REVIEW: Fashion Market #2

Brighton Fashion Week blogger Harriette Mullen had a hard time keeping her eyes on the task in hand while at the Fashion Market, namely interviewing stall holders and reporting back on the atmosphere, constantly having to tune out the devil on her shoulder persuading her to purchase nearly everything in sight, resisting the urge to spend, spend, spend on the multitude of products on sale at this BFW first. The impressive work showcased by designers, milliners and creators and the level of creativity, artistic licence and vast imaginations were responsible for such an array of individual works of art, all available to take home on the day.




Milling around, enchanting sections appear as guests round each corner, one in particular filled with wildlife, earthy tones and mystical creatures. The owner, Sara Lowes, with needle and thread in hand, is the creator of Animalesque and new to showcasing her working in Brighton. She spoke about how working in India has been great for experimenting with Sari materials and trims for Animalesques embroidery and head pieces. Designing for six years and working on Animalesque for two and a half, Sara drew on her inspiration of reading children story books combined with her experience in screen printing and embroidery to create animal head pieces for all ages, for festival fun, theatre productions and for parties. Two mini mini fashionistas interrupted our interview, who said to Sara ‘can I just say… gorgeous hats!’ She took the words right out of our mouthes!


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Following this au-natural theme, we then caught up with The Knowledge Gallery, also inspired by nature and big fans of using recycled materials, as well as female accessory company Sampson and Christie. Sampson and Christie stated that all their ranges are made from the best leather, lining and overall quality and added ‘our current collection is based on butterflies, next season will be birds and the following season, maple leaves – all along the lines of nature'. Their elegant ranges are marketed at all ages, with a much anticipated men’s line to be launched in Spring/ Summer of next year.


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Back in the world of Kitsch, it was hard to miss Ciara Monahan. Her business card reads COLOUR, PERSPEX and KITSCH, and with a collection based on the idea of a Gnome escaping garden life and travelling the world (inspired by the film Amélie) who finally finds his ‘kitschy paradise’, what more could you expect other than wacky chic! The witty slogan ‘There’s no place like Gnome’ is used on a number of her brilliant designs and there are elements of wonderfully, nostalgic souvenirs, like a necklace made out of holiday key fobs. Ciara told us that her collections are for ‘people who want to put a bit of fun in their fashion style’ and adds ‘I don’t follow trends, I like to dress for myself and put colour into everything'. Her favourite items in her collection include her flamingo poncho – referred to as ‘my baby’ and her gorgeous pineapple brooches – which we were so not eyeing up at all…


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Finally, BFW met with Sebastian Bolivara,  jewellery designer for six years, who tells us about the two collections that he is exhibiting today; ‘all pieces are made from pieces I collect when I travel, like seeds and semi-precious stones from Brazil. And my new collection is a copper collection with leather – called Chocolate. You can buy a collection of pendants and/or necklaces, and you can mix and match them - like a chocolate box'. His ‘timeless’ collection has a ‘very specific’ audience. He states; ‘someone with their own direction, their own taste, some people might be a bit scared - they need guts'.


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Needless to say, the event was a huge success. With great choices of fashion forward designers, eye catching stalls, including Rakel Blom’s bunting (uniquely designed for her collection), enthusiastic designers and a great venue.




Harriette Mullen

Brighton Fashion Week Blogger


Images: Manon Pauffin

Sharon Kilgannon