Local Lovin’: Sleekit

SLEEKIT

My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based here in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

I’m really stoked to share this home-grown, award-winning designer with you guys today! Sleekit are a Scottish print apparel brand that don’t just create beautiful textile designs (though there is PLENTY of that going on!) – they tell stories through their pieces too. From luxurious scarves to vibrant sweatshirts, each Sleekit design is hand illustrated in their studio and form part of a narrative.

SLEEKIT

When I seen that Sleekit had recently launched an awesome new collection based on one of my favourite books as a child, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, I knew that I had to give them the Local Lovin’ treatment!

I got chatting with Iain McDonald, Sleekit’s founder and creative director, about storytelling through fashion, his design background, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and much more…

Hi Iain! I’d love to know about how you got started with Sleekit and how the brand was born?
The brand was initially born way back when I graduated from art school and after a handful of work placements while living in London. I really thought it would be more fun to design what I wanted and create the products I wanted. Originally the brand was named ‘Naromode’ but as I grew and changed so did the business and the brand. As I am from a fine art & textile design background I love-creating prints that are exciting and commercial too with my hand painted designs. I transformed the brand name to Sleekit because I love the Scottish word and the sleek connotation behind it, as well as the fact it can mean artfully flattering, sly or cunning, so many things in the world of narrative fashion, illustrative fashion. It’s just a fun word really.

SLEEKITCan you tell me a bit about what inspires your work?
The main theme for me has always been telling a tale, it started of as narrative fashion but it’s so wide. I like to tell a story, be it a jungle subject, or like our new SLEEKIT SS18 jumper/sweats it was inspired by the story The Tiger Who Came to Tea; keeping that narrative theme that I love. I am also really into the tropical jungle theme that is everywhere at the moment, it’s fun and I enjoy illustrating/hand painting my own versions of all the rainforest animals, I designed some jungle themed prints for TOPSHOP last year and I know this story/theme isn’t going away anytime soon! Sleekit Store has flamingos, frogs, tigers and tropical jungle plants.

SLEEKIT

What was the very first Sleekit piece you created and sold? Is it still available?
The first piece was a little story of a moth, bee and fly. I created a mini silk scarf collection, cut them up and they all told the story of these insects. Whenever a customer bought them they had a different piece of the story. I believe these are still kept and treasured as I still see posts shared on social media with my customers wearing them. Maybe I will re-visit these designs sometime soon and bring them back to life…

During a long day of setting the design world on fire, what’s your snack of choice?
Just now, in-between trying to be healthy and hungry, any chocolate I can get my hands on, like Terry’s Chocolate Orange and any biscuits I can find while I do my tax return!

SLEEKIT

What’s been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment is being selected for Fashion Foundry 2016/2017 and meeting the Global director for TOPSHOP and TOPMAN. It was a very exciting time of support, encouragement and learning more about my business and what I wanted it to look like over the next few years. The guys and gals that run Fashion Foundry are amazing! They do so much for the creative industry in Scotland. At the end of the programme the organised a photo-shoot with I’ll Be Your Mirror and that was incredible, we ended up with some cool look-book imagery. Also to add to this, I won an award with Scotland Re: Designed for my silk scarves (which I will be doing more of very soon!).

I’m all about sharing the love – tell me about a designer that you can’t get enough of right now?
I absolutely love designer Ryan Cowie, he is so talented and I just know he is going to do great things. He is based in Scotland and just has a great eye and his latest collection is amaze! As is his Instagram account (@Ryanncowie).

SLEEKIT

Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for?
I am working on a lot of designs at the moment which means I can drop products on my website. In the coming months I am preparing to photo-shoot the latest SS18 ‘When The Tiger Came to Tea’ sweats and jumpers, and other jungle print products such as crop-tops and a range of tees, which will be really fun!! I am also working with an independent graphic designer who will be designing my first ever SLEEKIT logo. Keep an eye on our instagram account for more behind the scenes.

To keep up to date with all things Sleekit, be sure to hop over to their Instagram account (@sleekitstore) and hit that follow button!

Toot toot! And if you fancy treating yourself to something lovely from Sleekit, use the code LYNSAYLOVES20 to get 20% off of your order! 

Thank you so much to Iain for sharing his story – I can’t wait to see what what’s next for Sleekit in 2018. 

 

 

 

All images used in this post with kind permission from Iain McDonald/ Sleekit 

Wrapped up for Autumn in a Leopard Print Coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

leopard print coat

Outfit Details

Leopard Print Coat | c/o Gap

Sunglasses | Ban.do

Orange Dress | Debenhams c/o St Enoch

Nails | Swoon

Hair | BLOW Shawlands

Sneakers| VANS

Ahhh. Does it get any better than a leopard print coat? Call me easy pleased, but I’ve had a spotted faux fur coat in my regular rotation for… how long? Ahem, let’s just say Richie Edwards and Nicky Wire have a LOT to answer for. So, I take great delight when I get to cosy up in my favourite print at the start of Autumn and even more when a new furry friend comes to join me!

I first spied this Gap leopard print coat during their AW17 press showcase last month and it was pretty much love at first sight. The oversized, vintage-influenced cut (those sleeves!) make it a little less structured than some of my other coats, but means it’s also super easy to throw on.

I should also mention that it feels just like a teddy bear – so soft and snuggly!

leopard print coat

Over the weekend, I wore my new coat while we were out and about on some of the chilliest days we’ve had in ages. We grabbed lunch at Bab’s (Greek fries = LIFE, dontcha know), did a little shopping (a ouija board-themed cake stand for all of my Halloween hostessing needs…) and went to see Mother! at the cinema (have you seen it?).

Leopard print coats get a bit of a bad rep and tend to be a love-it-or-hate it character in the fashion world. They tread a very fine line between rock n’ roll and ‘fabulous old lady’ – plus a lot of people see them as tacky (IMAGINE!). That may be the case but I fully intend to keep cosy in leopard print until I’m a fabulous rock n’ roll old lady; living my best tacky life!

Dressing for Disneyland

At the start of this month, Gary and I spent a few days at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. We’ve visited Disney parks in Florida and Paris in the past, but this was our first trip to the one that started it all and we couldn’t be more excited!

As some of you will probably remember, I love to put together a Disney-inspired look for our theme park adventures, and dressing for Disneyland was no exception.

Outfit Details:

Bobble beret & Pinafore Dress | Lazy Oaf x Disney

Striped tee | Primark

Swinton Sunglasses | c/o IOLLA

Shoes | Vans

Tights | Next

Necklace | c/o Truffle Shuffle 

I fell head over heels for the Disney x Lazy Oaf collection at the end of last year and I’d been keeping this pinafore dress unworn especially for this occasion (I now have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future!).

This red, white and black ensemble is probably (and accidentally!) the most monochrome outfit I’ve worn in ages – but it was fun to try something outside of my comfort zone! It also helped make sure my accessories stood out (like this cute castle necklace!).

Twelve hours after walking through the park gates, this outfit was still going strong. As I’ve mentioned before, I think the key to picking out something to wear at Disney is making sure you’re still comfortable. We had an amazing visit and I’ll be sharing more details of the parks themselves, along with a few handy hints and tips very soon!

Have you ever found yourself dressing for Disneyland? What would it take to push you out of your fashion comfort zone? Would it be monochrome too, or something different?

 

 

 

Final photo from my Instagram