Getting to know….Belle & Bunty
One of the best things about writing my blog, is the people I may never normally have met. The funny thing about Alice & Hannah of Belle & Bunty, was that I was taught on a course at the London College of Fashion about five years ago by their third partner, Toby. After starting my blog, I remember reading about Belle & Bunty on Twitter, I can’t remember where exactly, and tweeted them asking if they were the same brand Toby had talked about and they were (well, I should’ve known then there’s only one Belle & Bunty!) and so our friendship began. These ladies are achingly stylish, beautiful, genuine, the girls you always wanted to know at school….and now I do! And now that I know them, I thought it’d be nice for you to get to know them too and what better way, than an interview….
How and where did you both meet?
We met at The London College of Fashion where we were both studying Womenswear Design and Surface Textiles. We both got on and liked each others style of work and felt that they would work combined together.
Have you both always wanted to work as fashion designers?
A – I went down the academic route in my studies and used to do creative things in my spare time. This changed after A-Levels as I then went to the London College of Fashion!
H – I always knew I wanted to do something creative as I have always been arty but it was only when I was at Art College studying Art & Design that I discovered my love of fashion!
Why did you decide to call yourselves Belle & Bunty?
H – We deliberated over a brand name for a long time and eventually choose Belle & Bunty which comes from our childhood nicknames. Alice was Lulu Belle and I was called Bunty. We felt Belle & Bunty sounded quintessentially British, it’s memorable and also gives a nod towards our brand style which is feminine, chic and tongue in cheek.
What are your current favourite pieces from your collections?
A: I love the black petal at the moment – It feels so elegant and sophisticated to wear.
H: The emerald green Willow Dress is a favourite of mine. People really fall in love with the vivid colour and the fit is so flattering too. Its also a dream to wear as you feel like you’re gliding around rather than walking!
Where do you find your inspiration?
We are both magpies and are constantly collecting bits and pieces that we find interesting or inspiring. It could be a tear from a magazine, a film, a piece of music to seeing something worn in the street. Recently social media provides a great source of inspiration right at your finger tips- we’re Instagram addicts !
What is your one piece of style advise you could give someone?
A: Have fun with clothes. Dress for yourself and don’t be afraid to experiment.
H: Find a style that suits you and stick to it! Don’t follow trends too closely as you’ll end up looking like you’re trying too hard and lose your own identity! Pick and choose what you like from trends carefully and add in a few seasonal pieces to your existing wardrobe.
Where do you like to shop for your own clothes?
In recent years, we’d much rather buy one more expensive piece that we love rather than lots of smaller things. That way you know you’ll keep and cherish it for years to come. We like to mix designer bags and shoes with Belle & Bunty dresses and shirts. ASOS always have good reasonably priced pieces and we love the H&M Trend range too. We both wear a lot of vintage pieces too so our wardrobes are pretty varied!
What are your roles within your company?
H: We are both equally involved in all things creative and I oversee all PR and marketing, including all our social media and website.
A: Along with the creative side, I head up the Production team, Sales and Finance.
Where do you see yourselves in five years time?
We’d like to increase our retail presence and are expanding our Eveningwear side of the business too.
Are you a bag or a shoe girl?
A: Bag Bag Bag Lady all the way…..with a few pairs of lovely shoes thrown in for good measure.
H: I’ve always been a shoe gal! I have a pretty big collection from ASOS to Louboutin but I wear them all and love them! There is something about a great pair of shoes that gets me every time! I like to invest in a few good bags that I love and will go with everything in my wardrobe rather than changing my bag to fit that days look.
Do you like to collect anything?
A: I collect photographs. I have boxes and boxes of them. And obviously bags ! Oh, and gold jewellery.
H: Apart from shoes, I have a collection of vintage real butterflies pictures and I suppose I subconciously collect 70s style dresses too!
Do you have any favourite fashion films?
H : They are not specifically fashion films but anything with Audrey Hepburn like Funny Face i. I also love Marlene Deitrich – the Blue Angel is a favourite. I have to admit I love a bit of Grease too!
A : I love films like White Mischief, Some Like it Hot, Cabaret …. not specifically fashion films but with great style.
Thank you Alice & Hannah, for taking part in this interview – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!
To get an insight into the curiously creative minds of Alice & Hannah, visit their regularly updated blog here – its the perfect way to enjoy a cup of tea and get some original stylish inspiration. And visit their website and online shop here to see their beautiful clothes for yourself.