KidsInStyle | 2014by Suzanne Milne on 08/03/2014
LifeInStyle is one of Australia’s leading lifestyle and accessory trade shows; KidsInStyle is its little sibling showcase with a small but perfectly selected collection of high-end children’s products.
Carefully curated with a focus on creative excellence, it is a treasure trove of the southern hemisphere’s offerings from toys to fashion, accessories, products and interior brands, both large and small. For the first time this year, there were also awards for 18 categories, from Children and Toys to Innovation and Christmas.
New Zealand’s Seedling is always a delight with their craft-it-yourself kits, and this year is no exception with a host of new kits – from paint-your-own kites and child-size attachable butterfly wings (fairy wings were so 2013) to mermaid treasure chests and pirate kits. Not surprisingly, they took out the show’s award for Toys. However, our pick also includes exciting newcomer Glottogon – a small independent design studio producing deliciously modern and colourful games, alphabet cards and travel kit games made from recycled board. We also admired Earth Tribe‘s glossy handmade and Fair Trade wooden toys. Then there is the glorious Tiger Tribe, a brand positively jam-packed with stylish toys that range from role play kits to activity games and magnetic play books – oh we could stay and play for hours. And while they might not strictly be ‘toys’, the super-soft and super-fun playsuits from Lil’ Creatures, which are pictured above, are also super-cute.
Toys that segue from the play room to the kids’ bedroom include the fun new brand Homely Creatures‘ adorable whale, bear and deer cushions designed in Melbourne and Fair Trade crafted by women in Nepal, the classic Britt bear (Britt’s clothes and tutus are also just too too cute!), as well as Mini Me & You “taggies” for the littlest of visitors.
Interiors are of course firmly in the limelight here, and this year offered everything from Haveli‘s hand block printed children’s bedlinen (and clothes) featuring paisley patterns in divinely delicate colour ways to the gorgeous pom-pom adorned cushions from Hook & Eye, and Incy Interiors new spindle furniture. Classic Finnish brand Marimekko displayed the brand’s second collection for kids in their signature vibrant, zestful patterns, bedlinens, beanbags, cushions and tablewares with a colourful South American sensibility were the fare for Naudic, while BenElke‘s more-ish Mexican oilcloth fabrics were on show in cute little lunch bags and children’s aprons, and their simple-yet-genius chalkboard tablecloth promptly took out the Kitchen & Dining award.
A tipping of hats also needs to go to party product specialists DollyRockets, the stylish and perfectly ergonomic umbrellas for kids from Blunt, gorgeous baby blankets from Dulcie & Banana and the Sili Squeeze feeding pouch/bottles, which won the show’s Innovation award. In the fashion stakes, Megan Park‘s pretty little girls dresses took out the show’s Children’s award – although she also has a fab range of interiors products – while Nurtured by Nature‘s classic baby products, from merino sleep bags to beautiful onesies and cotton dresses, should be on every new Mummy’s baby shower wish list.
As for mummy and daddy, Otto and Spike have great scarves for Daddy, O bags are a clever idea for a super slick and unofficial change bag, while Keep Resin‘s jewellery are our pick for new Mummy accessories – not only will they keep little hands busy, they will teach shapes and colours at the same time.
We’re looking forward to reviewing all of these brands in forthcoming months, when you will be able to pin their products to your own mood boards.