the silliest accessories in London

From Emerging Accessories Designer award winner and flamingo enthusiast Sophia Webster, whose pop art inspired “girl talk” stilettos are among the most coveted around at the moment, to Charlotte Olympia, who has made carrying a gummy bear clutch bag thoroughly acceptable behaviour for the over 30s, bonkersly (it’s a word) fabulous accessories with three to four figure price tags (yep, we’re talking nearly a grand for a gummy bear, people) are making London giddy. Joining them on the fun bus is London Fashion Week newcomer Ashley Williams, whose teddy bear and puffer fish handbags are currently raising a smile on ugg flip flops a red carpet near you.

Spearheading this hysterical movement is king of LOLs Henry Holland. The leader of the pack when it comes to style with a healthy dose of giggles, Holland has stayed loyal to a tongue in cheek approach since arriving on the fashion circuit in the late Noughties with label House of Holland.

With rhyming slogan T shirts still among his greatest claims to fame remember “Get your freak on Giles Deacon” and “I’ll show you who’s boss Kate Moss”? the East End based designer has never been afraid to swim upstream against an industry that’s renowned for taking itself too seriously.

These days, Holland’s jolly approach is no longer an exception but a rule among London’s budding talents, with

accessories serving as the greatest tools for laughter. So much so in fact that nestled between the black totes and office ready courts a host of funny yet functional sty ugg flip flops les are currently bringing joy to our department stores. The London based boutique has just introduced a roster of quirky new designers to its remit. “Accessories are a great way of expressing your personality and designers such as Delfina, Sarah’s Bag and Yazbukey, with their take on pop art classics, really resonate with clients. I think it’s because they can lift an otherwise simple outfit.”

At London Fashion Week in February the mood lifting power of accessories was demonstrated masterfully by bag lady Anya Hindmarch who, to the soundtrack of ugg flip flops Judy Garland’s Get Happy, sent models dancing down the catwalk clutching cereal box clutch bags and Rich Tea purses. “This was about celebrating the small things and seizing the moment to get happy,” said the designer. She has previously turned crisp packets and Quality Street into wearable treats. Putting Coco Pops on the catwalk, however, has to be her crowning glory, with her Swan Vestas matches purse coming a close second. Don’t get too excited, though; these everyday inspirations don’t come with supermarket price tags.

Another designer making a name from turning the ordinary into the extraordinary is rising star Sophie Hulme, whose current accessories offering includes key rings in the shape of chip forks, Spirograph patterns and googly eyed pom pom men crafted from mink (see the dashboard of your dad’s Ford Mondeo, circa 1987).

“I like to take ordinary, cheap, recognisable things and make them gold,” says Hulme. “It’s about taking something we are so used to and take for granted, and making it special. People respond to things from everyday life they’re objects w ugg flip flops hich inspire memories.”

It is nostalgia that forms the heart of this mad moment in style, which might explain why childhood friends Pixie Geldof and Westminster fashion graduate Ashley Williams are set to recapture their schooldays with fashion collective Funky Offish, a kitsch jewellery line that counts off beat charm as part of its DNA think gold hoop earrings, palm tree bangles and branded knuckle dusters. The newest addition to fashion’s LOL movement, Funky Offish offers more than just accessories but a mantra for life. “All you need is a smile,” is the brand’s ethos, “smiling is very Funky Offish, and it’s free.”

The Silk Fabric Design Expedition

In 1965 my parents drove me to Benalla train station and pinned a name tag on my jacket lapel with travel instructions to guide me safely to summer holiday camp in Anglesea, a summer camp established for migrant children. That was me, a migrant child, wog, bloody new Australian, bolt, boy from the camp. My folks fled the putrid atmosphere of racial hatred in South Africa in 1962, crossed the Indian Ocean in big ocean liner and landed in the lucky country down under. We never looked back, although my sister returned to spend time with our frail grandfather. Our new life continued to unfold and memories of burglar guarded windows, gunfire, sirens and a constant sense of being spooked by unseen spirits was gradually being erased from mind, as new friendly experiences took hold, thus I learned the power of positive over negative, good over evil. Like the man with hate tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and love on the other demonstrates how love overcomes hatred. Now I was learning early lessons in the art of crossing cultures, something that I would repeat countless times through out my life.

I desperately wanted to dispel those memories of disgusting violent actions amongst humans, and the spiral into degradation of those who plunder another mans rights to live by his beliefs. My parents always warned against harbouring such thoughts of race hate; to always show respect to elders regardless of race, colour or creed and that as sure as there is evil in us all, so to there is good. One should seek out the good in fellow man and judge accordingly.

So I enjoyed a warm happy relationship with the Native women who would stop for refreshments atop of the long hill upwards to their shanty town. Sitting beneath a big Silky Oak tree out front of our house, my mother would offer them large chunks of white bread with lashings of strawberry jam accompanied by en ugg flip flops amel cups filled with hot black tea. I would make my entrance and soon be fondled affectionately by these black women with very large braless breasts and massive backsides; they joyfully tossed me around like a toy doll, tickling and jabbering in Zulu and broken English. I loved the warmth of their huge bodies; I felt secure and great love for these nameless ladies.

Childhood experiences bare relevance to the rest of your life. The things you learn, getting fingers burnt, loosing the bait from the hook and the big fish gets away, winning at marbles, hitting a six off the middle of the bat. Instincts that help ov ugg flip flops er come uncertainty and keep fear at bay, but, the early gathering of confidence sets the stage for future performances, instinctively knowing how to navigate to unknown destinations without the aid of parents, learning how to shop for food and cook on a campfire, winning a boxing bout at the Police boys club without getting a bloody nose. All the experiences that build confidence, it’s like investing in the future, building a foundation through instinct. You become strong, intuitive and in tune with life around you.

Quite honestly it’s almost like having an extra sense, an early warning device that sets alarm bells ringing and a whispering voice inside your head says danger, so you instinctively listen to the warnings and take action to avoid potential hazards.

Standing alone on a platform to fend for myself did not evoke fear, or sadness as my parents disappeared from view, there was no feeling of loss, only excitement of my journey ahead. Confidence that built in my mind was like a fortress keeping negative states at bay as joy predominated. At the age of only twelve I could cope with the big bad world, which set the foundation for the rest of my life, as though an invisible map was drawn up and directions marked.

Once my parents had finally cleared the deck I removed the name badge and travel instructions and tossed them in the bin confident that this information was not required for me to complete the long journey ahead.

My leather suitcase at foot and calico bag over my shoulder Tweed jacket and tie. I surveyed the distant horizon and there, billowed black smoke from the chimney stack of the steam engine hauling the Southern Araura train shunting closer to the beginning of my new adventure.

My leather briefcase at foot and Samsonite micro over my shoulder I surveyed the platform at Chippenham station on the mainline to London Paddington. There was no smoke billowing from engine stacks, or shunting, steam power is traded for diesel electric power and baring down at great speed the screaming sound of massive engines. The train would not take me south to Anglesey , rather east to London Paddington. I was far removed from my childhood world in Australia , now residing in England and about to embark on another train journey.

When I observed my situation standing on the platform, my tweed jacket and tie, my leather case and shoulder bag, the feeling of great anticipation, confide ugg flip flops nce and joy, ironically simulating in many ways standing on a platform in similar attire in another life, with travel bags and patient stance waiting for the steam train to take me to Angle Sea . The journey of a child to manhood began.

In two hours I would be meeting with Cressida Bell a renowned textile designer . Once this was finalised I would be in the fortunate position to manufacture new silk tie designs under the name Patrick McMurray. This would give me adequate grounding in the complexities of licensing for future reference.

It was a perfect plan, and journeying in the comfortable, quiet rail carriages, which sped across the Eng ugg flip flops lish country side ever closer to my destination, the foundation of confidence became more resistant to subsidence and further supported by instinct. All stemming from the learning’s of my childhood years. It seemed like such a long time ago, but then again the things I am doing now, are similar in principle to the things I did as a child, so I still carry a boyish innocence and fearless motivation.

As the train negotiated a long sweeping bend I caught my first glimpses of the steel arched trusses of London Paddington Station and felt a rush of excitement in the pit of my stomach. The same was experienced forty three years ago, entering the grandeur of Spencer Street Station Melbourne aboard the steam driven Southern Araura . I am still fulfilling child hood dreams.