KidStyleFile attended the February 2015 edition of the Kids Instyle boutique trade show event in Sydney last week, showcasing both the AW15 and SS15/16 seasons. It was our seventh year attending KidStyleFile in Sydney and we were once again invigorated and inspired by the standard of the products, the amazing environments created by each stand holder for their brand, and the creativity, passion and back stories of the exhibitors.
Trend notes: Prominent trends at Kids Instyle and running through the adult stream of the show, Life Instyle, were
- Metallics: as solid colour and accent detail on fashion, accessories and decor
- Gypsy Luxe: flowing fabrics, hippy prints and tassels
- Flamingos: on clothing, swimwear, bed linen
- Animal Prints: on clothing and bedlinen
- Harlequin Prints: both monochrome and tri or multi-colour.
We are thrilled to bring you our Kids Instyle Best In Show Report for Sydney 2015, with our top 20 picks presented in alphabetical order. When you next shop please consider these amazing brands – they represent among the finest baby and kids products in the world, and the people behind them are truly remarkable. Click here to view the complete exhibitor list for Sydney 2015.
I was like a kid in toy shop when Peter and Paula at Axis Toys unveiled the latest innovation from Lundby for me. This iconic Swedish dollhouse brand, established in 1945 has taken a quantum leap into the 21st century with the addition of Bluetooth technology into their signature Smaland dollhouse. A small, house shaped controller allows the operation of the Smaland’s lighting as well as MP3 player in the form of a TV entertainment unit.
Together with designer furnishings, wallpaper, and art, the Lundby Smaland house is future proofed for kids from childhood well into their teens.
Brisbane-based design school alumni Kate Pearson draws her inspiration from the feelings evoked by her own favourite childhood outfits. You know the kind: the special ones you always wanted to wear no matter the occasion; the ones so special your mother kept them to hand down to you when you became a mum.
Kate has created a magical range of clothing, footwear, art and decor pieces for girls from birth to 6 years. Standouts include the Australian flora prints, gold sequinned shrug and Greek made winged sandals to help your little one fly along. Fun fact: Kate has twin daughters Mila and Ezara. Bella & Lace is the namesake of her first ‘babies’, Bella and Lace the West Highland Terriers.
Billyblush and Billybandit are the house brands of the Children’s Fashion Worldwide stable. CFW are the European leader in top of the range and luxury children’s fashion under licence including BOSS, Burberry, Chloé, DKNY, Little Marc Jacobs and Timberland.
Billieblush was their first in-house brand and it’s imaginative wardrobe staples for girls featuring bursts of neon, flounces, lace, prints and rainwear has garnered a huge following overseas, paving the way for spin-off boys label Billybandit.
Billybandit embraces peak style with a dose of humour for boys with smart blue velvet jackets, paired with the likes of kitsch hamburger and ketchup knits and a top hat with feathers. We were also taken with the black spray jacket that comes complete with a bright yellow printed cape for all the wannabe super heroes out there.
Billyblush and Billybandit garments are available for kids ages two to 12 years old.
Carrément Beau (“completely good looking”) is also part of the Children’s Fashion Worldwide stable. We couldn’t walk past it’s sophisticated presence with it’s discrete, preppy lines and romantic, yet restrained, pieces. The French chicness of Carrément Beau is unquestionable. Available for girls and boys from 0-12 years.
The brainchild of Victoria-based online, retail and buying veteran Andrea Harrison, Curious Wonderland debuted at Kids Instyle Sydney 2015. Presenting a range of traditional blue and black washed denim, and comfy sweats, with a superhero twist for boys, and pale denim pieces with frill detailing and woodland printed sweats for girls, Curious Wonderland is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Available in sizes 1-8 years.
With backgrounds in fashion and textiles, sisters Nina and Karin Altman naturally turned their attention to designing exciting and highly appealing baby and kids bedding once their own children came on the scene.
The Dreamers Inc. bed linen collection features photographic prints including goldfish, pink doves, green budgerigars, dragonflies and beetles on crisp 100% 400 thread count white cotton.
Gaia Organic Cotton is a pioneer in organic cotton garment making in Australia. Celebrating their 15th birthday this year, Gaia Organic Cotton has the honour of being the first baby wear company in Australia to produce and sell 100% certified organic cotton garments and accessories.
Owner and designer Annette Francis has steadfastly maintained her philosophy of providing organic cotton baby clothing free from harmful chemicals, created in a fair trade environment, for the betterment of the social and natural environment, and it has earned her a well-deserved cult following.
Gaia’s unique designs feature meticulous attention to structure and beautiful detail including frills, prints, satin trims and embroidery, with Annette’s warm and intelligent personality resonating through each piece. Gaia Organic Cotton sizes range from 0000-6 years.
Two of our favourites were presented on the same stand. Heavenlee Swimwear’s Fluro/Tropicana pieces really caught our eye with their bright and happy designs. You won’t lose track of your girl on the beach or in the pool in these! Made from UV50+ materials and cut so that you’ll get at least two seasons out of them, Heavenlee Swimwear is clever, too.
We’ve long been fans of the L’il Zippers easy-change range of rompers, and their boys and girls separates for older kids also get a guernsey from us for their timeless and flattering good looks and high quality make.
Petah and Tim Handley are always a pleasure to catch up with – their exuberance is infectious and it comes through their ever-expanding range with gusto. Now offering shoes, swimwear and bags to complement their kids fashion, cot and bed linen, decorator cushions, and babywear and wraps range, in a selection of spectacular colours for babies and kids from birth to 10 years, Hide & SEEK is joy personified.
With the indomitable Kristy Withers at the helm, family run business Incy Interiors continues to wow the Australian baby and kids scene. Not content to sit on the laurels of their iconic metal bed and cot and timber bed ranges, Incy has just launched their Teeny wooden cot range. Archetypally treading the line between right on trend and classic, the Incy Interiors Teeny cot range presents crisp painted detailing, available in a range of colours, against a backdrop of natural ply, which allows the grain of the timber to shine through. With rounded edges softening and making the corners safe, the overall effect is a combination of Scandinavian minimalism paired with industrial cool. Another notable success for the Incy Interiors team.
Simple is often best, and this is the principal on which boys-only fashion label Just Jack has been built. Owners, and parents of boys, Lisa Haertsch and Simon Hornery have created a capsule wardrobe for boys that contains all the pieces they need, and nothing they don’t. Just Jack chinos, crisp shirts, striped tees and sports tops, shorts and pants (the latter are both reversible) are designed to all work back with each other, meaning that whatever your boy puts on, he’ll look great. Just Jack allows boys to look smart for formal occasions – pressed chinos, tucked in shirt, you’re good to go! Roll up those same chinos, pop on a Just Jack striped tee, baseball cap and pair of Cons and your boy exudes hip street style. Just Jack pieces are priced compete with chain stores prices, so ditch the multinationals and go Just Jack!
French ex-pats Cyril Rosset and Aurelie Jousseaume specialise in bringing the best creative French brands to Australia. Their brand table includes Coq en Pâte, DEUZ, Pirouette Cacahouète, Les Jouets Libres, Mon Petit Chausson, Pom le Bonhomme, La Sardine, Mini Riviera, La Queue du Chat. We were completely won over by the DEUZ La Mini Tente, as well as the La Sardine sewing project range, and the bright mesh Fil’ Up mesh baby slings offer a superb option for parents with babies in the summer months.
Everyone was talking about fresh new label Phoenix and the Fox at Kids Instyle – we had three recommendations from other stall holders about them as we made our way through the space – that’s a big endorsement! Fashion designer, textile artist, and new mum, Jennifer Green, has created a wardrobe for babies and kids from 0-4 years of age. The big draws for Phoenix and the Fox are that all pieces are made from 100% organic cotton in Australia, the designs are fun and unique – jewels, leopards and cactuses, yeah! – and Jennifer is a really, really nice person. Support a quality Australian made product and a good person and check out Phoenix and the Fox today.
Co-founder Karel Wheen was on hand at the Platypus Australia swimwear stand, and we had a lovely chat about the upcoming SS15/16 Platypus Australia collection. Founded in 1986, Platypus Australia really knows swimwear and they’re beloved by mums and dads at home and abroad, as well as A-list celebrities and their kids (namedrop: Charlize Theron and her son Jackson).
Platypus Australia’s top notch chlorine resistant Lycra fabric UV protective swimwear, girls and boy’s rash tops and rash zip-through tops is second to none in quality and the styling is tried and true. We’re loving SS15/16’s hot new styles which feature one print on the front of the garments and another unique print on the back – the best of both worlds! Brand new additions to the lineup for SS15/16 include a watermelon print bandeau bikini, retro black with red mini roses one-piece and terry towelling coverups. Catering for babies and kids from birth right to 14 years, Platypus Australia is your go-to for children’s swimwear.
Rock Your Baby designers Caroline and Johanna brought rock star glam to the party at Kids Instyle Sydney 2015 with their AW15 collection for boys and girls from birth to 10 years. Solid gold jackets, hair accessories and garment accents, together with animal prints led the pack. Available from stockists nationally from the end of February/early March.
Having children is a turning point for many women and their careers. As the focus changes a change of career direction often follows. Identical twin boys were the catalyst for architect Li-Anne Scott direct her creative energies into creating an awesomely fun children’s bed linen range for her boys, and others like them, to enjoy. Sack Me! launched their super fun new “To Carnival We Go” expanded range of Oeko-Tex certified 100% cotton sateen reversible doona covers, beanbags, knit blankets and wall stickers at Kids Instyle Sydney. With a range of motifs – vegetables, giant iced donuts, geometric prints, balloons, flying hearts, stars and harlequin Sack Me! cover all bases.
Designer Anni Lowe describes her label, Stevie & Me, as “inspired by childhood memories – of long summer days sitting on the rusty roof of an outside shed and munching on sweet and sour plums from the neighbour’s trees – of swinging on the branch of a willow tree and seeing how far it could bend – of riding bikes down through bush trails with bags of lollies balanced on our laps.” Anni magically transmits this inspiration into whimsical shabby chic garments and accessories for girls of all ages: baby girls, bigger girls, tweens, teens, right through to mums to perfectly capture and communicate those memories. All Stevie & Me pieces are mader with love in Australia
Jessica Shin at The Bamboo Design is one clever cookie. As well as bringing fab Macaron Family from Korea, Mother’s Corn from the USA, and Werkhaus and Leaf Tie by Lufdesign from Germany, to Australian shores, she also designs her own ranges under The Bamboo Design brand: Bamboo Baby, 70% bamboo fabric, 30% organic cotton socks, wet wipes, face washers, hooded towels, and coveralls, and Bamboo Therapy: consisting of a bamboo charcoal air deodoriser, soap, and water purifier.
You can rest easy with The Bamboo Design as their products are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS-NL), AS/NAS 1249:2003 andAustralian / New Zealand Standard AS/NAS ISO 8124 standards compliant.
Uthentic made their debut at the show in the First Instyle section, which is dedicated to designers who are just bringing their product to market. Uthentic’s initial offering is a ergonomic all-in-one moulded desk and chair for kids.
The Uthentic workstation came into being following a lightbulb moment by manufacturing professional, and Dad, Mark. Mark’s son was struggling with attention span in early primary school and after doing some research, Mark discovered that it wasn’t an uncommon problem. In conjunction with Occupational Therapists, Mark designed an ergonomic workstation designed to provide optimal comfort, which in turn facilitates an easier learning experience.
The Uthentic workstation is constructed of the same UV resistant plastic used in the manufacture of poly water tanks. It can be used both inside and outside. The table and chair components can be separated, and a drawer is housed inside the table to make storing writing implements. The Uthentic workstation is available in three sizes to suit kids from 4 to 13 years. What a great invention!
Velveteen Clothing is an exquisite brand for boys and girls from 6 months to 10 years. Born in California and educated in New York, Velveteen designer Laura has travelled the world, met and married her Swiss husband and had two children along the way.
Laura envisioned Velveteen as a global label, drawing influences from everywhere to create a unique look. She has succeeded with flying colours! Working through a Fair Trade agreement with women in India, Laura’s designs come to life with a cosmopolitan flair that is sophisticated, but at the same time, relaxed – a Californian/European hybrid that translates to Australian lifestyle perfectly. A special mention must be given to the Chinese collared shirt pictured below: it is one of the most divine pieces for boys I have ever laid eyes on.
Rebecca Tyndall’s Dad created such a beautiful timber bookcase for her children’s rooms that Rebecca simply had to share his talent with the world. Adding more designs to the repertoire – mantels, wall hung shelves, display cubbies, pin boards and more – Rebecca and her Dad had soon gone into production and not long after demand was through the roof. To cope with the demand, Rebecca now has an agreement with master craftsmen in Vietnam and the manufacture of Willow & Wood pieces is in full swing.
Willow & Wood showed their full range at Kids Instyle Sydney 2015 and unveiled the brand new display shelves House and Alps designs, which we predict will go gangbusters.
Please click through to websites quoted above to monitor the arrival of these products into retail stores and to make stockists inquiries.