At milliemanu summer means warmer weather and time to get outside and experience everything England has to offer. And for us that means leaving London, switching off our digital devices and enjoying the easy pleasures of the beautiful English countryside.
We were lucky enough to spend last week at Rose Cottage in the beautiful Norfolk village of Wighton a couple of miles due east of Burnham Market. And the weekend meeting the new piglets on the Bossington estate in Hampshire.
Not only were we able to capture new images of some of the fantastic new products we’re introducing later this summer, like our new floral girls sundresses, but we came back completely inspired by the increadible native wild flora, the beautiful gardens and rolling English countryside.
At milliemanu, our aim has always been to authentically British clothing that children love to wear. The fact everything is beautifully made here in the UK by our skilled team of seamstresses is just as important as the distinctive British style we strive to create. This philosophy is embodied in the increadible quality, quintessentially British Liberty print tana lawn cotton fabric we use.
Our new collection of girls Liberty print dresses and playsuits feature prints produced in the UK that have been inspired by the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson
This summer’s collection features celebrated floral motifs from Liberty’s classic British prints archive which we’ve teamed with our latest summer styles. We’ve also livened up our ‘best selling’ classics, like our sundresses with this season’s must have tropical prints along with vibrant new floral motifs.
For example, Liberty’s dainty meadow print fits perfectly with the classically pretty cut and fashionable ruffles on our new araminta dress; creating a gorgeously girlie summer look that’s perfect for special occasions. The design of this celebrated Liberty print was inspired by the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson in 'A Child's Garden of Verses' and printed here in the UK. The dainty florals decorating the fabric in a way that is perfectly proportioned for smaller garments and reflects the scattered beauty of a sunny meadow in spring.
Likewise our new Liberty print playsuits, panama hats and even our baby clothes feature a number of celebrated Liberty prints including the popular Betsy design which was originally produced in 1933. The tightly-knitted native flora including cottage roses, ranunculus and buttercups, introduce a classically feminine quality to the relaxed contemporary cuts of theses pieces.
All of our Liberty print floral dresses and sun dresses designed with comfort, versatility and a variety of summer occasions in mind… Even playing with piglets!
But why is it so important to bring a touch of traditional rural style to contemporary children’s fashion? For us, the answer lies in balance.
On the one hand Liberty’s classic prints bring a traditional prettiness to today’s relaxed and informal styles. This increases the versatility of each garment, enabling children to dress comfortably at the most formal occasions.
But perhaps more importantly, the floral motifs establish an immediate visual link with nature. In a rapidly changing world where our children increasingly live in a bubble and experience life through a screen, keeping them connected with the natural environment has never been so important. And as a brand, we’re keen to nurture this relationship in any way we can.
Perhaps unfashionably, we still believe children should be out there having fun, actively engaging with nature and running wild with their imaginations. Therefore comfort, durability and practicality are as important considerations as prettiness and fashionability. Every garment we design is sampled and tested on real children, enabling us to refine and increase wearability as well as style. Often this means testing clothing in extreme environments. And for us there’s no better challenge than getting down in the dirt and meeting the new milliemanu piglets on the Bossington estate.
(see movie and images)
From their idyllic base on the banks of the River Test in Hampshire, the team at Bossington are working tirelessly to champion a grass fed farming revolution.
Like us, they believe unequivocally in homegrown quality, the most natural processes and the highest standards of care. This approach not only means improved animal wealfare standards and greater conservation of our natural habitats, but tastier food that’s far superior in nutritional value. And that’s got to be good for our children’s health, well-being and futures.
In his excellent book (and our hot read for this summer) Grass Fed Nation, Graham Harvey eloquently charts the industrialisation of farming and food production. While the use of chemicals, intensive techniques and a global supply chain have seen consumer prices fall and choice and availability increase, it’s also seen a dramatic rise of food waste, allergies and intolerances. And most worryingly an increase of fatal diseases including cancer. According to Harvey, in part this has come about because of a shift in diet towards wheat and sugars. But this has largely happened because of ‘our own lack of interest’ with farming and our rural environment.
whether it’s food or fashion, we need to make more informed, discerning and responsible purchasing decisions
For our children’s futures, it’s vital we all become more engaged with the beautiful countryside around us. And whether it’s food or fashion, we need to make more informed, discerning and responsible purchasing decisions. So why not take a look at our summer collection of premium quality girls dresses, playsuits and accessories and help spark your little one’s interest in the beautiful British countryside.
For more information about the excellent Bossington Estate farm and their produce and restaurants visit: https://www.bossingtonestate.com/?gclid=CKP8-7rhptQCFRdmGwodrVYDRg
Grass fed nation by Graham Harvey is available in all good bookshops and on-line at amazon.