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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An interview with singer songwriter Kyla La Grange

Kyla La Grange's debut single Walk Through Walls is released today on Noir and she celebrates tomorrow with a launch party at Notting Hill Arts Club. I visited Kyla at her London management offices to find out more about this talented new star in the making.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Eco Luxe Showroom Hipstamatic

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, sickness just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, generic I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

Hemyca Dress.

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, doctor just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, page I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW2011 preview Hemyca .

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, recipe just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, viagra just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, sildenafil just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, order just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, viagra approved I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, cost just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw the stalls.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe illustration by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, sickness just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw the stalls.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True illustration by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t  heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I  loved their stuff. Their AW 2011  clothing and hand knitted accessories were brightly coloured and gorgeous. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their SS 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

AW 2011 preview. Hemyca

I briefly saw Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. However, it wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress illustration by Fritha Strickland

I always expected to be impressed by Esthetica and Eco Luxe, but I didn’t expect to be blown away, but I was.  I left both the show rooms with my brain whirring, a bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. As ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  I hope that ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms. Instead they will be showcasing alongside all the other  London Fashion Week designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is not the exception, but the norm. One day indeed.
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, dosage but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

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Vampire Smile.

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”


Just click here to hear Walk Through Walls.

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”


Kyla La Grange performing on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury.

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

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