
As our seasons continue to blur, we need to think layers so children are prepared, comfortable and stylish. As we have seen the citrus colours add fun to the fashion for SS13, the autumn will see the metalics and bold colour blocking standing out.
How does it feel when you see a child in a Sweetpea design?
Great, especially as some of my collections are either exclusive to the UK and or not easily available on the high street. It is lovely to see a child stand out from the crowd: looking and feeling great in much-loved clothes that haven’t lost their shape or shade.
If you were five years old again, just for one day, what would you do?
I would invite my friends over, dress up in our finery (or maybe some of my mums finery) and have a tea party. What a happy day it would be! In fact, my idea of fun hasn’t changed that much at all!
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