For all the (justified) bad press social media is getting lately, there’s also a lot of good that comes out of these platforms. For me, the most pleasantly surprising thing was the connections I have made with women all over the world who have a similar love of fashion to me. But it’s not just people I’ve connected with. Thanks to Instagram, I have also discovered brands that might not have come across my radar so early in their evolutions had it not been for the time I spent disappearing down an Instagram vortex or two, all in the name of research for my personal styling clients.
The fashion brands that stand out to me are the ones with a unique aesthetic, that don’t follow trends or that have a strong ethical standpoint. Here are eight of my favourites, ranging from the accessible to the more “aspirational.”
I follow a lot of Scandi-inlfuencers (@emilisindlev, @tineandreaa, @darjabarannik and @ninasandbech just to name few). Their style appeals to me on both a visual and intellectual level. Visually striking, but cleverly constructed. So it was through these Instagram favourites that I discovered ByTiMo. An Oslo designer, whose designs are like a Norwegian mid-summer night’s dream come to life.
I was drawn to the brand first by its dreamy designs, but on looking further I found that ByTiMo is transparent about its production and supply chain, and takes care in everything they do in their production.
ByTiMo’s dresses are feminine, floaty, very wearable and easily layered so that they will last all year round. The summer dream dress pictured here is one I’ll be wearing on repeat this summer and beyond (with boots). And, Londoners, you can check these creations out in real life as they’re stocked in Liberty now.
Another Scandi brand I adore is Toteme. It’s the creation of Swedish couple Elin Kling and Karl Lindman who founded the brand in 2014. It’s all about pragmatic design and precision of shape and that’s what I love about it: it’s strong silhouettes.
They recently opened their first store in Stockholm. So for those of us who aren’t in Sweden, the online store will have to do. The sizing can be tricky I found, so if ordering online I recommend getting two likely sizes so you can return the one that doesn’t fit.
3. rock the jumpsuit
I have followed the inimitable author and presenter Dawn O’Porter on Instagram (@hotpatooties) for some time. Her style is a unique mix of vintage one offs with a joyful rejection of trends. And when I saw her in the most retro-cool corduroy jumpsuit, I knew I had to follow whoever made it.
Rock the Jumpsuit is the name behind the vintage-style onesie vibes, and I’m hooked on both their Instagram account (which looks like there’s a party in a field somewhere in Hampshire and everyone’s wearing jumpsuits) and their designs. I’ve started out with this office-apropos version, but am dying to get my dirty mitts on their sequinned variety…
4. one teaspoon
To balance out the structure of the Scandi brands and influencers, I have a refreshing number of Aussies in my Instagram feed too (@elleferguson, @tashsefton). That laid back Australian lifestyle is nowhere more present than in Sydney brand, One Teaspoon.
Their denim shorts (or any of their denim for that matter) are a staple for any self-respecting Australian. Rock’n’roll glam.
Doen is a Californian brand, which mixes an elevated vintage inspired look with a sharp take on feminine basic pieces. I love its sunny Cali vibe as well as its commitment to sustainability and ethical production.
6. Stine Goya
Stine Goya has gone from strength to strength since I first discovered it randomly on Instagram five years ago. She’s now stocked in Net a Porter and Selfridges, making her gelato-hued creations more accessible for those of us living outside her native Copenhagen.
What I love most about Stine Goya designs is the clever way she mixes artistic prints, inspired colour and feminine-yet-edgy silhouettes. A visit to her store in Copenhagen is like losing yourself in a fairy-floss colour cloud of the most divinely floaty fabrics.
7. rotate by Birger Christensen
Rotate is the creation of Danish stylists and influencers, Jeanette Madsen and Thora Valdimars. They created it in order to make the pieces they wish they had in their own wardrobe. The result is a collection of cool-girl dresses that make the wearer the queen of the party. They’re daring, sexy yet intelligently designed to portray an edginess that I only dream of possessing.
Another creation of two designers and influencers (from Italy this time), Gilda Ambrosio and Giorgia Tordini, is The Attico (meaning the penthouse in Italian). Their designs really do push the boundaries of specialty couture. Their cocktail-wear pieces are all feathers, embellishments and uber-sexy Italian design. Not for shrinking violets or wallflowers.
These are just a few of the fashion brands who caught my eye as I research looks and fits for my clients. If you would like to know more about my personal styling and shopping services, you can find it out here.