Belfast FASHIONWEEK is back and with it a spring in its fashionable step. We caught up with director Cathy Martin to talk all things fashion and ask her advice on preparing our little style icons for a new season…
“While I sat last week with the latest edition of Ni4kids (as well as the handy free app) planning – let’s face it – a better social life for my daughter Valentina than my own, I digressed to a few online shops and created a bit of a best-buy list for SS17. Be it a lunch date with Nana or a week-long summer camp full of activities, these top picks should help you cover all bases.
For me, there’s one children’s brand out there which nails all things fashion for kids and that’s Boden. Season after season they score all the goals with the perfect mix of practical and pretty and I for one have dressed Valentina in their clothes almost exclusively since she was a tot.
I’m a big lover of colour for kids so I’m always delighted, flicking through their catalogue, to see vibrant colour blocking and bright prints abound, alongside frills and florals for little princesses – with rockets, stars and animal appliques that are sure to make the little men in our lives stand out from the crowd.
Already in my online basket is the cutest blue and yellow Heart Pocket Jersey Dress with spots, stripes and little contrasting heart pockets, perfect for stashing treats. It’s bang-on-trend and when paired with their yellow and white Spot Fun Leggings, it makes for an adorable ensemble. I also couldn’t go past these canvas high-tops, exactly what I was looking for Valentina’s (boy) friend’s birthday present… In bright white these shoes will go with every outfit in any mini man’s wardrobe and the contrast pop art hues give them a super cool edge. With run-faster stripes and shouty slogans, the kids will love them too.
Swimming lessons and beach days are sure to be in the mix come summertime, and I’ve completely fallen in love with the Rainbow Frill Swimsuit from M&S, an absolute bargain at £10 and available for ages 0 to 5, perfect for my little mermaid. Any boy will feel every bit the superhero in one of Next’s range of boys’ Marvel Sunsafe suits. At £14-£17 (and in sizes 3 months to 8 years) they’re both super cool and super practical, ideal for summer sunshine holidays.
Something a little sweeter for a day of picnics and tea parties with the grandparents is this pretty and pink disco sparkle swan dress from Monsoon. Crafted with a jersey bodice and a twinkly tulle skirt, the embellished neckline and sparkly waistband gives her the gift of girly glitter. All that’s missing is a tiny tiara!
If your little dude is too cool for school, let him rock it out in this cute denim shirt from Zara, a bargain at only £12.99 and easily dressed up or down. Button it up with a pair of chinos on the bottom and some cool booties to boot, or style it out with shorts, open shirt, white tee and Converse; taking him from day to disco.
Discos aren’t the only partying our tiny tots have lined up; let’s not forget the utopian idea of a pyjama party – as long as it’s at someone else’s house! Thanks to that mummy in your friends’ group who swoops in with the suggestion of an overnight stay. At last, a BREAK!
Gingham is one of my favourite trends this season so when I spotted these pink gingham pyjamas in Next (100 per cent cotton and with a cute collar) it was straight to the checkout. A similar offering for the boys comes from the M&S Autograph range in a traditional grey and white print, keeping him right on trend from only £14.”
If you’re in need of further inspiration then the High Street Heaven show on Friday March 24 at Belfast FASHIONWEEK will feature kids’ ranges plus all the family fashion you need from high street favourites Next, Zara, Remus Uomo, M&S, Topshop, Oasis, ASOS, DV8 Fashion and lingerie brand Boux Avenue, amongst many others. Tickets are available now from belfastfashionweek.com
Or for the ultimate Mother’s Day outing (without the kids – go on, have a day OFF!) Style Sunday in Coco restaurant on March 26 offers a sumptuous lunch and fashion show along with hair and make-up presentations plus wonderful goodie bags and a fantastic raffle – all in aid of Action Cancer. Tickets are £45pp. Call BFW HQ on Tel: 028 9042 1509 or email email@example.com for more details.
Cathy & Valentina -
Follow Cathy's Instagram @cathy_cmpr
Follow Cathy's Twitter @cathymartin
Dress – Boden £20
Leggings – Boden £14
High tops – Boden £35
Sunsuit girl – M&S £10
Sunsuit Boy – Next £14-£17
Swan dress – Monsoon £36
Zara shirt – Zara £12.99
Pink pjs – Next £13-£16
Grey Pjs – M&S £14-£22