As an editor at Who What Wear, I typically spend a lot of time looking at new-in products, and so every month, I update this story with the pieces that have caught my eye or that I have saved to my wish list. This year life has changed in a way none of us could have possibly imagined, with new financial strains placed on many that make the idea of updating this straight-forward shopping gallery filled with shoes, dresses and designer handbags feel jarring.
I certainly don't want anyone to feel like they have to buy more right now in a time of such heightened worry, but at the same time, after working in the fashion industry for nine years, I also want to support the brands that I really love and treasure. Fashion critic Vanessa Friedman's piece on shopping online in a pandemic has been widely shared this week, and there is one section, in particular, that has really stuck with me: "Shopping now is as much a moral as a consumer question. Where you spend your money matters. Before you buy, think: What is this about? It could be about helping save a generation of small designers and independent businesses."
So for the time being, instead of a straight-forward new-in edit, I will update this story with pieces from the brands I have loved and supported, either over the past year or since I was an intern. As several warehouses and stores have shuttered, the fashion industry faces huge challenges and strains that pose an inevitable threat to businesses, reflected in the number of flash sales launching every single day. Many of us won't be shopping in the same way this year, but as Friedman notes, even a like on Instagram or a message of support can provide a boost for these brands.
So whether you're looking to buy, browse or discover something new, keep scrolling for the fashion brands I always champion and want to stand behind now more than ever. They range from designer brands to little-known independent labels to the high-street stores I personally shop at the most.
Faithfull the Brand creates clothes for adventures, but that doesn't mean you can't wear them at home too—the dresses and midi skirts all use vibrant colours and prints that will give you that holiday feeling.
It isn't just small, independent brands that are being impacted in this time, as Oxford Street and high streets up and down the country have temporarily closed. I remember when & Other Stories first opened, and my colleagues and I had a preview and said, "Oh, this is going to be good." Seven years later, and it remains my favourite high-street store.
Rhode is another 'destination' label, with lightweight dresses and kaftans designed with the beach in mind. The Ella mini was one of the most popular dresses of 2019, and continues to be a hero for the brand.
In June 2019, within seconds of the model walking through lavender fields in Provence during the Jacquemus show in this neon pink blazer, images of the moment exploded across the world. To me, this is the definition of a happy jacket.
Affordable clothing brand Kitri was launched in 2017 by South Korea–born ballerina turned fashion expert Haeni Kim. The designs are often simple and classic, but the use of colour, print and silhouette make them feel truly special. Kim is also one of the kindest and most graceful people I've met in my time in this industry, deserving of every success.
Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, founders of London-based label Rixo, are two of the warmest and most generous women you could ever hope to meet, and they know how to create dresses that make you feel good. This month, they are also donating 10% of profits from rixo.co.uk to Age UK.
I always look forward to Shrimps on the London Fashion Week schedule because it is filled with so much joy. Hannah Weiland launched the label in 2013 and creates princess-like dresses and playful accessories that you can't help but smile at.
I love beautiful dresses, and one of the most special items I've ever bought was a Zimmermann floral midi dress (bought with a voucher, a discount, birthday money, and a chunk of my savings). I'm sure that will be the only thing I'll ever be able to buy from Zimmermann, but the beautiful Instagram images and dresses always make for happy scrolling for me.
I have a horoscope pendant necklace from Misho, and I get a compliment on it every single day that I wear it. All of the pieces look like vintage treasures to me, as founder Suhani Parekh is inspired by architecture and sculpture.
I will always remember the first time I got a ticket to Preen by Thornton Bregazzi at London Fashion Week, and ever since, it's been a highlight for me. I love the ethereal prints and the London edge that always comes through with unexpected styling.
Alighieri is a brand that the fashion industry has truly fallen for, as the gold pendants and pearl jewellery feel truly special. In this period, they are asking friends of the brand to write a letter and poem about something that is giving them light—and they are making me smile every time I see them posted on Instagram.
This is another London Fashion Week brand that I always look forward to seeing what it does next. Founded in 2012 by Natalia Alaverdian, the brand creates classic dresses and suiting with a touch of the unexpected.
Art Dealer is a new, small brand that creates beautiful dresses inspired by vintage designs. I wore one of the silk wrap dresses to my 30th birthday. It is donating 50% of all profits to the Italian First Aid.