New label love: Meet RIXO London.
In Gerrards, we are constantly on the lookout for new labels and interesting finds. It not only keeps the shop fresh and vibrant but it helps us to feel passionate and inspired. I’m sure if you have visited the shop you will have sensed how energized we are as we unpack something new that we just KNOW our customers are going to love as much as we do. If only we had an unlimited budget….. but that’s a whole other story best relayed by Paul (ask him about having ‘too many lettuces in the fridge’ next time you come in!)
Many of our finds are serendipitous, but at the beginning of February this year, I decided I needed to be more methodical. I wrote a list of a few elements I was on the lookout for to bring something different to the store. Top of the list?
“A beautiful dress brand, suitable for weddings and events but not too ‘wedding and event’, special but not wildly expensive….”
It’s something we had been seeking for a long time, but was strangely hard to find. Everything was either too formal (think Royal family or Mother of the Bride), too TOWIE (no offence to those of you who love reality shows; it’s just not my bag), too young (we don’t want to look frumpy but we also don’t want to worry about complex underwear contraptions) or absolutely stunning but MEGA expensive, which doesn’t sit right with me. We needed to find something that would fit in with the ethos of our shop; we have to love everything we buy. My approach is not very scientific, but when I am buying, I have to have a ‘feeling’ in my heart about something and, so far, nothing felt quite right.
Jayne and I modelling our first Rixo delivery: Love at first sight!
Now for my lucky moment, all due to the power of social media. On one of my obsessively regular Instagram checks, up popped RIXO London. Having seen their beautiful prints espoused by ‘Wardrobe Mistress’ in the Sunday Times Style, in Grazia, and in a couple of my favourite and most respected boutiques, I instantly followed them, and fell in love as I scrawled through their feed. Just 25 minutes later the phone rang. It was the beautiful Orlagh, one half of the duo behind the brand, and that was the start of our RIXO story….
By the end of the week, we unpacked our first delivery, and by the end of that weekend it had completely sold out! As I said, I just had ‘that feeling’ about it, and as I learnt more about the brand and experience the girls’ infectious enthusiasm, I knew we had found exactly what we were looking for.
The RIXO Camellia dress has to be seen up close to appreciate the beautiful print, handpainted by Orlagh and Henrietta.
Created by best friends and London College of Fashion alumni, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, RIXO London was officially born in September 2015. The fledgling designers left the security of their buying careers at ASOS and ventured into business together to create a contemporary womenswear label offering distinctive, vintage-inspired collections for the modern woman.
RIXO creates beautiful garments that are simultaneously of the moment, whilst surpassing trends. Each beautifully made piece is imbued with the timeless feel of a wardrobe classic to be cherished, loved and worn forever.
Nothing is mass-produced; every print is hand-painted by Orlagh and Henrietta, and they collaborate with highly skilled English factories throughout the whole design process. With my artistic family and passion for nurturing the creative industries and supporting young designers, you will see why I have fallen hard for RIXO.
RIXO - Handpainted with love by Orlagh and Henrietta.
In July, we met one half of the talented duo, Orlagh, at the ‘purple house’, their studio-come-showroom, where we were treated to a unique insight into the design process, including seeing the original sketches and watercolour designs from the SS16 colllection and a sneak peek into AW16, which surpassed all our expectations.
A few snapshots of our visit to the RIXO showroom. Clockwise L-R: Orlagh outside the showroom; AW16 Sample rail; RIXO print above the door; beautiful embroidery samples; the girls' original handpainted designs.
I have never come away from a buying appointment with such a buzz, which is why I am incredibly excited to announce that you will have a chance to meet the RIXO girls themselves, at our star dusted ‘Meet the Designers’ event on Thursday November 24th. You will gain an insight into their design process, find out what inspires them and even get a sneak peek into next season. Alongside RIXO, you will be able to chat to Cabbage White England’s Kelly, meet Krystyna from Parkminster Products, learn easy hair and make-up ideas for Christmas from our favourite expert Jo Irving of LoveHair, and create some quirky Christmas cocktails with a twist with Rebecca from The Vine King. More details to follow, so SAVE THE DATE for what is going to be a fantastic and inspiring evening.