Style | The Reconnoisseur

Pretty, practical clothing for parent and child

Glamorous family clothing from a designer who turned her back on fashion stardom

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Pretty, practical clothing for parent and child

June 13 2011
Jenny Dalton

I was pleased to find Christa Davis, one of the feted young British designers of the late 1990s and early 2000s, at the first Bubble kids’ trade fair in London a few years ago. She was selling her then new children’s-wear label, Little Davis, all flamboyant pirate trousers for boys, recycled cashmere jumpers strewn with knitted flowers, and whimsical butterfly wings made of chiffon and silk. We chatted about our boys, their love of colour, pattern and pink (most children do at some stage!), and the dreadful prejudices that still abound in dressing boys in anything other than sportswear or as preppy mini-mes.

I fell in love with Christa’s assured take on dressing as well as her new-found family ethics – she turned her back on fashion stardom to start a family and, some time afterwards, launched new low-key labels for women and children that concentrate on recycling silks and cashmere into vintage-style clothing with verve which she now sells from her Hackney studio and in clients’ own homes.

Now, whenever I’m organising a fashion shoot, I can’t resist including some of her work, and I’ve bought plenty of it, too – her Liberty print headbands (for children and women), knitted hair accessories, one of those reconditioned cashmere jumpers for boys with rainbow sleeves, a ridiculously affordable reconditioned cashmere tank for myself. My next purchase? A pair of her silky culottes (second picture £48), featuring that unique Christa streak of bohemian glamour that’s practical parenting wear too.

First picture shows Flami cardigan, £90.