Karmic Love: Slow Fashion, Handmade in London
Drum roll… It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of our first Karmic Love collection. I'd like to introduce you to each of the individual pieces shown here, and tell you about the accessories I have paired with our one-of-a-kind items of clothing.
In terms of the styling, I have tried to use vintage and preloved pieces that are already available from ShopCurious, plus some additional items of jewellery that fit in with the brand ethos, along with a few pairs of shoes from my personal collection.
If you’re curious about the story behind the name for our in-house label, please read my previous blog post. I wanted to keep the garment names relevant to Karmic Love as well - so, naturally, these reflect the spiritual and heavenly.
Introducing Nirvana and Mystique
The Nirvana kimono gown, above left, is made from recycled sari silk, with a contrasting velvet trim. This is truly a one-off piece and will certainly set its wearer apart from the crowd. The fabric is very delicate and has been professionally repaired in a few places, adding to the unique charm of the garment. The preloved Mykita x Maison Martin Margiela shades complement this colourful gown perfectly. The goldfish necklace, vintage Zandra Rhodes trousers and Miu Miu shoes are my own (btw some of my pieces are available for professional hire, upon request).
On the right, the violet Mystique kaftan is also made from recycled sari silk, and trimmed with velvet around the neckline. I’ve teamed it up with some vintage Givenchy sunglasses, and 1980s Oscar de la Renta earrings, shown here as a backdrop.
I love the vibrant shade of this orange Nirvana gown, but then I’m a sucker for all things curiously colourful. The vintage Indian sari silk is trimmed with ikat, and there’s a lovely long belt to match. The preloved Buddha necklace has a swishy silk tassel, and the Chinoiserie embroidered vintage silk bag also features a Buddha figure on one side. If, like me you are a shoeaholic, check out the rare crocheted and embroidered Terry de Havilland wedge sandals, which are also available for purchase.
I would like to be transparent about the textiles used in the garment on the right, and their origin. Polyester would never be my first fabric choice, but this is an end-of-line fabric, from a small supplier. One of the few redeeming features of 100% polyester is that it is recyclable. This Mystique kaftan comes in a gorgeous shade of lilac and I am a fan of the swirling liquid-like print. It is a perfect match for the vintage Ambrosia lilac pendant necklace and earrings, and the original 1970s Oliver Goldsmith sunnies. The stunning Prada Fairy shoes are not for sale, although you are welcome to make me an offer:-)
Introducing Lotus and Arcadia
Another Nirvana gown, this time in the most striking azure blue and gold. This Japanese cotton is the last of a limited run. The kimono style robe is also trimmed with gold ribbon (which looks great with gold espadrilles), and is shown here with a gold and cream crocheted vintage bag.
The Lotus style of kaftan has a slightly different design, with side-slit, flowing sleeves. This gold and aubergine floral printed recycled sari fabric is super flattering, and is trimmed with mauve velvet around the bust line. I’ve teamed this up with a fabulously cool Ganesha pendant necklace, and a vintage dark gold beaded evening bag.
These outfits share the same end-of-line Japanese cotton printed fabric, and are elegantly trimmed with jet beads. The Nirvana kimono gown, above left, is accessorised with an oversized vintage Swoboda pendant necklace, featuring a Buddha in a garden. The jet encrusted Prada Ornate sunglasses are also available on the ShopCurious website.
The Arcadia Puff Back dress on the right is as unusual as it is comfortable to wear. Backed with soft, fine corduroy, this garment can also be worn as a top (and looks fantastic when combined with Aureola trousers below right). Accessories shown here include vintage Dior shades, a totally unique Japanese inspired antique hand painted bag, and a preloved Marni ‘Lotus’ flower choker that is also shown in the image.
Introducing Nimbus, Aureola and Euphoria
If you are looking for something that combines practicality and style, we’ve a small selection of Nimbus palazzo pants, and more gently flared Aureola trousers. These are worn with organic cotton cap-sleeved Euphoria t-shirts, available in black or white, and hand-trimmed with a contrasting epaulette. Oh, and accessorised with yet another curiously karmic Buddha necklace.
If you are seeking something glitzy for a festival, or with more of a party vibe, I can recommend this Mystique kaftan with a multi-colour sequin trim, worn here with an Egyptian Queen necklace, upcycled from found stones by arts and crafts guru, Annie Sherburne.
The delicate powder blue Nirvana gown is one of my favourites. This recycled sari silk has an exquisite print. The handcrafted multi-colour stone Bliss necklace works a treat with the subtle colours too.
Introducing Elysium and Samsara
You will certainly make a statement with the Japanese print kimono gown in brick red, which is lavishly trimmed with peppermint pom-poms. I found some perfectly matching vintage Silhouette sunglasses, a vintage Souré beaded bag and upcycled mosaic heart necklace on our website too.
This Elysium top and Samsara skirt are among the more unusual items in the collection, being fully reversible. Made from contrasting vintage sari silks, this outfit can be worn in a number of ways, with the top tucked inside or left outside the skirt, or even worn inside out!
You have seen the Nimbus trousers and Euphoria t-shirt above, but every single item in our collection is unique. None more so than this Samsara skirt, which has been up-cycled from a preloved All Saints habotai silk scarf. This has a wonderful print - a sort of musical mind map, take a closer look here.
If you hadn’t noticed, I am also a big fan of sunglasses. These pairs are preloved Chanel (on the left) and vintage Lanvin (on the right). In case you were wondering what the tucked-in-and-inside-out version of our Samsara skirt and Elysium top combo looks like, here it is, worn with the Navajo Sun bracelet, also featured in the background. Finally, the fetching burgundy Lotus kaftan is paired up with a vintage Selro ‘Asian Princess’ bracelet, together with a 1930s tapestry bag.
Handmade in London
I’d love to hear what you think of the collection. It’s taken quite a while to put together with a very small team. Just myself doing most things, with a bit of much needed admin assistance from Lauren. The making has been expertly handled by the petites mains of London, aka Andrea. Not forgetting our extremely patient model, Rosie.
Our prices reflect the work that has gone into producing these items locally, and with attention to detail. Every piece is a one-off, and you will not find another the same. By the way, our garments are all one size and not gender-specific. However, if you would like something custom made to your measurements, please let me know.
Thanks Barbara/Biba, I will check out your store x
I absolutely adore your lovely collections. If and when I somehow find some money, I should certainly be your best customer.As a sometime Biba babe …sigh…I loved your Biba pieces. My family nickname is Biba…I live at the Angel so I called my handmade jewellery store AngelBiba… at present on Etsy but soon toT be online. I hope you will be very successful with this new venture. Lots of luck and love from Biba