Dresses Galore at Allium B’s Pop-up Store
Clare Burgess (pictured far right) is one half of the sister duo behind Allium B – a fashion label which specialises in understated, wearable, go-anywhere dresses. When she came along to Leeds with her pop-up store, I jumped at the chance to meet her and try on some dresses.
Both Clare and her sister Mary, previously worked in senior roles for Topshop. As busy working mum’s they were struggling to find perfectly-cut, timeless dresses they could pull out of their wardrobe and instantly look and feel fantastic. So they decided to launch Allium B, which celebrated its first birthday in March.
Celebs including Adele, Jo Whiley and Kate Garraway have been spotted wearing the label, but for Clare it’s not about celebs – she loves nothing better than a woman trying on one of her dresses in a print or colour she wouldn’t normally wear and instantly loving it. And the Liberty prints are amazing, as are the natural fabrics used including cotton, silk and viscose.
Images don’t do the dresses justice – especially the plain coloured ones (pictured is Amelie) – as the attention to detail is second to none, ranging from hand-stitched buttons, beaded collars and embroidery. The spring / summer 2013 collection is inspired by vintage pieces including prom dresses, which have been re-worked into detailed modern dresses.
Each dress is individually named after a friend or family member. I tried on Orla, a crisp cotton sundress with feature pockets and contrast piping. But my favourite dress has to be Ava, a silk Liberty print which looked and felt expensive. I could so easily style the dress up by tying the belt, or adding a different coloured belt and popping on some heels. Or I could wear the dress looser and with flats. I totally get Allium B’s vision of creating timeless pieces. Prices range from £75 to £140, and the dresses are in sizes 8 – 16. I need some more summer dresses – and know where I will be shopping.
As for the future, you can expect to see Allium B blouses next year, and the brand being stocked in even more independent boutiques. Clare also sees the brand moving into childrenswear. I can just see my two young nieces wearing pretty Allium B dresses, I’ll even let Clare and Mary borrow their unusual names – Adiana and Inola – if they run out of names for their collection.
Allium B’s pop up store formed part of an event held at Leeds City Centre stockbrokers Redmayne-Bentley to raise money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Also there was North Yorkshire-based Stella & Dot Stylist, Crystal Foster and the girls from Nails Inc, who donated proceeds raised from expertly performing manicures.
Oh and in case you are wondering why Clare and Mary decided to call their business Allium B – that’s simple. An allium is their favourite flower, and B stands for their surname ‘Burgess’. So now you know.
I attended the event in my capacity as a Style Fabulette, writing for the blog Modern Girls Guide – check it out here www.moderngirlsguideto.blogspot.co.uk