YBD's Fiona O'Neill Knitted Bustier featured in Vogue Magazine's '54 Gifts You'll Actually Want This Christmas'
Liberty, Cath Kidson, Orla Kiely..there's just something about a really strong print maker that catches our attention, holds it and keeps us coming back for more.
Add to that a story about a young designer who just happens to be blonde, beautiful, brave, English, quirky and terribly nice too and you have an immensely engaging brand in the making.
Charlotte Taylor exploded into our senses at Vauxhall Fashion Scout back in early 2010. This girl was all the things we'd set up Young British Designers to be. She stood apart from the rest, she had an immediate "look" all of her own that can sometimes take a designers so many years to achieve. If they're lucky. She had bravely set out on a journey where she bared her soul to the world by virtue of her blog which was and is a frank and honest account of what it's like to be an emerging designer in the big, tough, gnarly world of fashion. She took her inspiration from trashy grannies, from soap operas, from penguins, from characters glimpsed back at home on the Isle of Wight.
She set up her rail at the Freemasons Hall, Covent Garden and with much trepidation stood back to see what the world and her dog made of her.
The world adored her. Her now signature yellow penguins on their cobalt blue silk backgrounds caught the hearts and minds of the press and the public alike. Within a very short time indeed this girl had amassed columns full of inches.
She could have been swallowed up. She could have been 'guided' into being what the fashion establishment wanted her to be. But Charlotte was always going to do it her way.
We met with her back in March and she -slightly nervously- showed us her new AW11 collection. She had created what she wanted to create. Focussing upon her love of print and colour, silk and contrast. We were just awestruck. We wanted it all. We ordered it all.
Glorious, glorious colours and prints that only the penguin lady could have imagined into existence. Lobsters and ants, elephants and robots, old penguins and new. Joyous, exuberant, uplifting and fun. Set against contrasting colours that explode into your senses with visual and almost oral delectation.
Much of it is online now (and selling fast) but there are even more delights to come. This designer is a star.
And she's shooting towards the heavens.
Leaving a shower of beautiful, sparkling colour and joy wheresoever she goes.