Child’s play

With this year’s Secret Garden Party themed ‘Childish Things’, culture as a whole seems to have adopted a fondly regressive outlook this summer, from the V&A’s temporary display The Alice Look—celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s book—to Carsten Höller’s playful Decision exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, which you exit via giant corkscrew slides.

Fashion is no exception, with a wealth of retrospective elements to draw upon at the moment, from bold statements to subtle nods. Some of the most striking examples are found in the latest arm candy, where designers have really let their imaginations loose. Olympia Le Tan’s reworking of classic Disney films into quirky clutches, top of any hipster fashionista’s wish list, add personality to an outfit alongside providing you with the continual comforting presence of your favourite old cartoon—as seen in our favourite the Dumbo clutch, below.


Olympia Le Tan’s Dumbo embroidered cotton-canvas clutch, £1180

Kate Spade’s Cat’s Meow Mouse Bag might not be scaring any elephants any time soon (not even animated ones) but is sure to elicit squeaks of delight if paraded round on your arm. Its crosshatched leather with suede accents conveys just the right amount of rodenty likeness, and the attention to detail—such as the light pink interior or attached mini leather cheese—is charming.

Mouse bag

Kate Spade Cat’s Meow Mouse Bag, £250

If you want to work the trend on a slightly smaller scale there’s also the jewellery route: many candy-coloured handmade pieces can be found from designers on Etsy without breaking the bank. Not only candy-coloured, but sweet-shaped too, these tempting creations from Etsy shop RaspberryWhip are increased sugar cravings you can give in to guilt-free!


RaspberryWhip Strawberry Ice Cream necklace and Sunshine Orange Tart necklace, £14.99 each

If you’re looking to adopt the theme in a professional rather than play environment, you can also make more subtle gestures towards it. Emilio Pucci always understands the impact of a hit of colour, and has a range of irresistible limited edition ‘Cities of the World’ silk scarves in eye-poppingly saturated purples, yellows and pinks on the shelves. Our favourites are the Paris and Shanghai below, but many other global destinations have also been given a shot of summer gaiety, including our own London.


Emilio Pucci Paris and Shanghai silk scarves, £385 each

Fashion Focus