Big by Fiona Scanlan
When it comes to dressing up kids, the choices are endless. It’s a lucrative market because most mums and dads like to splurge and spoil their little ones. What’s more, while international designer labels tempt us with their seasonal creations from one year to the next, there are plenty of Australian fashion labels to support that are doing their bit to keep kids’ clothing one step ahead of the rest.
A pink kaftan, a cargo mini or a swing dress might sound like something you’d pick off the store shelf for yourself, but now kids can keep up with fashion too.
Cocoon Clothing began when two friends who lived in the same street, Kirsty Marr and Susan Wynne, wanted to put their creative touch to kids’ fashion once they had become mothers. Armed with the mantra “let kids be kids”, the fashion label caters for those aged between two and 12. The pair source fabrics and create designs that suit a child’s playful nature and action-packed life. Their pieces are functional, modern and bright. Their colour scheme varies from refreshing watermelon, green and pink for girls or red-and-white and navy blue for the boys.
The label, which is stocked in more than 70 shops and even in the UK, offers board shorts, hooded T-shirts and dad shirts for those young boys who want to feel all grown up but aren’t quite there yet. We love the label for its breezy Australian attitude and the ability to mix and match the items with your own child’s wardrobe.
Fiona Scanlan has been making kids’ clothing since 2005; her labels are Big (for those between two and eight years old) and Fiona, launched in 2007, for eight to 14-year-olds. For Scanlan it’s all about bringing a touch of class to a child’s wardrobe, whether through contemporary pieces or something more striking.
“Creativity and imagination brings out the best in children, so I aim to deliver a collection with no inhibitions, celebrating what childhood and early discovery of self is all about,” says Scanlan, who has just opened a third store, this time in Carlton.
We especially love the attention to detail in Scanlan’s approach to children’s wear – she adds a touch of catwalk to a practical, easy-to-wear item. “I love lacing in the feeling of reminiscence but mixing it with modern-day practicality and demands. I want children to feel special and in themselves unique,” she says.
Her summer collection is all about kids channelling their inner bohemian princess. Her mission is accomplished through floral smocks and dresses in neutral tones, playsuits and jumpsuits in upbeat colours and summery denim patchwork pieces.
When it comes to finding quality kids’ jewellery we discovered Melbourne mum Kate Wilson who has created a stunning collection of handmade sterling silver jewellery especially for the young. Called Alouette Petite, the handcrafted pieces use semi-precious stones such as quartz, fluorite, turquoise, agate, jade and pearls. No two pieces in the range are alike.