Here at the SBA hub we’ve been counting the days until summer arrives in London, as we'd live in summer dresses all year round if we could. The challenge once it arrives however, is keeping cool, which is why we've been living in Choolips this summer. The London based womenswear label has stormed highstreet stores such as ASOS and Topshop with their amazing hand print Batik outfits and we're so excited to have them in our SBA store. Don’t be fooled by the pretty prints, founder Annegret Affolderbach is one of the few leading designers who has been able to make sustainable fashion stylish and cutting edge with the brand ethically produced in Ghana and Kenya.
Choolips Golden Coast SS13 Collection has some exquisite watercolour prints that are easy to wear and ideal for the sunshine. The colourful 'Diamond Petal' prints are inspired by the Surma tribe from Ethiopia's Omo Vally where the women are famous for wearing exotic flower headdresses, while the rest of the Golden Coast collection makes reference to the vibrant and soulful streets of Ghana. This collection is not just Ghana inspired however. The whole collection is hand batik printed in Ghana and sent to SOKO seamstresses in Kenya to be tailored. This partnership is a fantastic way of empowering local talent using traditional craftsmanship skills while supporting manufacturing and trade in Africa.
The Marta Dress is one of my favourite casual shirt dresses from the collection as it's loose fit is ideal for these hot summer days in the city, and easy days by the beach. I’ve been caught wearing this to work, chilling in park, and it's even become my substitute to ‘Joey pants’ after a heavy lunch because of it's loose but classy fit. The internal French seam finishing and gathered waistline belt add that extra detail to make this classic shirt dress extra special.
The Belle Dressis another SBA favourite with it's flirty watercolour petal print and playful pleated waistline. It’s also 100% soft cotton making it the perfect material for summer as that sweaty-betty look is never a good one. This is perfect if you're always on the go and need something that can work day to night- so far we've worked it casual by day with a denim shirt and sandals, a bit more professional for meetings with a blazer, and easily dressed up for a night of dancing with heels and bolder accessories.
I’m not usually a big fan of showing off my back but the cutout detailing at the back of the Choolips Belle dress is really comfortable and sexy without being too much. Handcrafted and fairtrade, these gloriously well made dresses will still be exciting summer staples for years to come. Great 'office-to-roof top bar-to summer holiday' dresses like these are essential investments for a well put together capsule wardrobe with love from Ghana's Gold Coast.
To get your hands on these lovely goodies visit www.shopsba.com.
All images c/o our gorgeous friend Justin John www.justinjohn.co.uk