‘You know it when you see it’, is a phrase which is often bandied-about, with such frequency, as to become cliché. However, let it be known, that in referring to ethical womenswear-brand ‘Kitty Ferreira UK’, no other phrase will fit-the-bill!
Living-the-dream of designing the range is Founder/ Creative M.D., Valerie Goode, and if ever a moniker described both a person and a mission, it is hers! As I type, the question ‘What qualifies this statement, Afrow?’, is undoubtedly winging its way through to my side of the Blogosphere… Well, my having spent a day-in-the-life with Miss Goode should serve as due qualification!
You see, last week, yours truly was given free-reign of ‘ The Ideal Home Show Christmas’ event, at Earl’s Court! Yes, another wonderful PR Company (in this case, that of ‘Incentive Media’), gifted me a press-pass for the entire 5-day duration and, for an ‘I.H.S Xmas’ newbie, it was AMAZING!!!
Imagine a Noughties-Narnia (except a lot warmer!), lit by an indoor aurora-borealis, a floor filled with stands, as far as the eye could see, scents saturating the atmosphere with the most divine Yuletide fayre and mood-music, apt for retail-merriment! The scene reverted this visitor into a jaw-dropped juvenile, in anticipation of being a tinsel-halo-wearing angel in the Nativity play and sharing memory-making, festive family-fun!
Now, Afrow-Family, follow me to Wednesday 14th, which I have come to address as ‘Kitty Ferreira Day’, in part, because her designs were runway-bound to the Ideal Home Show Christmas Catwalk for an exclusive showcase of exceptional UK design-talent and also because that evening, her collection was to be displayed at a Pop-Up Fashion Exhibiton, curated by online UK-fashion boutique, ‘London Ethnic’ and held at the exclusive private members club, ‘Apartment 58’.
Without further ado, I must explain the riches of Miss Goode’s ‘Kitty Ferreira’ designer label! Heartwarmingly named after her late Grandmother, whom she described to me in one of our many email communiqués, as being ‘fierce like a lion, soft like a cat’, the line comes with this familial brand-boldness, yet delicacy of a bespoke design-aesthetic, which is woven into the warp and weft of every bolt of fabric!
Engrained in the ‘Kitty Ferreira’ ethos, is the stalwart passion to produce high-end pieces, manufactured solely in the U.K, the carbon footprint of which is closely-monitored, due to her personally sourcing top-quality, upcycled materials. Otherwise destined for landfill, these same fabrics, are eco-dyed, in a variety of natural stains, with her latest derived from pomegranates and onion skins, as can be seen in her stunning SS14 garments. As with such tried-and-tested dyeing methods, the beauty of the resultant pieces stems from the drying process, which facilitates unique variations-on-a-theme. Thus, each will be a bespoke creation, perfectly reflective of she who chooses to buy and wear her own idiosyncratic example of craftsmanship.
Following in the tradition of all-things with a bespoke, there is an air of exclusivity to Goode’s goods, bucking-the-trend for batch-process uniformity, whilst helping to save the bucks, with purse-friendly prices! Not only does this serve to satisfy the ‘one-off template’ within us all, but it is ever-more marvellous to see, at close-quarters, the fruition of harmonic parallels between the ideal of ethical manufacturing and the production of such timeless separates. Furthermore, the fast-turnaround of her ‘luxe-for-less’, limited-edition collections, offered in a rainbow of size-silhouettes, ranging from 6 to 26, only adds to their desirability, whilst perpetuating the element of having acquired something extra special, for one’s wardrobe. It is this desirability which has already seen celebrity-endorsement by such names as ITV Newscaster, Charlene White, and earmarks the trans-seasonal/ transferable glamour of a ‘Kitty Ferreira’ garment as a go-to option, as suited to a high-stakes work environment, as to the atmopshere of a restful afternoon tea or a playful party-vibe!
Pattern-cutting, provided by her highly-skilled assistant, Katie, is a dream-of-precision, underpinning the sublime tailoring which is present in the exquisite apparel. For example, a rich mustard-hued pant, with the most sumptuous pleating detail, is an utter triunph and a joy to see, styled with her sheer, silk ‘Saffron Shirt’ with the signature ‘notch’ pocket. In fact, it was this look, which all-but stole the Ideal Home Catwalk Show, and was one of many which had guests at the London Ethnic fashion showcase, flocking to meet-and-greet her! Having witnessed a selection of the collection in-motion, it is easy to see why so many sought to celebrate the fruits of her creative labour! There is no mistaking Miss Goode’s couturière-eye-for-detail, which is absorbed throughout the design, as expressed through a fine floral motif, here, or a high-necked front, balanced by a revealing backless ‘moment’, for the ultimate in effortless, elevated drama. The overall effect pronounces the ‘Kitty Ferreira Woman’ as one of distinct elegance, presence and allure, with a stylisitic self-awareness and an ability to fearlessly experiment with it.
As Valerie herself says, ”…fashion can tell a story not only based on style or an era, but based on values”*. Thus, the most wonderful element for me, is the fact that one can be safe-in-the-knowledge that a purchase from the line is not just another acquisition, which might, all-too-soon, be forgotten! No, a ‘Kitty Ferreira-wearer will always know that she has made an eco-friendly retail choice, not only in support of the best-of-British manufacturing, but also in contribution to the development and success of one of the best-of-British design-talents.
In Afrow’s words… ‘That’s not simply a Goode thing, but a great thing!’
©AFROW 2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Many thanks to Valerie for inviting me to such a special day and to Incentive Media for inviting me to such a special event!