This post was sponsored by Belle Ombre. All opinions and editorial direction my own.
‘Florals for spring… groundbreaking’
Twelve years on, I still think this a truly iconic cinema moment. Ever since I was 15 I’ve turned to The Devil Wears Prada when I’m feeling down; although my career in the fashion world couldn’t be farther away from the events of that film this line never fails to make me laugh every time I watch, and every time I pull out some florals when March rolls around.
I think it’s natural to gravitate towards prints and patterns at this time of year. After endless months of neverending nights and days that feel like night because the sky is so grey, the first glimpse of prolonged sunlight makes me want to jump into the funnest hues and quirkiest patterns at my disposal. Spring is my favourite time of year. Time to celebrate the return of the sun, where the days feel full of fresh promise and literal new life as plants start appearing and baby animals start being born (you can tell I grew up in the countryside when I start rambling about baby lambs, but I really do love spring). It’s a happy time of year, so it’s natural that our wardrobes want to reflect that.
But this year I’d like to present to you a more fresh twist on the spring pattern, courtesy of the new French sustainable brand Belle Ombre. Their premiere collection is a series of comfortable and versatile dresses that transcend trends with a series of bright original prints and bold statement colours. Naturally they’re all ethically created and, even more exciting, each design has pockets!! Belle Ombre was created by Sandhya and Maëlle, who met while working on fashion and accessories in e-commerce. With expertise in engineering, renewable energies, business, consulting and retail between them, these two realised that teaming up over their shared values could have some serious impact. Belle Ombre was the result of this partnering, and their wide range of skills is reflected in the brand’s fun, praticality, versatility and meeting of real needs (pockets. I’m talking about the need for pockets in women’s clothing).
Reasons To Love Belle Ombre:
• MATERIALS: all of their pieces are made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, and the cotton for their black dresses is even weaved and dyed in France. Their inks are also non-toxic and GOTS certified, both for printed fabrics and their black pieces.
• SUPPLY CHAIN: theirs is thoughtful, transparent and aims for low impact. The entire Belle Ombre supply chain is European, minimising the brands carbon footprint, maintaining ethical manufacturing standards and ensuring Belle Ombre‘s control over their supply chain. Each piece is designed in France, prototyped in the UK, printed in Germany and manufactured in Portugal.
• DIRECT TO CONSUMER MODEL: by focusing on selling online, Belle Ombre can eliminate any extra costs being passed on to the consumer, instead they are able to focus on production steps that bring real value, and to invest in creating the most sustainable and conscious product possible.
• THE DESIGNS: while there are multiple different cuts and patterns available, Belle Ombre’s dresses are designed to go beyond seasonal trends. Their simple and sophisticated cuts mean that pieces stay relevant all year round, while constantly remaining full of life and personality. Their cuts are also designed to flatter the body even as it naturally fluctuates through time and life stages, meaning that while our bodies may go through changes through our lives, these dresses can stay with us forever. And did I mention they have pockets?
Belle Ombre are currently taking pre orders on their first collection, with 4 main cuts in a variety of patterns.
– L’Inattendue (the Unexpected) is the shift dress that’s professional in front and party time at the back. It has a deep V neckline at the back which creates a fun surprise when you turn around, and its simple design means that it can easily be dressed up and down whilst still remaining flowing and free.
– L’Indispensable (the must-have) is the ultimate comfy dress, and its straight cut makes it incredibly flexible in all situations. This is my personal favourite, as I love the fresh twist on camouflage patterns that this design uses. I’d pair with a jacket and trainers for a chill summer look.
– l’Audacieuse (the Adventurous) is perfect for those spring and summer occasions like a picnic or garden party if you’re feeling ~fancy~. With a flared skirt, tucked waist and large straps, this dress is fabulously flattering, while still keeping some of that sass with a lower neckline at the back. Ooh la la.
– La Capricieuse (the Fickle) is a dreamily elegant and timeless design. The boat neckline is designed to show off the shoulders, and its gets its name because of how changeable it is, fitting a variety of social occassions. Perfect for those summer weddings as it works both for a formal ceremony and for dancing the night away!
What I love about each of these pieces is how unique they are. I’ve never seen anything quite like them, and when I was scrolling through I could see so many different styles that different friends and family members would love. The cut of one dress, the pattern of another.. Not only are they incredibly versatile in how they can be worn, they’re also versatile in the people who can love them. As I jubilantly and overconfidently stride towards spring time dressing, refusing to wear my coats even if it’s cold because it is March dang it, I’m excited to see brands like these appearing who are with me in my celebratory ways. It’s time to shake off the gloom of winter and have a bit of fun! And while we’re at it we can move away from simple ‘groundbreaking’ florals and get a bit more adventurous with our prints, a lot more bright with our colours and, most importantly, a lot more empowered with our functional POCKETS!