Equa Blog - News, Views and Ethical Styling...

Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas Windows!

The Christmas window display is one of the most fun to design. Visually you can be really extravagant and everyone enjoys getting involved with making the props. This year I wanted something elegant and I was inspired by one of my favourite fairy tales, The Snow Queen. I wanted to create the impression of a petrified forest encroaching on the Snow Queen's ice palace.

We made as many of the props as we could oursleves. The branches were collected from piles of prunings in a local park and painted white then frosted with glitter. The hanging snowflakes were made from recycled plastic bags, layers of which were laminated together using an iron, and then cut out into shapes. These were then embellished using sequins and beads left over from other projects. The piles of presents are wrapped up Terra Plana shoe boxes.

Featured items in the window include:

Komodo Penelop Dress

Article 23 Paula Jumper

Komodo Locus Trousers

Plus plenty of Christmas gift ideas.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Designer Interview - Mirabelle Jewellery

This month we are interviewing Veronique Henry the designer behind fashion jewellery label, Mirabelle. The daughter of a Parisian silversmith, Veronique's appreciation for the richness of colours and opulence found throughout Asia is reflected in her collections. Mirabelle jewellery is made by producers in Indonesia who receive a minimum set price for their goods, with financial and technical support, and safe, healthy working conditions. 

Mirabelle is a new label for us at Equa and we are delighted to introduce it to you..

In a nutshell what was your initial motivation to become a designer of fair trade jewellery?
It fell onto my lap.............it was an obvious thing to do..........I was travelling and bringing back exciting items, jewellery was so easy to bring and so enticing! It was the obvious thing to bring back as all girls like jewellery, and my self first of course! So what a way to treat myself..... I thought ...if they do not like it i will keep it for myself..............Luckily I do not have many items like this.!

What does ethical fashion mean to you?
For me it means you work within ethical principles and you treat others like you would be treated, it means you respect people and always put this first.

What challenges do you face as an ethical designer?
The recognition of being ethical without having to join costly and complicated organisations.

What are the inspirations behind your latest collection?
Greek, Romans, ancient medieval and Victorian........ all mixed and revisited.

What advice would you give anyone looking to make their wardrobe more ethical?
If you buy it cheap, just look where it is made and do some research..... There's nothing wrong with buying cheap if really they are fair-trade..... other wise there is a big risk it is exploitation.

Who are your Style Icons?
....Coco Chanel, Jane Birkin,

What is the most treasured item in your wardrobe and where did it come from?
A cashmere scarf , sooooo warm. It is a Burburry, but I wear it all the time in winter........
Oh and a Miu Miu bag which I treasure............ I am a bit of a bag addict........few pieces of jewellery and that little black dress........it is not a label, but it does the job!

As a child what did you want to do when you grew up?
Travel, travel and travel. And I did just that.

Tell us something you are really excited about…
My next collection......keys, coins, trinkets......! watch out.

Tell us something that really gets on your nerves….
people who copy me, so annoying! But I take it as a compliment now.

What's next for your label?
Growing, and designing more collections !

Thank you Veronique!
To view more Mirabelle at Equa Click Here >>

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Staff Pick Of The Season - Thalia

Adele Skirt by People Tree
I bought this skirt about a month ago and it has quickly established itself as a firm favourite in my wardrobe. The colour makes me happy! I love the high waist and the way it nips in to contrast with the tulip shape made by the pockets. I tuck a t-shirt into it for daytime but with a dressy black vintage blouse it's also been great for evening.

Starfish Dress by Rianne De Witte
I'm a sucker for little black dresses! The lyocell jersey in this one drapes beautifully and feels wonderfully luxurious. This dress is fantastic because it is fitted at the sides but the panel of pleating down the center is very flattering so I can eat a big dinner without feeling self conscious!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Staff Pick Of The Season - Amy

My first pick of the season would have to be the People Tree Audrey Dress. It is a grey shift dress made of a textured woven organic cotton with cute tuck sleeves. It’s perfect for winter worn over a long sleeved thermal top teamed with warm tights and boots. And if you are looking for a more fitted look it also looks great cinched in at the waist with a tie belt.
My second pick is the Annie Greenabelle Split Back Dress. It is the perfect mixture of cute and sophisticated. The classic shape reminds me of gorgeous 1960s shift dresses. Formal enough to wear to work but also lots of fun to party in. I will be wearing it with black tights and ankle boots teamed with a cosy cardigan.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Staff Pick Of The Season - Rosie

My primary pick of this season is the Article 23 Betty Tunic. It is a simple black top that can easily take you from day to work to evening. Paired with jeans and boots for a 'Day look' or tucked into a pencil skirt with heels for a 'work look'. For an evening ensemble you could tuck it into some super skinny high waisted trousers with killer heels. In my opinion it is one of the most versatile pieces of the season.

My second pick of the season is another Article 23 piece the Paula Jumper. As soon as I laid eyes on it I fell in love! It is the 'must have' winter cosy jumper, with it's super soft wool and creamy beige colour I would be as snug as a bug in a rug all winter long. It's length means ones posterior would be kept out of the cold while the chunky roll neck means you have no need for a scarf, and this for me is the ultimate winter warmer!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Staff Pick Of The Season - Ruth

We have such great knitwear this season. The Bibico Long Knit Vest is one of my favourites, for adding an extra layer of warmth and it looks great belted over a short winter dress!

The Komodo Halina Tunic is perfect for adding some extra sparkle to the party season! I love it with tights and heels for an evening out or with jeans at the weekend.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Staff Pick Of The Season - Marta

This week each of the girls from the Equa boutique will be picking out their favourite pieces of ethical fashion from the Autumn Winter 2010 collection.
First up we have the lovely Marta:
My ultimate pick of this season has to be Cecilia Hammarborg Ezerin Trench Coat. It is extremely luxurious and well tailored. With its perfect fit it is most definitely a statement piece and wardrobe staple for any "girl about town"!

My very favorite dress this season is Annie Greenabelle's organic cotton Molly Dress. Whilst being very comfortable and easy to wear, it is quite feminine and elegant. The plunging neckline decorated with a cute sparkling frill gives this dress a nice evening feel.

Monday, 8 November 2010

How to wear it! The Marcy Pod Dress

As the weather gets colder it's so easy to end up with a wardrobe full of dull sludgy greys or black and more black. The Marcy Pod Dress by People Tree gives a welcome pop of colour. It's made from a beautiful handwoven fabric in deep fig with a geometric pattern in burnt orange and magenta. It is produced by People Tree in conjunction with artisans from the group Folk Bangladesh who work to bring employment opportunities, design and technical support to disadvantaged people living in remote areas of Bangladesh. Hand weaving fabric is estimated to save 1 ton of C02 emissions per year per hand loom.
Here we have teamed this dress with the following items:
Double Hoop Earrings by Just Trade
Brass Bangle by Just Trade
Dionysia lace up heels by Terra Plana
Footless Tights by G=9.8
Adore Vegan Handbag by Matt & Nat