Lily Ashwell, We Are Islanders Fall 2013
(Left: We Are Islanders Twist Sleeve Tunic Dress; Right: Lily Ashwell The Little Eve Dress)
I recently discovered two designers that I’m so excited to share with you all! Sometimes we can get caught up reading about the most famous designers and labels (I know I can anyway!) but it’s important to support emerging design talent- especially when they are doing beautiful and interesting work! 
The young lines that have caught my attention recently are We Are Islanders and Lily Ashwell. Both labels strive for sustainability and are inspired by their designers’ home landscapes from the green shores of Ireland to California’s vast backdrops.

Based out of Ireland, We Are Islanders is a collective consisting of designer Rosie O’ Reilly, Kate Nolan and Deirdre Hynds that strives to merge the concept of heritage with contemporary art and fashion. Their Fall 2013 collection, “Tidal”, mixes traditional Irish fabrics and techniques with newer, sustainable materials like Salmon Leather Skin.

We Are Islanders Fall 2013, Tweed Wool Throw Coat

(We Are Islanders Tweed Wool Throw Coat)

Even though their collection is highly conceptual, every piece is incredibly wearable and created with the idea of layering in mind. Since it has literally been both 75 degrees and 30 degrees on different days this past week, layering is incredibly important in New England. (I imagine that it’s equally important in Ireland!) I’m beyond obsessed with their Tweed Wool Throw Coat’s shape and detailing. Made from Wexford Woven tweed and Donegal Beetle Linen, it’s also a sustainable and classic piece.

Lily Ashwell may have studied at Central Saint Martins but her collections are pure vintage California girl. When she released her debut collection for holiday last year, she told Teen Vogue that she creates an entire back story to each collection before she begins the actual design process. Fall/Winter 2013 is her third full collection. Ashwell often uses discarded and dead stock fabrics to make up her designs. So her vintage inspired styles are actually made using vintage fabrics.

Lily Ashwell Fall 2013
(Left to Right: Michele Dress, Billie Pullover and Kate Dress All by Lily Ashwell)

I love the bracelet length sleeves (apparently a Lily signature) and the subtle Peter Pan collar on the Michele dress. Her shapes are classic and sweet but the vintage fabrics also make them unique so it’d be easy to stand out especially in a town where we can sometimes all start to look the same in the long winter months!

Are there younger or lesser known designers that you’re excited about? What do you think of Lily Ashwell and We Are Islanders?

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