London. How I’ve missed you, ever since moving to Manchester, I take any given opportunity to come back to one of my favourite cities in England, if not the world. I always feel like I can finally breath, that some unknown weight is lifted off my shoulders. When I’ve finally got off my 5h coach ride at Victoria Coach Station and started to walk towards any given coffee shop, because you all know coffee runs in my vains and sleep can be rather exhausting experience, while walking I had this feeling of excitement, I was going to go to an event that I’ve wanted to go for a while (I never knew applying for a ticket was so easy, I’ve always thought you needed following with of few k, silly me!) I was going to meet brands that I’ve been aware of and fan of since the age of 14 (such as Hell Bunny, oh men!), I was going to see bloggers and content creators that I’ve been following online for years. I was going to be around the kind of fashion that was 100% me! I was excited, I was also anxious and scared, being it new experience and new environment. But I was going to be around like minded people, and I couldn’t wait!
When I’ve finally walked into the Islington Business Centre, looked around and seen dozen of different stands, with brands displaying their products, and it all ranged from fashion, to beauty and lifestyle, mostly in form of hip flasks, because you know, rock ‘n’ roll. The first brand I spoke to was Laura Zabo a very unique brand that created accessories,jewellery and homeware from recycled bicycle tires! BICYCLE TIRES, people!! All of the items are also vegan! As someone who is trying to live environmentally friendly life, you know as much as I can, this concept was just so amazing, I couldn’t stop looking at the products mesmerised when the brand founder was introducing me to all of the different products! Ethical, stylish and badass looking, that’s the kind of fashion I want to be surrounded with! I also had a quick look at leather accessories and jewellery brand bullet 69, and looking at all the studded belts and chokers just would make my 14 year old self speechless, and now looking at the body harnesses well, I’m all about that right now! You can just imagine how fast my mental bank balance was going down each second. Another amazing Gothic accessories brand was Heikichi Body Jewellery which had chokers, that looked like they’ve been taken from Japanese anime aka Gothic choker goals! I’m telling you, two walls filed with chokers and body jewellery! True beauty!
And as we are talking about Gothic aesthetics (who’s sick of me overusing the word “goth”?) As someone who is a sucker for black coats, corsets and all black clothing Queen of Darkness was of course my next destination. Looking at all the black capes, jackets, shoes, trousers, you name it! I want it all! Tyneway Trading was another dark brand that was full of corsets, PVC trousers, which have been on my radar for quite sometime if I have to be honest, leather skirts and of course jackets that would make you look like a Dementor, which is always a good thing, you guys need to admit, these dudes had great fashion sense! We all know that no Goth, punk whatever style or aesthetic you personally identify as goes barefoot, although that would be rebellious af! To go with all of your studded accessories and dark clothing, footwear is always my personal favourite item of wardrobe to make a statement. And what’s better then Alternative Footwear ? Yes, that’s the actual name of the brand, pretty self explanatory isn’t it? Well, these guys say it as they see it, and oh men I love it! Shoes designed in Germany, made in Poland, covered in leather, lace, all black, with platforms as high as my standards in fashion.
Jack’s Inn an accessories and clothing brand that creates bags, mugs and hip flasks all finished with beautiful, slightly creepy illustrations, but for me creepy equals beauty therefore they were all beautiful! The German brand gave me such a Western feel to it that I can’t shake it, it’s a good thing of course. There isn’t much fashion or accessories like that in the UK so seeing something that looked like that was rather refreshing and interesting to see. Few stands away there was another brand that some might find rather odd to be in an alternative trade show, much ladies and gentleman, lingerie can be so freaking alternative, it makes up quite a big percentage of the trade design inspiration after all. Something Wicked fitted ideally with the crowd, with bra’s, corsets, underwear and hosiery is so many different designs that my exited brain was getting overwhelmed! From lace, to mesh, silk, whatever your heart desires! I’ve personally always been a massive fan of the art of lingerie designs, the diversity and creative outlet surprises me each time, especially since I find those in more “alternative” brands rather then high street!
Another brand that I found rather intriguing was Pamela Mann mostly because of the creative range of designs regrading tights, as I’m sure there are classics that we all know and love, like your standard black tights, fishnet tights etc. However this brand offers that and so much more, when I first went to the stand there was one particular pair that I could take my eyes off, and that was a pair with a black skull print and printed on white skin tone tights it honestly gave such a tattoo effect that one may wonder if getting tattooed is worth it if you can just put tights with some illustrations on the tights instead (the answer is yes but you get my point).
Oh and you think I’m done here?! Oh no! Besides from Gothic, steampunk and all of that *alternative* fashion, there were also some street ware inspired brands,in other words something for everyone, good job London Edge! One of the brands was Libra Style Tee’s I must also say that it was so lovely speaking to one of the co-creators of this brand! What a wonderful open minded human being, I’m telling you guys! And did I also mention that the t-shirts come with so many different adorable and very relatable graphics? For example this “Trash” tee? Honestly, t-shirt meant for me! Right after I went to a stand that was right across from Libra Style Tee’s and that was Anchor and Rose London. What caught my eye was a crisp white tee with a black illustration that resembled so much of Grace Neutral tattoo practice, yet had little to do with it. Grace Neutral that is. The fashion brand that was born from pure need to create and love for art, decided well, to put the art somewhere else rather then their walls, let’s put that art into clothes! This is a practice that more and more artists do now days, which is so freaking awesome! Who wouldn’t want to wear art on the body? I was laughing the whole time that my next (read: 4th) tattoo will be one of their designs! Check their website as they have pretty cool ones! You can also buy the art! And who doesn’t like art, right?
What I found amazing in London Edge was the diversity of brands and their aesthetic, sure the majority of them were in the “dark” spectrum, however there were few streetwear inspired brands that had the dark twist to them! On the second day I spoke to 3 different brands who’s designs would fit any Health Goth’s dreams, or anyone who like sporty inspired clothing in all black everything! Syd and Mollory was one of the first brands I got to speak to, with letter printed sleeves and rose embodied mesh dresses the way the brand looked was a mixture of a better version of Pablo by Kayne West (I’m sorry personally I’m not the biggest fan) and Ragged Priest (a company that I lust over all the time but don’t own anything from them yet) In other words, casual perfection! And the prices themselves are incredibly well put, we’re talking an average of £20 per long sleeved top. Not bad! On the same day, I also got to meet the creators of two different brands but with a very similar design style, I’m talking about Fearless Illustration and Cosmic both brands were right next to each other, with their brands creators just chatting away while I approached them. Little bit of the topic, but I love when brands interact with each other, there isn’t any cattiness, we all should work together! Loves it! Fearless Illustration was honestly my dream come true for Halloween time (read: everyday, everyday is Halloween) with the name already giving out the design approach, you guessed it, the clothes are covered in illustrations, but not any odd illustrations, I’m talking about bones, gutt’s, blood, brains, you know the fun stuff! The simple silhouette’s in either monochrome or with touch of red and pink, it was a brand that I just could not take my eyes away from! The simple yet complicated lines really stood out! Next to it being Cosmic, a brand that I have no idea goes about copy rights, mostly because they take the anime or Disney characters and make them creepier and more scary then their original selfs. Of course just like Fearless Illustrations I couldn’t take my eyes away from the designs, give me the creepy and give me the insanely soft fabric and I am sold!
Besides from all that art on the clothes, there were two more brands that would go into the category of mine of Gothic Streetwear, the brands being Okayla and Too Fast. Okayla being originally a sport luxe brand, I would be wondering at first how a brand with such a sport look would fit into an event that is London Edge, and after seeing the brands designs, seeing the mesh, the black and even the sequins well it fitted perfectly, of course all of it was more on the sporty side of things but with right shoes, accessories, and maybe a leather jacket it could work into such a perfect dark look! The other brand being Too Fast, was on the other hand something that a lover of punk fashion would get into, or anyone who loved colorful prints on black t-shirts (me!) Of course there were dresses, skirts and all of that fun stuff but guys! Check out the tops and t-shirts! The prints on there are too cool (for school) no, like literally, I know if I would wear one of them in school I would get into trouble! Yeah!
Another brand that you would think wasn’t your stereotypical Gothic, alternative clothing was Elements Rainwear. Mostly because it’s a brand that specialise in well, rainwear. Perfect idea for a rainy country like England if you ask me. But honestly why don’t we get more brands that are well, rain friendly!? I mean it makes sense doesn’t it? The brand originally from Manchester that is all about saving you from the cold rain and making sure you are looking ever so stylish while doing so! The coats come in so many colours and styles that I’m sure there’s something for everyone, however I personally loved the black coat (Worn on Wioleth in the photo below) mostly because it’s black and it goes almost to the ground. I’m thinking that this coat was just meant for Matrix!
Right before the actual day of London Edge I got followed on Instagram by one of the companies that was going to show their designs on during the trade show. That company was Priority Clothing. And their priority are mostly t-shirts! Concentrating on the design of the graphics and illustrations that go on top of, white, black, blue or green tops. However let’s be honest, it’s all about the monochrome tones! And just like with the other stands, I had really lovely conversation with the brand owner about fashion and the brand it’s self. Of course as someone who loves poking fun at the society, for some reason I found the “God shave the Queen” hilarious! Stupid sense of humour? Maybe, thank god that I’m not the only one with it! Fulwood London yet another brand that know the understand the importance of social media interaction, I really respect that! The brand that is all about showcasing the up and coming talent in the tattoo world in a format of t-shirt collaborations showcase the variety of designs made by different tattoo artists. As someone who is all about sharing the work of others I find that brand idea so sweet and combining fashion, art and tattoos is something we need more in the world off definitely!
Even thought I’ve saved talking about Fennec London as one of the last brands, it was the brand I’ve met on the first day of London Edge and straight from the beginning I was hugged, told all about the brand, showed the different designs and told about the concept and design process of scarves that may not be Goth, or punk or any of those things but damn are the original! With British currency printed in between black letter font, flowers on the white background was one of the designs I’ve seen. The quality really got me, it was a very high quality of silk! I’ve also found out about the different designs, from large to small sizes and even pocket sized ones having the diversity to be worn is endless ways! And you all know how I feel about a multifunctional product (I love it!)
As always I like to save best for the last, even though all the brands Ive mentioned and seen during the course of two days have been truly amazing however in my personal opinion and I’m sure many people who’ve seen the brand are going to agree with me on this one, Hex Bomb was one of the coolest ones! I’m not sure whenever it’s the fact that the brand is cruelty free and vegan, made in England or because their bath bombs are super badass! There is a black bath bomb! A black bath bomb I repeat! I’ve been in a search for one for ages, without spending insane amount of money of course! Looks like I found one! I was kindly gifted few bath bombs in black, green and red as well! My creative side is already thinking of cool posts, videos I can do using these and I’m planning to do an entire review anyway so for me going on and on about these amazing products would be pointless. But the brand was so lovely and their products are well, the bomb!
I can’t even tell you how sad I am that this event isn’t every single week. At London Edge I felt like a home, I didn’t feel like a weirdo for liking alternative fashion, body modifications or metal music. I truly felt like I belonged in the community, and that’s a feeling I didn’t feel in a while, but more about that in my next post. Besides from meeting and seeing brands that I’ve been loving and following since I was in my teen’s I also go to meet in person people who really inspire my and drive my creativity and passion for communication every single day! I spoke to some of them before but really meeting them in person, talking, discussing all of the things regarding fashion, self expression and blogging was incredible. Thanks to all of these ladies, Kimi, Olivia, Viola, Hannah, Connie, Kayla and Nelly I really got the amazing sense of belonging in fashion. Because fashion isn’t only high fashion, alternative side of it is fashion! And I loved it for so long, and it’s truly who I am so meeting people that inspire you and keep you on the track of you’re core of fashion sense. I’m not sure if all you will see this, but thank you! But yeah it was just such a cool experience, and all of them are really lovely and talented and amazing, so if any of these names sound unfamiliar to you please make sure to click that link, you won’t regret it!
Anyway, I am so sorry about this long blog post! (2k words! WHY kinga why?!) I’ve wanted to make sure to give you all the details, yet I still think thatI left some things out, however there was so much going on that I couldn’t not possibly give you all of the information, without making you read this blog post for the entire day!
I hope you enjoyed this post and please let me know if you ever went to London Edge and what was your experience or what brands you like most ^_^
I ALSO VLOGGED THE ENTIRE EXPERIENCE PLEASE GIVE IT A WATCH 🙂