Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Deborah Campbell Atelier Now Available At John Lewis Loved And Found

Deborah Campbell Atelier are super excited to have launched in John Lewis last week with our Summer Breeze Collection in collaboration with artist Tabitha Wilson. DCA have turned Tabitha's artwork, Summer Breeze into wearable one-of-a-kind dresses and tops. Tabitha is represented by Saatchi & Saatchi and specialises in landscape abstract art. Founder Deborah Campbell and Tabitha Wilson came together in late summer 2016 to discuss the feeling behind the collaboration.

DC "Tabitha what excited you about the collaboration and how did you see the collection developing?"

TW " I was intrigued to see how the abstract brush strokes would be transformed onto fabric. The idea that the painting could be digitally transformed into another medium that could actually be worn is fascinating and it has been so exciting to see the result".

DC " I have always been fascinated and inspired by modern art, particularly abstract landscape art, so to get the opportunity to work with an artist that creates stunning work like yours Tabitha, is a dream come true." "And although the process of developing summer breeze was somewhat unknown here at DCA I have loved the journey."  "Each piece being unique due to the nature of the print placement is a happy creative accident".

TW " I can't wait to see how the print develops into other colours and new styles and the idea of taking the fabric and creating a new piece of art is something I would love to explore."

The Summer Breeze collection is exclusively on sale at John Lewis Loved and Found in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and online.

Tabitha Wilson's art is on sale at

Friday, 10 June 2016

Rae Of Light

The inspiration behind DCA’s AW16 Rae of Light print collection stems from artist Fiona Rae's 2003 selection of paintings called Hong Kong Garden. From the moment I clapped eyes on these beauties I fell in love with her work. 

Layers of an inter-galactic storms; spraying constellations of toxic colour; stencilled letters; graffiti, smudgy brushstrokes and comic book patterns jostle for the eye in each canvas.

Jennifer Higgie art critic perfectly sums up Hong Kong Garden “Despite their appearance of breezy clarity, these are slow paintings, slow to make and slow to really see”.  Although just a tiny fragment of Jennifer Higgies’ review, these words resonated with DCA, the embodiment of what we feel about slow fashion and its evolution. We love creating meaning and the story behind the clothes is as important to us as the clothes.  So when Jennifer Higgie said;  “Fiona Rae’s recent paintings embody this mix of depletion and possibility; they’re confusing and complicated and yet full of hope”; we knew we had to create a print of hope! Hope that the future of fashion adopts the circular economy in full – which means make – use – re-use. 
DCA's favourite piece in the Hong Kong Garden collection is 'Tsunami' as seen below.

Fiona Rae - segment of 'Tsunami' - part of the Hong Kong Garden collection

Deborah Campbell Rae Of Light Dress

Deborah Campbell Rae Of Light V Neck Dress

Deborah Campbell Rae Of Light Tee Top 

Our Rae Of Light Collection will be available for pre-order in Mid June at our website

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Soulful Shopping - A Fashion Revolution?

Holly Top

While catching up on some Huffington Post features last week I came across an article by Diane Osgood "Shop Like You Mean It - Why Ethical Fashion Matters."

She talked about "the soulful economy already being here and that its driven by the belief, that we can evolve to an economy that champions the importance of self, rather than the principles of selfishness."

Saying "research shows that an individuals happiness increases when they connect, contribute, give, create and share".

So does making authentic purchases from brands that have a strong story; whether it be about who made the clothes, the charity they are affiliated to, how the item was made or what techniques are used to make the item sustainable; really make the consumer happier?

At DCA we believe it does and agree with Diane Osgood. And during Fashion Revolution week this week, it is even more pertinent to ask "who made my clothes". Fashion Revolution was founded by Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers a not for profit organisation set up to ask the question to brands "who made my clothes" to raise awareness of the dangers of producing cheap fast fashion in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on the 24th April in 2013 killing 1134 people and injuring 2500 people.

However Rome was not built in a day and patience and persistence are needed for brands like (DCA) who are endeavouring to be the change. And what do fledgling brands need to do to encourage change? A brand needs early adopters that know buying into throw away fashion is not sustainable on many levels. The knowledge of what is best practice being passed through to early adopter consumers enables them to make valued authentic choices and then pass it on to their friends.

There are so many reasons why practices are not sustainable such as the impact on women's lives who make cheap fashion, wages are very low, hours worked are long and in some cases poor dangerous working conditions are the norm, this is no way to treat a fellow human.

The planet is suffering due to excessive water consumption needed to produce garments especially those containing cotton. Chemicals are used in dying and printing that pollute rivers and the surrounding countryside in the countries where the majority of the worlds clothes are made. Is this acceptable?

We can turn our heads and say, "oh well I cant do anything to help, it's just the way it is". By choosing this path we are fooling ourselves and making it very tough for future generations. We have a duty to stop how we consume and create a better way. The circular economy is here, we must develop new ways of making, using and recycling or re-using. We have no choice as we cannot continue to plunder the planets resources and treat people with the indignity of working like slaves.

Authentic purchase and the soulful economy are here to stay, lets be the change we wish to see in the

10% OFF Our Bee The Change Tees use code BEE16 at checkout.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Top Picks

Championing brands doing great work in the sustainable fashion arena, is our mission.

First up is Veja! We love Veja, they are 10 years old this year and are at the forefront of sustainable design. Innovative leather such as fish leather tanned with vegetables is just one of the sustainable materials they use. Fish leather is a bi-product of the fishing industry.

Gather and See is an online store, showcasing a variety of sustainable brands, we have chosen Maska, their brush stroke top is gorgeous.

And finally we love Louise Gardiner's silk print scarfs. Louise is an embroider. Check out her website to discover the inspiration behind these scarfs and watch the video of how she creates them.

Veja decline holiday low top in Tilapia leather

Maska Vega Print Silk Top 

Electric Blossom Scarf - Louise Gardiner

Monday, 7 March 2016

Buy Less - Care More?

An article in the Guardian "Less Is More" by Michelle McGagh, got me thinking last week. 
It seems there is a trend in Britain that consumers are in fact buying less. So are we slowly beginning to realise that less is more?

As Michelle McGagh says it may not be what chancellor George Osborne wants to hear, after all consumption is king when your're trying to balance the books. And there in lies the challenge.

And facts have to be faced for all businesses trying to sell products, surely buying less is not something that is promoted in said business plans? Well it's part of what we believe in at DCA, commercial suicide perhaps? Any investor or savvy business owner would certainly question that point and try and shoot DCA's business model down in flames. But our philosophy is to offer our customer key products that span seasons and not end up thrown out, destined for landfill. We care about the usage per wear and strive to give customers a chance to buy better rather more with our collection.

If in doubt about why we should change our buying habits then watch this video by Eve Andrews from Grist. I love her Donald Trump comparison at the end! 

It would be great to see brands and retailers thinking more strategically about the size of their collections and being responsible about the amount they produce because many items will be discarded by consumers and headed straight for landfill. And what of the brands who have stock that does not sell after sales are over. Interestingly I have heard excess stock is burnt. Surely there is a duty to look at the design and product development process and ensure it becomes leaner and more efficient? 

As for whether the consumer is really buying less, well we have our doubts at DCA. Granted certain consumer product categories may well be on the decline, but we believe fashion is not on the radar yet.
May be if more people understood the impact that the current fashion system has on the planet and fashion workers health, then we may see change? Ultimately fashion consumers want newness, they want to look good and buy what they love first and think if at all where it has come from second. An immediate way to see the impact of the current state of fashion is to watch the movie documentary, The True Cost

And taking the moral high ground does not make us feel any better at DCA, we advocate change because we feel it will saves lives and help preserve the planets resources for future generations. Imagine if our children are stood in the future looking back at us, the generation that had the power to do something and say 'why did they do nothing'?? 

We cannot do nothing we have to act now. Be the change, do buy better, do demand better, do demand change. 

Monday, 29 February 2016

Top Picks

Style Industries new feature is to share our top picks each week from other brands doing great work.

This week we are super excited to see the Christopher Raeburn Clarks collaboration launching today!

Sabah Trail Trainer

We love London brand 'One We Made Earlier', their necklaces are super cool and very versatile. Reminding us of abstract cubism.

Chika Shirt Dress

London Label Beautiful Soul offer gorgeous dresses, their signature floral prints are a winning combo. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fashion's New Era

Julianne Moore In Tom Ford

There is a buzz about at the moment, citing “The Fashion System is broken”  and mega brands and young designer disrupters are trying to fix it, as reported by The Business Of Fashion earlier this month.

The key message coming through is that designer fashion needs to slow down, there was once a time when collections came out twice a year from design houses, these days they can produce up to 6 collections a year! I have reported on the overload of the fashion calendar before and questioned how financially sustainable producing so many collections is. And I am not certain it is.

High street fast fashion must shoulder some of the responsibility for high end designers producing so many collections, the fast fashion market is bursting with newness on a weekly basis.  And perhaps this is why big brands feel the need to keep up. And as many of you know this is not a practice I believe in. We are overloaded with stuff, and we really don’t need more!

Tom Ford and more recently Paul Smith plan to change their business models. Ford is showing his AW16 collection in September 16 when it will be readily available to buy there and then, so no usual February 16 show for Ford. Paul Smith has decided to combine his mens and womens collection creating two per year with four drops and collapse his many diffusion lines as well as reduce his wholesale accounts. Bold moves by both and if other designers follow suit we may just see a healthier fashion system.

However one could argue that Tom Ford is aligning himself with the very nature of fast fashion by showing his collection in the current season in order to create a sense of being fast to the market rather than let the consumer wait 6 months to buy. It's certainly a riskier strategy as Ford will have to make buying decisions in house as store buyers will not get the chance to buy the collection in the usual fashion week schedules. Somehow I feel Ford's decision is intuitive to his customers needs, and rather than pander to a faster market and buyers demands, Ford is slowing down, creating collections that he knows will sell. 

But what of fast fashion? Will high street retailers stop and re-think the amount of collections they create? Will there be a disrupter to set the trend? And if more high end designers adopt Fords approach it will make catwalk copying by high street brands a whole lot harder and slower! Imagine that! Perhaps it's just what the industry needs a big shake up to disrupt the flow and prevent stores over producing and looking the same!

And what of small sustainable brands like DCA, trying to carve out a name for them selves in a crowded market.  Does this shift have an impact? I think the more awareness around slowing down and streamlining ranges to improve financial sustainability has to be a good thing, the idea that fewer collections are needed and a more focused approach is refreshing to say the least.

DCA Bee The Change Tee

This slow down in mentality may give brands and consumers time to see that overconsumption is leaving the planet impoverished for future generations and we must act now to begin the change.  I hope the growing concern for how fashion is currently produced will be the driving force behind change, because where we are now is destroying our natural resources and polluting our waterways.  

Lets be the change we wish to see and buy better!