All eyes on Meli Melo…

 

When was Meli Melo launched and what was the inspiration behind the brand?

The brand was launched in 2005 . I wanted to create a brand that evoked understated luxury. I didn’t want a LOGO that shouted out for people who only buy bags to show that they are following trends, More for people who loved something beautifully made and wanted to be asked WHERE IS THAT FROM? More for a strong confident woman than a follower

You live in London but grew up in Italy. Has that affected your aesthetic at all?

Absolutely the brand is completely a result of that chic Italian aesthetic with the incredible quirkiness that only the british do so well!

Who wears Meli Melo and who would you most love to see with one?

I have been so lucky to see such great empowering girls wearing the brand from Sienna Miller to the Duchess of Cambridge to Olivia Palermo and chic mother Alice Naylor Leyland. I would love to see Michelle Obama wear a bag!

Which is your current favourite bag?

The Hetty bag. The perfect drawstring and cross body with a chain detail. Makes you look cool yet sophisticated and different from the crowd

What is the future for Meli Melo?

We are going to be branching out into other product categoeries.. shoes ..sunglasses!

How do you like to dress your children?

I love the fun factor of dressing .. tutus and a pretty soft cardigan and plimsolls so they look as children should look!

 Do they have any favourite outfits from Wild & Gorgeous?

My son loves the black pyjama set which he wears out with trainers with the embroidered dragon on the back and my daughter is all about the denim boiler suit with the golden stars embroidered. She now prefers that to dresses! And always gets so many compliments from my friends wanting one for grown ups. That’s why I love my evil eye jumper so much.

 

ENTER NOW

Hello Dandydill Way

We are delighted to introduce you to a gorgeous, new and 100% natural children’s hair care brand Dandydill Way that feels, like us, that quality is as important for children as it is for adults.
 
Thank you – I firmly agree, just because it’s for children shouldn’t have to mean it isn’t exceptional.
 

 

 
 What made you want to branch out from being a make up artist to creating your own range?
 
I loved my nomadic life as a make up artist and managed to continue working for the first couple of years after my daughter was born. Once she started nursery I couldn’t travel with her and needed to be able to work from home. Because I’d been able to try products from all over the world I’d found lots of lovely things to care for her when she was a baby but there was simply nothing I felt good about using on her once she got a little older. The packaging of children’s products certainly didn’t appeal to me and they usually smelled overtly sweet or citrusy. I wanted to take exceptional care of my little girl, as every parent does, and I believed that if I devoted my time and energy to it I could create something better.
 
 
 
Who or what was you inspiration?
 
I’ve been inspired by many different things. An important part of Dandydill Way is the look of the brand and that was hugely inspired by my time living in France. I love French beauty products, they are unquestionably the world leaders in design and I insisted on finding a French designer to create the packaging. My eye for detail has been finely honed after decades of work as a make up artist so when I found someone with the same obsessive attention to every last detail – and French – it was the perfect match! 
 
 
My mother was also an inspiration to me. She was a passionate and very knowledgeable gardener, we grew up eating the most amazing home grown fruit and vegetables although we may not always have been grateful at the time! It was from her that I learned that the power of nature can be found in the most unlikely places – the humble hawthorn tree for example. She passed away at the beginning of the project so it’s rather sad to me that she never saw it launch. 
 
 
You say that the countryside and natural ingredients are really important to you, can you explain more?
 
My childhood was spent in Yorkshire, I’m the eldest of 4 and my sisters and I were allowed a great deal of freedom to go out and play together in the countryside near our home. We spent hours climbing trees, building dens and also picking wild fruit. Like many families we’d go out picking bilberries that grow wild on the moors, blackberries, mushrooms, hazelnuts, raspberries – you name it we foraged it! When I discovered there was a way to create a botanical extract from a purely wild grown ingredient – the hawthorn berry – picked by a professional forager, there was no hesitation – it had to be part of Dandydill Way.
 
 
What make your products different from anything else on the market for children?
 
Although there are other natural ranges for children available there is nothing else I’d like to see on my own bathroom shelves. The quality of the design reflects the quality of the product inside the bottle. And did I mention our bespoke, 100% natural, allergen-free fragrance? In the words of Fleur, one of our young customers “it smells like heaven!”.
 
 
 
 
Where can we buy them?
 
Dandydill Way is the only children’s range to be stocked by Josh Wood Atelier (6 Lansdowne Mews, London W11 3AN) and Viola (25 Connaught Street London W2 2AY). It’s also available at Calder Pharmacy (55-57 Notting Hill Gate W11 3JS) and online at DandydillWay.com
 
 
 

 

What is the future for Dandydill Way?
 
We’re a proudly British brand (admittedly with a little French flair!) and I’d love Dandydill Way to become an international success. I think our superb quality, trusted and safe products for children represent the finest tradition of British manufacturing and deserve to be seen in stylish bathrooms all over the world so we’re very keen to start exporting the range.
 

FUNDRAISING FOR GREAT ORMOND STREET HOSPITAL CHILDREN’S CHARITY

We were thrilled to be asked to attend Shop Wear Care this year, an annual luxury shopping fundraiser in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The event promised champagne, canapés and a fabulous evening of shopping, all set in the beautiful surroundings of Claridge’s ballroom.
 
After selecting and donating some of our sparkliest pieces for the ocassion, it was down to Conor (our Ledbury Shop manager) to set up and prepare for what was set to be a night to remember.
As soon as the doors were open at 6, invitees made a beeline for the Childrenswear section, excited to shop from our beautiful donated pieces. With Maud (from the Ledbury Road team) and Bianca (a fabulous helper from GOSH) on hand too, we were ready for a busy evening of sales and fundraising!
The event proved to be a resounding success, with guests both familiar with and new to Wild & Gorgeous loving our collection, and offerings from accompanying attending brands such as Stella McCartney Kids and Bonpoint.
We were delighted to be informed that the final figure raised from the entire evening was £110,013.58 with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the charity. This fabulous total will contribute towards a new iMRI suite as part of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s redevelopment. This state-of-the-art facilities will enable patients to be scanned during neurosurgery to ensure that the operation has been successful and reducing the need for repeat surgeries. The suite will revolutionise the surgery process at GOSH, helping improve the success rate of these essential operations and easing the stress on our patients and their families. 

Thank you and congratulations to all at GOSH for a wonderful evening – we were delighted to attend, and can’t wait for next year!

Harrods Pop up

Just in time for Party season, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of our second Harrods Pop Up. 
 
After being approached by Harrods to add a touch of our signature Wild & Gorgeous sparkle to the fabulous Mini Designers room, we were more than happy to oblige! 
 Collaborating once more with Mary Mathieson, our fantastic visual stylist, we knew our celestial vision would be in safe hands. Drawing upon this season’s cosmic inspiration, Mary set about creating beautiful handmade props and decorations, echoing the windows in our Notting Hill and Primrose Hill stores. 
 
From shimmering moons to resplendent planets, Mary’s proposed twinkling night sky was exactly the direction we wanted to take. Set across a matte charcoal backdrop, delicate stars and glittery celestial objects were suspended from a silver rope,
extending the length of the space. 
While Mary prepared the props, Sarah and Conor (the Notting Hill team) set to merchandising the collection. Playing with shell pinks as an introduction to the space, before moving into festive reds, glistening mints and deep navys, the pair championed key looks from the collection (keep an eye out for the Leli Coat, teamed with the Solstice Sequin Jumper and Stardust Skirt – an out-of-this-world combination!).  
 
With mannequins soon dressed in some of our favourite outfits and matching accessories (what look is complete without a sparkly hairband?), it was time to add the finishing touches before calling it a night and waiting eagerly for the launch the next morning. 
 
Be sure to come and see us on the Childrenswear Floor for the perfect Christmas gift inspiration, and your fill of all things sparkly. 

Merci Maman

This month, we are delighted to team up with the fabulous brand Merci Maman to offer you the unique chance to win £200 to spend at jewellery designer Merci Maman plus £200 to spend on Wild & Gorgeous goodies. Christmas sorted!

Below, the interview of Béatrice de Montille, founder of Merci Maman.

1.What inspired you to start Merci Maman?

After moving to London in 2003, I worked in sales and marketing at Danone and Del Monte. After having my second child in 2007, I was looking for a flexible arrangement to balance work & family life but unfortunately, big corporations were not able to offer it. For me, the best solution was to start my own company for more flexibility and freedom. I was looking for a personalised birthday gift for my daughter. The only place I was able to find it was a shop in France but the owner told me she wouldn’t ship it to the UK. That’s why I decided to create a UK-based platform that would ship stylish personalised jewellery and gifts worldwide. Two months after I had this idea and just a few weeks before Christmas, Merci Maman launched!

2. You started your business from home. How did you get Merci Maman out of the kitchen and onto the high street?

I started selling my hand-engraved jewellery and gifts at school fairs and my first customers were very positive about the range and the style. Word-of-mouth started working it’s magic and soon after sales started to come in from outside my neighborhood. Then in 2010 I was very lucky to join Not On The High Street as one of their first sellers on their market place. Merci Maman became a national brand selling all over the UK! In 2014, the brand took an international path when the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted wearing a Merci Maman necklace engraved with her son’s name, George Alexander Louis — a gift from her sister Pippa Middleton.

3. What have been the key highs, the lows and the turning point of your journey?

The day I saw the picture of Kate wearing our necklace. I remember it as it was yesterday!

This year, Merci Maman was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category! We had the honour of meeting Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace in July. This came as an amazing 10th anniversary gift for the brand, a royal seal of approval, as we celebrated 10 years of business this October with friends, influencers and customers at The Résidence de France in Kensington Palace Gardens in London.

4. What do you think you do best?

Merci Maman holds love, joy and friendship at the heart of every design. From the very beginning, I wanted to be extremely customer-focused, efficient and professional. Our dedicated team of 30 follows our 5 key success factors; quality products with a clean DNA, 100% customer satisfaction, constant innovations and developing new collections, an exceptional and trusted delivery experience and strong values that allow our team to grow as individuals.

5. What do you want your customer to feel when they wear Merci Maman?

Merci Maman — ‘Thank you Mummy’ — is a nod to our French roots and the original celebration of the mother and child bond. Every gift is personalised and hand-engraved with elegance and precision using our cursive French-style handwriting, making the gift-giving and receiving experience extra special. The hand-engraved message allows you to keep your loved ones close at all times and creates a unique sentimental value for the wearer, a true treasure to cherish for a long time.

6. What does the future hold?

Plans for Merci Maman are very ambitious, as we want to become the destination brand for personalised jewellery in Europe. We have established a strong presence in the UK through our website mercimamanboutique.com and are still growing strongly. We opened our second workshop in Paris last year and are already planning to open a third one in Berlin in 2018. We are also working on investing in new countries and plan to translate our website in Spanish and Italian.

7. If you were to pair one piece of Merci Maman with one style from Wild & Gorgeous what would it be and why?

We love the partywear collection for girls from Wild & Gorgeous. Glittering knits and fun-filled tutu’s are the perfect combination for any occasion! We’d pair this with our Pastille Bracelet. The single charm will shimmer alongside the sequins and add a personalised touch with a hand-engraved name or date. You can choose form 18 different braid colours to perfectly compliment your outfit and with it’s adjustable size, it’s ideal for mummy and her mini to match!

 

____________

Enter the competition

World Animal Day – Snurk x W&G Competition

1. What was the original inspiration behind SNURK?

We started back in 2007 as a charity project. We came up with the idea to make a duvet cover to raise awareness and money for homeless youngsters in the Netherlands.

The bedding was covered in a cardboard box print and we named it: Le-Clochard (“Sleep underneath a cardboard box, so a homeless youngster doesn’t have to”.)
Our project caught the media’s attention and we sold out quickly. We raised over 50.000,- euros with it for the Foundation SZN.
It was so cool, doing this independent project by ourselves, that we realized we wanted to continue making Clochard bedding, but also make more prints and try to make a living out of it.
We still have the cardboard bedding in our collection today.
2. How do you keep coming up with such great ideas?

Before SNURK I used to work as creative (writer) in advertising , so coming up with ideas has always been ‘my thing’. And before that I was a kid with a big imagination.. always cooking up weird ideas and plans, haha. Basically, what I do is I always keep my ears and eyes open in daily life. There is inspiration everywhere around me. Being surrounded by 2 young kids and a great city like Amsterdam also helps.

3. Do you have favourite design and why?

The astronaut will always be special to me. It was our first children’s bedset and we released it the day before our youngest son was born. The pictures of the Astronaut on our Facebook page went viral and within a few days, our webshop exploded. It was crazy busy. Every online design blog was writing about it…even news sites. It meant our breakthrough and the Astronaut kicked off a voyage for SNURK that went beyond our dreams.

4. What does the dream future hold for SNURK? 

If things were to stay exactly as they are now I would be totally happy, as we are in a great place, surrounded by great people, the result of ten years of hard work! But of course I can’t help dreaming (big) and I do have dreams of our new line of clothing Horizontal Wear becoming the world’s most favorite sleep & lounge wear.

5. If you were to choose a favourite product from Wild & Gorgeous what would it be and why?

I am a boys Mum so: the planet jumper. I love navy colored clothing, and I love simplicity with fun details …and well I’m a a sucker for Space themes. 😉

Wild & Gorgeous Women

 

Wild and Gorgeous have been making beautiful clothes for gorgeous children for 10 years. And for years we have been asked by mums, aunties and god parents to create something for them. Well this season we have done just that with a capsule collection of knitwear designed for women.

Made from the finest merino wool, each jumper has a signature Wild and Gorgeous sequin, intarsia or lurex detail.
The Sparkler, Ziggy and Scarlett Jumpers all have a longer length and are a great way to smarten up a pair of everyday jeans. Choose between the charcoal Sparkler with its splash of gold shoulder sequins, the classic red Scarlett Jumper with chic turtleneck and intarsia heat tattoo detail and the super cool black Ziggy Jumper with multi colour seqiunned eye detail.
The Ella and Abigail Jumpers are slightly more cropped in length and work brilliantly well with high waisted trousers and skirts. The Ella is super chic with its unusual and elegant square neckline, striped cuff and intarsia eye detail and The Abigail rocks a sportier look in soft greys and gold.
We hope you love them!
Sophie and Lucy
________________

CATWALK TRENDS

Autumn Winter 2017

As we launch our AW17 collection we took a moment to look over our shoulder at some designer brands to see what was emerging as this season catwalk trends. According to a recent Vogue report, we seem to have our finger firmly on the fashion pulse. Here are our top trends for Autumn Winter 2017 season.

SPACE AGE

As at Chanel this season we have plenty of classic styles created in shimmering metallics with embroidered and sequin star, planet and rocket details. 3:2:1…. Lift Off!

MOTOR CHIC

Balenciaga showed silver car mats made into mini skirts. We didn’t go quite that far but our super cute Biker Jacket, Speed Jeans and Hoodie and Biker Butterfly T shirt are perfect for a fashion fast track.

IN CHECK

Both Stella Mc Cartney and Off White opted for tweeds, tartans and prince of Wales check. At Wild & Gorgeous we can never seem to get enough of checks with a passion for tartan with a hint of 80’s punk about it.

NIGHT FEVER

Velvety blues and blacks are big after dark themes this season. A shooting star, a shimmering moon, a black jumpsuit with glimmering gold sequins. All designed to light up the night sky with style.

BOILER SUIT

Dior showed utilitarian denim boiler suits this season. Ours is super durable, comfy and easy to wear with a hint of glamour in the gold embroidered star detail.

SEEING RED

We always love red for the winter season and it seems the Max Mara agreed sending reds of every description down the catwalk. Always a winner for winter season. So warm and comforting.

SAY IT WITH SPARKLE

Ashish said it all this season with his sequinned jumper emblazoned with the slogan SAY IT WITH GLITTER NOT TWITTER. We couldn’t agree more. Heres a taste of what is shimmering at Wild & Gorgeous this season.

Come Visit Our Stores

With a new collection comes new shop windows, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with this season’s out-of-this-world display

As a long time collaborator with Wild & Gorgeous, we know we can always rely upon the brilliant creative talent of Mary Mathieson to make our shop windows burst into life. So, when we discussed the cosmic inspiration behind this season’s sparkling collection, Mary knew exactly the direction she wanted to go in.

Drawing upon our space iconography, Mary set to work creating fabulous props that compliment our cosmic theme perfectly. From shuttlecock shooting stars to a soaring, shimmering winged heart (a motif featured across our collection this season), it’s safe to say Mary reached for the stars with this installation…

With the help of Ottie, a budding visual merchandiser, the pair traded the bright pops of colour of our Spring/Summer campaign for the sparkling metallics and sequins of Autumn/Winter – better known as Party season. Spinning planets and twinkling stars were soon suspended in mid-air at our Notting Hill store, while a beautiful constellation was installed at Primrose Hill to create the backdrop for a very Wild & Gorgeous inky night sky.

We’ve showcased our beautiful Saturn Dress, and Planet Jumper and Stardust Skirt in our first window, teamed with our signature Sparkly Plimsolls and gorgeous Star Bag.

Our inspiration for AW17 is summed up in 2 words: COSMIC ROCKSTAR! As well as our celestial-inspired garments, expect to see sumptuous velvets, luxurious cashmeres and striking silver and gorgeous gold embellishment across our beautiful partywear, inspired this season by the colours and forms of a golden Autumn in Kyoto.

Boys go bold with statement embroidery across our Biker Speed range, embrace the adventurous with our animal intarsia and camouflage co-ordinates across our Into The Wild edit and channel Rock N Roll with tartans, pinstripes and music notes.

Welcome to Wild Gorgeous AW17 – it’s written in the stars!

 

BEHIND THE SCENES

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at a Wild & Gorgeous studio shoot…? Well here’s a little snapshot of what went on backstage at our recent Autumn Winter 2017 studio shoot….
The first models arrive at around (yawn) 8.30am and go straight in to have their hair and make up done. As they are children we try to keep it simple and mostly just use cover up to disguise small blemishes or dark rings under the eyes. Over the years we’ve had to deal with models arriving with face scratches from their cat, recent bike accidents and bruises on their legs. They are kids after all!
 
Wild & Gorgeous shoots are very organised these days. Every model has pre allocated outfits and matching accessories. Time is short and we have a lot of styles to race through.
Some of our models have been with us for years (Ellis, now 10, started modelling for us when she was 2!) and so they really know what they are doing. A good model will race through the clothes and you know you will get a good shot in a matter of snaps.
This year we tried to have some fun little props on set. It makes the shoot more fun for the kids and gives us some flexibility on use of images. This season we had a few themes from, Autumn Adventures, to Biker Chic, School of Rock and, of course, the ultimate Christmas shot.
 
Its all hands on deck with Amandine our graphic designer pumping up helium balloons, designer Lucy making headbands out of maple leaves and red clothes pegs plus a host of other accessories. At some point we looked around to see that the mischievous models had wrapped out photographer Ian up in a bikers chain and plonked a top hat on his head.
This season we are about to launch a tiny capsule womenswear collection of knitwear. Just the dipping of a toe in the water. So at 4pm on the second day our gorgeous model arrived to have her hair and make one and to (gulp) slip into our AW17 women’s knitwear styles.
 
Its always exciting to see the whole team’s hard work over the last 6 months come to fruition and nothing illustrates this better than the shoot. 2 days of shooting and 2 days of editing later we have some great shots that really showcase the clothes. Everyone is happy!
 _____________