Pitti Bimbo is a long-established children's fashion trade show that showcases the most exciting emerging and established brands in the industry.

A truly international affair, exhibitors and buyers fly in from all around the world to attend this event based in the historic Forte di Basso in Florence and Junior was thrilled to be invited along for an in-depth look at the movers and shakers in kids fashion, toys, lifestyle and publishing. With 230 exhibitors this year and over 3000 attendees, including 2,100 buyers, the atmosphere was buzzing and the welcome warm - inspite of the hailstorm outside!


Highlights of the January edition of Pitti Bimbo 96 were The Apartment section of the expo, which introduces a huge selection of independent designers and small businesses, making waves with their wares and a talk hosted by Pirouette Blog's Katie Kendrick, interviewing kids' fashion behemoths Piero Iacomoni, founder of Monnalisa, Mogens Jepsen founder of Molo and Shosh Kazab, the founder of pre-loved designer fashion store Kidswear Collective, which was a huge hit with press and exhibitors. Sustainability was the main focus of the conversation and this topic was prevalent throughout the entire exhibition, with brands like Farway, Peek-A-Boo, Infantium Victoria and Kombinizona Kids, working hard to create beautiful clothes with minimum impact on the planet and the majority of high-end labels pushing a green agenda too. Monnalisa's triumphant return to the catwalk with a fabulous Autumn/Winter showcase was one of our favourite moments and as Piero Iacomo told us, despite times being tough for all fashion brands, this was an extremely important moment for the brand - creating a memory and the ripple effect that follows. You can see our review of the Monnalisa runway show here >>

Junior was almost overwhelmed by quality and the incredible variety of product on offer but after a few cappuccinos, we managed to decipher our notes, pore over our photos and collate our favourite trends spotted across the 230 stands. Whether you're a fan of Victorian Gothic Revival drama, classic ditsy prints or crazy furs, we think you'll like what's coming in AW23.

Tiny little buds and flowers were generously strewn over shirts, skirts, dresses, jackets, wash bags, you name it. We spotted lots of traditional Liberty Print fabric and were particularly smitten by the quilted jackets at ESTHER. 1. ESTHER 2. Twin & Chic 3. C'era Una Volta, 4. Twin & Chic, 5. C'era Una Volta

Beautifully embellished dresses were a big story at Pitti Bimbo 96. These dresses lit up with intricate starts really stood out. 1. Maison Ava 2. Maison Ava 3. Tutu du Monde

Do doodly do, snap, snap... We couldn't stop humming the Addam's Family theme tune as we wandered around the stands, seeing lots and lots of Gothic, Wednesday Addams inspired dresses with crisp white collars or a distinctly spooky feel. We have never seen so much black at a children's fashion show. 1. Infantium Victoria 2. Monnalisa 3. Maison Ava 4. Praire

There was a strong case of the blues in evidence and there seemed to be rail upon rail of co-ordinated blue ensembles. A powdery cobalt shade of blue seemed to be the most popular of all. 1. Paade Mode 2. Twin & Chic 3. Suncracy 4. Tutu Du Monde 5. Maison Ava

Traditional quilting of the homespun variety added volume and texture and old world charm to many collections. 1. ESTHER 2. ESTHER 3. C'era Una Volta 4. Tia Cibani

Clothes fit for a remake of Little House on the Prairie (can someone commission that please?) were everywhere, with embroidery, faded plaids and pinafore dresses taking centre stage. 1. Paade Mode 2. NUECES 3. Farway 4. Suncracy

Fur was faux and definitely FUN at this season's Pitti Bimbo and everything from shoes to hats was covered in deep textured borg and fluff in an array of bright colours and neutrals. Toy brand Jellycat also debuted their neon shades of their iconic Bashful Bunny. 1. Monnalisa 2. Tia Cibani 3. Vlasta Kopylova 4. Colors of California 5. Jellycat 6. Flower Mountain 7. Paade Mode

Corsages, bows and ballgowns, not to mention the odd smart tuxedo, brought old-school prom dances to mind on several stands with Monnalisa taking the crown for debutante style glamour. 1. Monnalisa 2. Hucklebones 3. Maison Ava 4. Monnalisa (background image Tutu du Monde)

It's definitely mushroom season in kids' fashion and we spotted plenty of fun guys including fabulous mushroom hats at UPA. 1. La Titta 2. UPA 3. Ludo 4. Molo


>> Pictures taken by Bonita Turner and Eleonore Crompton