Samantha, I loved the dress you wore to stand by your man as he launched his ‘People’s Manifesto’. You looked like a first lady in waiting – radiant, soignée and very au courant in fabulous curved wedges; they really flattererd those legs a mile high! What a shame you didn’t upstage your husband and wear a dress made from Fair Trade organic cotton or silk. Sustainable fashion is the most important style trend on the planet, and one that is never going to be just a one-season wonder – because it represents the future of fashion.
A revolution is taking place from the cotton field to the till as a new generation of brilliant young designers dream, create and search for answers to the biggest question facing all of us – how can we make beauty and style sustainable?
Here are my pick of alluring ethical dresses, vote winning, heirloom coats to treasure, and clever accessories that would look adorable on you as you go out to meet the people of Britain; oh and which will also last way beyond ‘the bump’, as this is anything but throwaway, fast fashion. Our talented designers care deeply about the impact of fashion on the planet and its people; but they don’t have the power and clout of global conglomerates. What they do know how to do is create the wow factor, by making a woman feel beautiful and sexy on the inside and out with compassion and ethics every step of the way – I hope you will do something really radical and become their muse and ambassador very soon; afterall, your hubby Dave says he is a man of the people!
Love, Miss Ethical Hedonist
Julia Smith Made in Africa
Julia Smith Made In Africa Luna DressJulia Smith’s vibrant made in Africa Collection is destined to become the high summer hit of 2010. Sam, you would look divine in the chic Luna dress with hand block batik print. The fabric is handmade by a co-op set up by Julia and Mrs Marian Essel, a remarkable lady who creates batik cloth in Accra, Ghana. Money raised from the project supports local families and sends a child to school. This style is perfect for the early stages of pregnancy and features a flirty scoop back with bow detail. The biggest surprise is the price. At £48 for a handcrafted designer dress – it represents wonderful value. Made In Africa clutch bag, £32.
Available from www.ascensiononline.com
Minna’s exquisitely pretty and ethereal dresses are made from rare Scottish and English artisan laces, organic silk and vintage scraps. Minna grew up in Finland and declares she finds inspiration in ‘perfect, carefree summer days larking around barefoot’. What a lovely thought. Her designs are feminine, sensual, and feel like a soft caress against skin. The romantic Lucinda dress is the perfect way to make an entrance with or without a bump as the Empire line is incredibly flattering and comfortable. The Lucinda is priced £400, not cheap, but this is an heirloom investment to treasure for decades and pass on to someone you love. It has been flying out of the maternity department in Harrods. You might also like her gossamer, ruched Kathryn top, £300.
For a glittering occasion or Victory day after the election you will need a very special outfit that speaks volumes about you and Dave and your aspirations for Britain. Beautiful Soul is British made in the heart of London, and fast becoming a cult label for its inspired, reworking of rare and richly detailed vintage kimonos, British wool from Izzy Lane, recycled denim and silk. Choose the Mari Kimono coat and it can be worn in a multitude of ways – perfect for your gorgeous little bump and you will love the way it ebbs and flows with your body shape. This is the new, intelligent face of fashion. Or perhaps the beautiful Rei coat, a huge hit at the V&A shop.
All pieces to order from www.beautifulsoul.co.uk
Through the vision of one remarkable woman, Safia Minney, Fairtrade Fashion is now on the High Street and helping to inspire fashion with a conscience. The Obi dress is similar to the style you chose on Manifesto Day. It is perfect to go from the office straight to the campaign trail. It is made from certified, Fairtrade organic cotton jersey, which feels wonderfully soft, sensual and luxuriant next to skin – just thing for a mama to be. It features elegant, three quarter length sleeves, subtle side split and comes in timeless, elegant navy, a grey stripe, or you could be the lady in red and give the opposition something to get hot and bothered about! Obi dress, £45 (left).
Bora Aksu for People Tree
Safia and People Tree are also working with some of the world’s leading designers and my star buy this season would be the stunning Umbrella Pod Dress by Bora Aksu. What a great shape for high summer, and thoughrout your pregnancy and beyond, as Bora didn’t design it as a maternity dress. The design features subtle, flowing draping – a key detail for summer – with an umbrella motif on the front and hand embroidered umbrella on the back. Bora says the dress was inspired by being caught in an ‘afternoon monsoon’ on a trip to India. The dress is 100% Fair Trade cotton made in Banglasesh. Available in navy and mole grey. Price £65.
Ascension is the ethical net a porter and a cult, fashionista destination for hot new ethical design talent. I can really see you in this dress Sam. Annie Greenabelle possesses a genius for creating gorgeous dresses that have just the right amount of prettiness and a sharp silhouette. This adorable dress is super chic and you can wear it comfortably throughout your pregnancy. Price £40. I would also love to see you indulge in a little detail and the Orchid silk dress by People Tree is heart-stopingly pretty, and will prove indispensable teamed with gossamer summer leggings and strappy sandals. A great fashion staple to support the bump thoroughout your pregnancy. Orchid silk dress, £68. by People Tree.(top of article).
Both from www.ascensiononline.com