Top of the baby and kids calendar each year is Kids Instyle – www.kidsinstyle.com.au. I had the great pleasure of representing KidStyleFile at the recent Sydney edition where I swooned over the plethora of new product releases from more than 100 exhibits. Today I bring you my sweet sixteen top finds from the show. Enjoy!
Visually speaking, Down to the Woods had the standout exhibit this year. It was breathtaking as you can see in our images. Kids Instyle also marked the debut of the Lamby Lamb Lamp which was designed by Down to the Woods and produced by Heico in Germany. This adorable lamp is the perfect nighlight, never hot to the touch and not too bright. There were so many adorable ‘new’ items to pour including the Nepal made felt range of masks, floral felt rug in two colour choices (pink and turqoise) and the 75 metre felt ribbon balls.
Like a cool summer breeze, HIDE & Seek’s collections are always refreshing. The Spring/Summer 13/14 collection is blissful in the use of vibrant colourways of ocean, cherry, sunset, lagoon, and sunny – I can almost smell the ocean! Designer Petah Handley-Garben creates the entire range from bespoke hand screened printed fabrics in soft cotton voile so you will never find it anywhere else. Watch out for the chevron printed dresses, divine long legged playsuit and an extended range of 100% cotton muslin wraps and 100% cotton jersey wraps (that come in a lovely drawstring bag – perfect for gifts!). The clothing range is available from stockists this September, although many of the wraps are available now.
It is so much fun discovering a brand new label, so imagine my delight when I stumbled upon One Kind Design and met designer Leah Halmagyi. If you’ve ever searched for children’s bedding after they grow out of the cutesy Pirate, cars and Princess themes you’ll now that block colour choices are often all you have to choose from to keep it age appropriate. Leah has recognised this and created a fun and funky range of single bed quilt covers, pillowcases and cushions which are hand screen-printed on pure 100% cotton in bursts of vibrant colours. Cleverly, each quilt cover has a small word to find within it (yes, yes, I spent more than a few minutes pouring over each one so I would know what it was!). Coming soon!
As the Australian distributor of Coq en Pâte, DEUZ, La Queue du Chat and MIBO, the Little Frenchy stand was a much see stand. With Cyril at the helm with his exuberant presence, the exhibit was brought to life with so many gorgeous items. The Mibo for Coq en Pâte collection caught my eye straight away with the wonderful range of body suits, t shirts, purses and bag collections. New characters include whale, fish, penguin, crab and tiger. Made from 100% organic GOTS certified cotton they’re certainly a winner. I also found myself admiring the new tumbler sets which Coq en Pâte have created in partnership with start-up Algopack. These products are made in France from seaweed grown in Brittany – remarkable! I also loved the Le Super Jeu de L’oie (traditional game of goose) game by Deuz (bottom image left).
Beatrix NY has grown substantially in popularity here in Australia over the last year, and I am seeing the range appearing in the hands of more and more children in the playgrounds I visit. Visually appealing, the gorgeous range features the Maakun Forest creatures which will shortly include Katarina (frog), Penelope (octopus) and Poochari (poodle). The collection includes lunchboxes, wheelie bags, little kid backpacks, big kid backpacks, and now iPad sleeves. I also had a little sneaky peek of the new water bottles that are arriving this June. Made from 100% food-grade stainless steel, they look a little like a can and open at the top. Holding 400ml I’ll be ordering one for each of my kids and ME!
It is simply delightful to see a label that we love grow from its start-up at Mathilda’s Market to being a bonafide top exhibitor at Australia’s premier trade show. Daisy and Moose showcased a beautiful AW2013 range that will have you besotted. The girls outerwear is a standout featuring the Birds of Paradis Plum, India Skies White and Dusk Olive Boleros created in swing style in 100% cotton and fully lined, and the Retro Olive and Retro Plum Trench coats. Boys are also spoilt with choice between the Tan Summer, Tan Winter and Charcoal Winter Blazers. There are also a garden full of florals, gorgeous knit toys and baby accessories and eye-catching trans-seasonal pieces.
Recently my little boy has started to graduate out of many of our favourite brands out into the neverland of tweendom. Finding collections that suit his style has been a little difficult so when I spy a brand for boys that might fit I pounce. St Goliath Kids offers boyswear for both the for both 3-7 and 8-14 age groups which includes graphic printed tees, classic shirts, shorts, chinos and hoodies. It’s trendy, it’s casual – it will fit my boy perfectly (psst…girls don’t miss out either with Eve’s Sister available from 3 through to 14).
Kylie Platt launched and the Little Dog Laughed back in 2007 and it has continued to package nostalgia perfectly. Knitted soft toys feature each collection (just look at the frog enjoying himself) and the clothing collection is simply lovely and classical. A sell out at stockists each season, the autumn/winter 2013 collection is hitting stores in March.
Created by Jamie and Michelle, buddies from university, in 2010, Minyaka Designs focus is to design gorgeous and soft clothing for Australian children from natural and eco-friendly fabrics including organic cottons, bamboo and hemp. Minyaka is an aboriginal word meaning ‘tomorrow’. Combine this with the brands ethos of sustainable fabrics and you have a range that looks forward to creating a better tomorrow…for ‘today’s children, tomorrow’s future’. Jamie and Michelle have poured hours of love into producing their collection from the gorgeous packaging details to their exquisite bubble dresses and baby wear, and it certainly shows. Whimsical charm indeed.
Lunchboxes with Love is the brainchild of Cath Bakker, who I must disclose is one of my idols: over the last couple of years she has transformed the creation of school lunches in my house from a chore to a delight which ensures each afternoon I am rewarded with an empty and completely eaten lunchbox. I was bubbling with excitement to be able to pour over the delights of this stand and thrilled to spot the new Bento Lunch Boxes and Bento tote that has arrived here from the USA.
Designed in Australia and made in Korea, Hanbi is quickly becoming a KidStyleFile favourite. This label exceeds our expectation with each and every collection. I had to pinch myself as Designer HJ revealed her swatch book to me and I was able to look through the upcoming season fabrics. Oh my! Hanbi is a label that inspires those wow moments. A simple touch reveals it’s superb craftsmanship and selection of fine fabrics. I glimpsed Winter 2014 and forgot to breathe! Watch this label – it’s going to be big.
From the ladies who brought you InviteMe, Little Party Paper people comes a growing range of partyware that is now available internationally. The Little Party Paper People range takes all the stress out of creating the perfect tabletop with everything from plates to cups, straws to party bags created and available in matching colours, patterns and themes.
Now three years old, Mooky shoes are developing a reputation as being a comfortable yet stylish shoe for kids. Such is the demand, that designer Amber is now producing select pieces in women sizes! Top of my list is the upcoming Tan Suede Kicker boot for boys and the butterfly sandals for girls.
Axix Toys are the proud distributor of a treasure trove of European children’s brands including Steiff, Sevi, Trudi, Lundby, Miniland, Plasto and DoodleArt. I was excited to spy the upcoming Lundby winter edition and the new DoodleArt which is perfect family activity. I also discovered that, for the very first time, the WWF game and puzzle collection will be available outside National Geographic stores. Another newbie is the ChiChi jewellry collection with press stud charms that are interchangeable across the pieces.
Created by a larger than life multicultural Australian family, Giochi (meaning ‘games’ in Italian) is new to the market and incredibly visually tantilising. I adore the ethos behind the brand: that children should know as much as possible about the countries, cultures and languages of the world; little girls can be little girls without a blonde stick figure in sight and that games will lead to the best times with your children – a brand after my own heart. The label includes memory games, double sided puzzles packaged in sweet little cases, dominoes, paper dolls, pin the tail on the….. and a range of other lovely games that I am just dying to play.
Please visit each individual brand for availability and stockist information.