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With contemporary style, the kids are well and truly alright. Victoria Bannerman explores the best in junior looks
When it comes to fashion, kids have never had it so good. The children’s clothing market has exploded, and when the first ever Global Kids Fashion Week hit London earlier this year, it was a sensation, drawing celebrity mums and their cubs. Suddenly it is terribly fashionable to cocoon your offspring from birth in Bon Point and other labels of luxurious hue.
Children have become a sort of extended accessory of their frequently famous parents, many of whom would happily fork out the price of a small island to buy on-trend clobber for their sprogs. Herald the birth of the mini fashionista. For yummy mums, competition is stiff to have the best dressed Little Bo Peep or Little Boy Blue.
Trailblazer Romeo Beckham, modelling for Burberry, had better watch out – Mason Dash Disick is fast becoming the new upstart with his quirky, European Riviera, Great Gatsby-meets-Hampton, preppy collegiate look. All very nice, and please don’t get me wrong, I’ve no wish to ignore the boys – us girls love them! But it is so much more fun shopping for shoes and dresses, don’t you think?
A rollicking friend of mine and I love to play dress up (you’re never too old, daarhling) at her oestrogen-filled house. We and her stunning twin girls (there’s another girl on the way) have a boisterous time, and a trip to the sensational little girls boutique ilovegorgeous has clearly switched on the twins’ style gene, their dress sense advancing at a rate injurious to their parents’ coffers.
The charming, empyreal, angelic-yet-cool designs of ilovegorgeous simply delight and dazzle, and with Kate Moss reputed to shop there for her daughter, my friend’s girls
are in very good company. The label dresses little girls precisely as they should be dressed – like little girls. It’s tempting, I know, to dress your little people as mini-mes, but please refrain: there will be plenty of time later on for them to don skinny jeans and fitted tops! Instead, pop your Alice in Wonderland in ilovegorgeous cute tops, pretty dresses and playsuits, and she will look cool. Like me, you’ll be praying for grown-up versions of this adorable perky clobber.
If your raison d’etre is spoiling your bumptious little darling, jump into your chauffeur-driven Bentley to Harrods, where the bairns to tweens fashion on the fourth floor will flabbergast doting parents and seasoned shoppers alike. An epicurean feast of deluxe apparel awaits, ideal for spoiling your whippersnapper or dolly.
In fact, the hodgepodge banquet of designer labels and styles will turn you into a covetous big bad wolf. Kissy Kissy is a cute label for your bambino, while I Pinco Pallino designs are ostentatiously beautiful, calculated to make your little chiquita the envy of her friends and their mothers. Then there’s Dior Kids, in the upper echelons of children’s wear. Its exquisite couture prom-style black dress will set you back £2,150, but for a panjandrum’s little princess, this is nothing!
Paul Smith is simply cool and Ralph Lauren’s mini-me versions are preppy ingenious, while Roberto Cavalli’s little people selection is lovely adorable – one white miniscule sequence dress (for 0-3 months) is so beautiful, it just screams to be bought, framed and hung as art. Not far behind is a radiant floral chiffon dress by Dolce and Gabbana: a snip at £339 and guaranteed to make your baby Cinderella the belle of the little people’s ball. As for Chloe’s white lace flower dress with embellishments, it’s not only delicious but, at £699 – I know, the price of a luxury pair of shoes! – the rightful preserve of the super-indulgently filthy rich. º
Of course, you want your baby girl to look chic not cheap, but worry not if your penny-pinching purse takes every opportunity to snap aggressively shut. Gap Kids has fun and affordable clothing and its collaboration with DVF is truly brilliant:
a wonderful world of denim and leggings, tops, sunglasses and dresses embellished with sunny tribal prints. Your little cherubs will be too cool for school, but with such friendly price tags, who cares? Petite Bateau and JoJo Maman Bebe are also great labels for children, while neglecting to mention Zadig & Voltaire for kids would be sacrilege! Classy Vanessa Paradis and a host of model mums dress their kids the Z&V way, starting them early on the road to uber style rock chic and rock god status. The label’s little whiz motif sweatshirts, jeans, dresses and boots are super-duper funky cool.
Be part of the J.Crew posse. The First Lady and her daughters are fans, and with the first London store on its way, we too will soon have the chance to dress like the White House girls! The label’s fashion is wizardly charming, quirky and fun. Finally, the Luisaviaroma.com kids corner stocks labels such as Rykiel Enfant, Marni Kids, Stella McCartney Kids and Little Paul & Joe, spoiling for choice and making your sprogs look deliciously cute.
Oh, and for your Little Lord Fauntleroy, all labels mentioned – except the gloriously girly ilovegorgeous – do boyswear too.
Parents beware: the goon squad has come to town. The new generation of petite fashionista has no plans to settle for less.
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