Love Local: Fashion
As part of our Love Local campaign - celebrating all the brilliant businesses right here on our doorstep - Velvet is inviting industry experts to spotlight their favourite indies. First up, contributing fashion editor Rohiny Belani takes us on a virtual tour of her best-loved boutiques
About the shop: As a leading indie and recently voted in the top 50 boutiques in the UK by The Telegraph’s Stella Magazine, it is no surprise that, even on a Monday, people are walking away with bags full from Cuckoo Clothing, tucked away on St Mary’s Passage in Cambridge.
Stand-out items: Cuckoo stocks brands designed and made in the UK, which is a rare find. Labels to look out for are Stella Forest, Primrose Park, Stoned & Waisted, SibbinLinnebjerg and many more.
Stella Forest broderie dress, £259.95, Cuckoo clothing, St Mary’s Passage, Cambridge. Powder Basket Bag, £49, Lilac Rose, Bridge Street, Cambridge. Tohum Design mega puka shell necklace in burgundy, £428, tohumdesign.com/@tohumdesign
About the shop: Lilac Rose holds a special place in my heart: from the minute you walk into the store, on Cambridge’s Bridge Street, you feel like Alice in Wonderland. There are treasures in every corner to explore, from quirky and cute accessories, clothing and bags to books and more.
Stand-out items: The owners carefully curate pieces from brands they really believe in. Two such brands that caught my attention are Closet London and Sugarhill Brighton: Closet London’s clothing is designed and made in the UK and makes a perfect silhouette for a night out or day at the races, whereas Sugarhill Brighton, as the name suggests, has its design studio in Brighton, and is dedicated to making flattering dresses for every season and far beyond.
Closet London tunic dress, £62, and red necklace, £18, Lilac Rose, Bridge Street, Cambridge
Cambridge Satchel Company
About the shop: Starting life on the founder’s kitchen table in 2008, Cambridge Satchel Company’s bags have since become wardrobe staples for celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, and add oomph to any outfit. The recently launched Doctors bag was an instant hit, not only for me, but for the company too: it sold out within minutes and has been featured by Vogue as the new ‘It’ bag.
Stand-out items: The new Doctors and Emily bags have been released in the most lush colours. To add to their beauty, you can personalize your bag in store for a charge, capped at eight letters; if you’re a Cambridge enthusiast, like me, you can have the brand’s signature bicycle embossed on any bag for free.
Golden Yellow calf grain Doctors bag, £395, Cambridge Satchel Company, St Mary’s Passage, Cambridge
About the shop: If you are local to Cambridge and have stopped to have a gelato or pizza at the famous Aromi on Peas Hill, there’s little chance you would have missed this shop, which sits right next door. Established in 2001, ARK sources its items from all over the world. You will find necklaces from Italy, earrings made in the UK, organic cotton totes from India and a plethora of other knick-knacks and accessories that would make a perfect keepsake or souvenir from a visit to Cambridge.
Stand-out items: The shop has so many unique finds that it would be difficult to pick out a favourite. However, items to catch my eye include a tote made from organic cotton in India, roomy enough to take to the beach or on an EasyJet flight; brass and acrylic earrings, stylish and yet light as a feather to wear; and a cute fish necklace, providing much-needed summer vibes.
Fish necklace, £55, ARK, Peas Hill, Cambridge
About the shop: Celebrating 30 years in the business is no mean feat for an independent boutique. Situated in a 16th century building in the heart of historic Bury St Edmunds, Javelin is a multi-award-winning store with a 3,500 sq ft retail space offering a unique selection of brands, spanning womenswear, menswear, shoes, accessories and jewellery.
Stand-out items: Air & Grace glitter trainers, adding spirit-lifting sparkle to any outfit; a Rails Angela jumpsuit, for an easy and casual look; and the Charli Careena maxi dress, for those beautiful long summer evenings.
Rails Angela jumpsuit, £180, and Air & Grace Cru Star glitter trainers, £179, Javelin, Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds
About the shop: Noa Noa has its roots in the Danish design tradition. Situated in a prime spot in Cambridge, opposite King’s College, feminine silhouettes rule in this store, which is a great place to stock up on all things essential for your wardrobe, such as denim, cardigans, floral dresses, bags and more. They even have a special sustainable clothing collection.
Stand-out items: For me, the beauty of spring is in its blossoming flowers - and that beauty is exactly what I found when I visited Noa Noa. They have new-season dresses in pretty purple hues, colour block cardigans in bright-and-breezy tones and, for those rare summery days, a collection of cool cotton tops and linen trousers.
Sheer printed cotton voile shirt, £55, basic linen natural stone trousers, £89, and Kiss suede bag, £69, Noa Noa, King’s Parade, Cambridge
The pictures on these pages were shot on location at - and are reproduced by kind permission of - Ickworth Hotel in Horringer, just outside Bury St Edmunds.
“Set in 1,800 acres of beautiful National Trust parkland, the hotel provided the team with a beautiful local location for this Love Local-themed shoot,” explains Rohiny. “We were lucky to be able to explore four different rooms and give you a glimpse of each.
“We started with the Lady Elizabeth room, where you wake up facing the lovely gardens. This room will give you all the tranquility you need after a long walk in the estate, with the bathroom big enough to fit a cavalry!
“The next room we had the pleasure of shooting in was the Francesca room, more modern in its décor. The Grand Tour room, as the name suggests, is, by contrast, really ornate, from the carved mirrors and soft velvet-upholstered sofas to the thoughtfully selected art on the walls. Again, you can enjoy the views of the gardens without leaving your room.
“Lastly, we took some lovely photos in the Louis room, a spacious yet cosy setting with alcove seating in the windows, to enjoy morning tea overlooking the gardens and a glimpse of the famous National Trust rotunda.”
Model and stylist: Rohiny Belani - follow @asweetrohmance on Instagram
Photographer: Elodie Giuge - see photographybyeg.com and follow @misselodiephotography on Instagram
Hair and make-up: Elly Jayne - see ellyjaynemakeup.co.uk and follow @ellyjaynemakeup on Instagram