When I got an email about a collaboration between Phoebe Lettice and Illustrated People at first glance, I was thinking “Oh good!  More female-skewed drawn out antics to beef up a round-up post!”  I didn’t know who either Phoebe Lettice or Illustrated People was.  A quick Google search and seeing the resulting cookbook images pop up on a Daily Mail story shone some light on the whole thing.  Turns out Lettice is an ex Made in Chelsea (translation = awful reality TV show) cast member.  Apparently Lettice left to concentrate on her “real” vocation – designer, photographer and all-round creative.

MIC or not, the collab is legit.  As in, it’s quite good!  And it does neatly slot into my second round-up about clothing lines All Drawn Out by awesome women.  I don’t want to labour the feminist point (it seems everyone likes to over-labour the point for the purpose of click bait rather than genuine motivation) but in a field like fashion – where the creative directors in the higher echelons of fashion are mostly men – these young female upstart designers are putting pen to garment to draw out their own messages of empowerment.  When paired up with the surface appearance of overtly feminine clothing, these messages become complex, layered and nuanced.

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I’ve written multiple times about Phiney Pet, a recent graduate who has impressed and carved out her own route.  With a brand new website, and plans for her own line of shoppable merch, Phiney is still freely expressing herself with her small but well-formed collections.  I wrote about her AW14 Deptford Wives collection before but she’s shot a brilliant lookbook to accompany it.  With messages emblazoned across clothing that read “Housework Sucks”, “I need a real man.” and speech bubble embellishments (“I speak my mind” “Over it!”), it’s Destiny’s Child Survivor era messaging repeated in illustrated fashion form.  Literal messaging aside, these clothes have attitude on their own in the way they’re full-on with prints and motifs, dazzling’ with tinsel and marabou trim and don’t give an F with their slouchy casual silhouettes.  Being #Bored never looked so good.

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Oh and sorry to interrupt all this illustrated joy with a sad face but these beautiful trainers which Phiney very kindly painted are currently lost in Royal Mail hell.  I’ve been itching to get them on my feet and a trip to the post office today made me very glum indeed…

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Clio Peppiatt is a contemporary of Phiney Pet and she too, is challenging feminine ideals in a different way.  Instead of male bums and playerz though, Peppiatt is directing her Grrrrrr energy at female beauty stereotypes.  Her A/W 14 collection “Cat that’s got the queen” (geddit?) combines her signature illustration style with hand-embroidery, crochet and needlework to pass comment on feminine ideals.  Peppiatt draws out a diverse cast of women like a new-gen Daisy de Villeneuve and pairs them with hearts and cats.  Faux fur and those aforementioned handicrafts add a different dimension to Peppiatt’s illustrations.  A latex flounced dress might remind you of Barbie-plastic flesh but it all lies in The Future, on an optimistic jacket with orange faux fur collar and sleeves.  The girl depicted is a curly-haired redhead, with freckles and I *think* has braces glinting from her purple-lipped mouth.  As a 30 year old undergoing her second round of orthodontics, all I can say is “Preach!”

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On my last trip to Japan, I was introduced to designer Yoppy who has just started her young brand Little Sunny Bite.  The name itself demands a big toothy grin.  Yoppy has spent some time in LA in PR and events and decided she wanted to explore her own notion of “cute”.  In the land of “cute” in Tokyo, Little Sunny Bite represents a different take on Harajuku “kawaii” culture, which I’ve seen shift and splinter from that cheesy cliche that people still like to portray (*ahem* Avril Lavigne).  Influences from around the world have infiltrated Japanese fashion and Yoppy’s own LA background shows in the clothes of Little Sunny Bite.  Little Sunny  Bite’s first two collections (S/S 14 and A/W 14-5) utilise the awesome doodling skills of Hattie Stewart, who has worked for the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs and House of Holland.  Stewart’s wide-eyed icons, grinning bears and happy go lucky sharks grace sweatshirts, satin bombers, tees and pull-on-immediately skirts and dresses.  The clothes are deliberately “easy” so that the attitude of the wearer is the main focal point.  And what might this attitude be?

 “Your ‘kawaii” is right here, ready to be found,” she writes on her About page.  Right on…

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Finally we turn back to that Phoebe Lettice x Illustrated People collaboration, which has just hit their website.  This is immediate product for the right here and now with attractive prices between £35-60.  Lettice, too was engrossed with her idea of “kawaii” and Harajuku girls.  Thankfully, nothing veers into cliched territory.  She deftly combines the cute with the grotesque – pastel hued gory eyeballs and drippy-eyed pandas and it works on the streetwear-infused shapes.  Again, “easy” stuff that most girls can get into.  Lettice also shot and styled the look book, inspired by Harajuku figures like Hikari Ikeda (my favourite Dog shop girl, now rising to fame through Diesel campaigns and the like).  The collection is dipped in pastel pink.  But it’s definitely the Pink Ladies sort of pink – as in don’t infantilise the colour or attribute it with stereotypes.  After all there’s a possibility that you might be “too pure to be pink.”

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Comments (13)

  1. Yvespink says:

    These outfits are so unique and different i love them.
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  2. Lindsey says:

    I love how different these outfits are!

    blousesandblush.com

  3. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
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  4. Jiyeon says:

    i love your blog and your style ideas!!

  5. Amazing! You’ve hit the nail on the head with this round up-and here’s why: looking at these creations, it becomes quickly evident that they were all born from the same culture, both visually and intellectually. In taking an approach to fashion that relies not on what is most acceptable or flattering for a woman’s figure, but rather on how a she sees herself and the womenfolk surrounding her, fashion, for the first time in a long time, seems to be in step with a fast-growing group of intelligent, frustrated-no-more Millenials. The marketing tactic isn’t pandering to who a woman COULD be if she dons specific attire, but instead speaks to who she already is and gives her an opportunity to express herself and ideals comfortably, all at once. And because these are brands that cater to a specific person, the only ones who’ll understand her are those who are like minded, both in style and mentality. Welcome to society’s new mating call of sorts.

  6. Lauren S says:

    these collections are so artistic and creative, it really shows fashion as an art-form and not just as something to wear on out backs
    Lauren x
    Please nominate my blog for Best Lifestyle Blog and Newcomer here !
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

  7. […] of the drawn devil, I had just talked up Clio Peppiatt and here she was at Fashion Sunday, selling her Grand Theft Auto themed t-shirts, […]

  8. […] of the drawn devil, I had just talked up Clio Peppiatt and here she was at Fashion Sunday, selling her Grand Theft Auto themed t-shirts, […]

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