Sunday, 20 January 2008

The look of the season: Autumn/winter style for children

Black is here for kids (above). Clothes by Willow and Finn: Kounia Bella

Denim and attitude: Sinc Kids

I don't know about you dear reader, but my efforts to dress my children seem to seesaw. When I had my first child I delighted in dressing her with care and careful planning in a range of beautiful little dresses and matching pieces. Then two things happened: she started demanding to dress herself in a garish array of pink polyesters and I had a second child - a little boy who, despite his mama's best efforts, seemed determined to sport food stains as an accessory, no matter how often I changed him.
Still, sometimes when I have the time, energy and motivation, I love to try and get them into the wonderful gear I want them to wear.

So for a bit of inspiration, here's the lowdown on childrenswear this autumn/winter:

While fashion for little ones has tended recently to follow adult trends, there have remained no go zones – and using black has been one of them.

But all that changes this season, with black becoming one of winter’s staple colours for kids. And let’s face it, apart from looking chic, it has many practical appeals – just think of how many toddler marks it will hide.

“In the pre-school age there is a lot of grunge (inspired fashion) with black coming in strongly,’’ says Helen from Hampton’s Kounia Bella.

“Every designer has a black story this season and the pieces are beautiful and can be matched nicely with a bright colour,’’ she says.

Helen says the trick with black is to work it with bright matching colours, like the red, charcoals and whites which will also be strong over winter.

Little by Little childrenswear in Black Rock, will also be stocking some great black pieces for autumn/winter. Store owner Helen says parents shouldn’t be apprenhensive about dark colours on kids.

“Black is great for basics - for instance the Metalicus basics in black sell out quicker than any other colour – or as a statement piece,’’ she says.

Helen says also expect to see a lot of great coats around this season, from the traditional duffle-coat from label Big to elegant Parisian inspired embroidered coats from Trelise Cooper.

“There are going to be lots of great prints around for boys…like spiderwebs, masks, cobras, motorbikes, dinosaurs, and of course stripes.

Hoodies are also back in a major way. Like the girls, the layered look is so big for boys. Sleeveless vests, long sleeve tees, cargo pants, beanies and scarves,’’ she said.

For girls, Helen says expect to see beautiful knits in the softest of wools. “Think tunic and smock tops in the most delicate designs. The same elegance will be seen in velours, lurex, cotton and silk. Fred Bare continue with their Parisian look with white, red and navy in culottes, knicker-bockers, mini skirts, striped tops and pintucked dresses.

“This winter will also see a terrific range of beanies, hats and scarfs,'' she says.

For rocker boy chic, head to Sinc Kids in Beaumaris, where boys will be dressed in bold geometric prints with heavy rock influences and lots of knits, jerseys and cardigans.

“These can be teamed with stretch stove pipe jeans in raw indigo and ramone black,’’ says Sarah from Sinc Kids.

“Slim jeans are in and just to complete the rock look, our latest boy accessory will be the striped knitted scarf,’’ she says.

Sinc Kids is introducing a new range this autumn – MUNSTER – inspired by rocker Joey Ramone.

In stock for girls will be bold prints with fabrics that shine and sparkle. For a more muted classic look, you’ll also find old English influences including tweeds and black velvet.

Layered look (above) for girls: Sinc Kids
Rocker attitude (above) and the new MUNSTER range: Sinc Kids
Bold prints for boys (above): Sinc Kids

What the kids will be wearing:

Dresses in fashion forward shapes, including waist bands, with leggings or fitted denim jeans underneath;

Coats in a range of styles;

Rocker chic with fitted denim and tops with attitude;

Lots of accessories including striped scarves, knits and great hats;

Try adding a little black to the mix – with some basics or a signature piece on wonderful textured wool or velvet;

Be inspired by Paris with white, charcoal and red;

Add some attitude with a bold print, especially for boys.

For babies, matching items are still very popular, with lots of floral patterns (both vintage and modern) and layers, including socks, bodysuits and puffer jackets.

Hoodies are huge for boys for autumn (above): Little by Little

Georgeous pintuck dresses for girls (above): Little by Little

Little by Little:

18 Bluff Road, Black Rock. Phone: (03) 9589 0977

Sinc Kids: 36 East Concourse, Beaumaris. Phone: (03) 9589 0047.

Kounia Bella:

406a Hampton Street, Hampton. Phone: (03) 9533 1200.

***Little by Little currently has 50 per cent off all summer stock. ***