A sneaky peak at Next’s Spring/Summer 2012 children’s collections.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Next’s Mommy bloggers day held at Next HQ in Leicester this week.  This was definitely a first for me, a fashion event where I was invited to bring Baba along. Of course, with Baba being the style icon in the making (does Fireman Sam ever go out of fashion…), we were happy to accept. Throw in the offer of a slap-up lunch, goodie bags, cupcakes and the chance to browse the rails of the Spring/Summer children’s collections, and wild horses couldn’t have kept us away.

Baba was wearing an outfit that was made up completely from Next’s current range. Being a bit of a 1970s fashion fan, a Christmas jumper was a must. Teamed with jeans and Next desert boots, he looked cute, warm and adorably festive.

red fairisle pattern crew neck jumper £15 

straight leg jeans £8 click to visit Next

At Next HQ we visited the childrenswear pop-up shop which was just filled with beautiful items that mommy’s will be drooling over come the Spring. What was interesting was that the Next staff taking part in the day were truly interested in the opinions of the mommy bloggers who were there. They wanted to know about opinions on colours, fastenings, different styles and fabrics. And I personally thought that the majority of the collections were spot-on. For older girls there were bold colour block tops. leggings, and pretty party dresses, whilst for younger misses there was a sparkling collection that neatly avoided pinks by choosing a nautical theme.

 

And style conscious little boys were also totally catered for. Chunky knits perfect for Spring, nautical stripes, and cool checks were there for older boys, whilst I just loved the traditional style dungarees shorts for baby boys.

There were also some fabulous outfits for teeny tiny babes that could almost (but not quite) tempt me into Baba Number 2. Here are a few more sneak peaks.

I had an amazing day and Baba was so excited about everything, from the toys to play with, his new rucksack (another Next gift), the fabulous lunch at Chef Patron…even the coach trip to the restaurant.

I would like to say thanks to the Next Bloggers network for hosting such a memorable day.

Zatchels – Made in Britain with Love

Flag of the United Kingdom, Union Flag.

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a little girl, I had a lovely brown leather satchel to take to school, didn’t everyone? Little did I realise that many years later I would be coveting a leather satchel all over again – this  time in a beautiful floral print, made by the fabulous British brand ‘Zatchels’.

From £104

Zatchels launched 3 months ago in Leicester. The company sells beautiful leather satchels that are made to order. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns, from the classic brown that would make a perfect gift for a husband or boyfriend, to the really pretty, girlie patterns and colours like the lovely polka dot range that have a real 1950s feel to them.

From £91

The Zatchels are all completely made in Britain, and have the small Union Jack label to prove this. Each Zatchel is numbered and comes with a certificate of Authenticity,  making it a beautiful gift for a loved one. Each  Zatchel also comes in a protective drawstring back, and is finished to a beautiful standard. I admit that I am totally in love with them.

I was lucky enough to meet Janet Clarke from Zatchels at the CiCi press day and to get an opportunity to find out a little bit about Zatchels, as well as getting an up close look at the wonderful satchels. Janet told me that the company had been looking for a product that could offer some security for their skilled workforce, and spotted a gap in the market in terms of  traditional satchels that were becoming a big trend. Zatchels offered a beautifully traditional product, but transformed it into something quirky, colourful, trendy and fun. Now they are becoming a real celebrity favourite, with the Made in Chelsea girls being spotted out and about with theirs, whilst Jessie J is the proud owner of the Union Jack Zatchel.

Cheska from Made in Chelsea with her Zatchel

Gabriella-Ellis-and-Millie-Mackintosh-pictured-with-Janet-Clarke-of-Zatchels-choosing-a-gift-from-their-satchel-range

What I love about Zatchels are their Versatility. The cross body strap makes them so practical, whilst the bag can come with or without the top handle. They make fabulous changing bags for moms because they are so roomy, whilst the larger varieties will easily hold a laptop. They look great with casual outfits, but the more traditional colours can also look businesslike. The small sizes are wonderful for fashion-forward little girls, but also make cute handbags for slightly older ladies. I also love the barrel handbag shape.

Zatchels are currently available in Fenwicks and some House of Fraser stores. You can also find them online at http://www.zatchels.com. Prices start from £40 for the barrel bags.