Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo launches - shop now!
Yesterday, armed with our credit cards, team Catwalk Queen headed to London's Oxford Street East branch of Uniqlo to check out the gorgeous new collaboration with textile designer Celia Birtwell.
Birtwell found fashion fame in the late 60s and 70s, when she created the prints seen on many of the memorable designs by Ossie Clark - who also happened to be her husband. Since then she's designed for everyone from Radley to Millets, putting her unique feminine prints on everything from tents to totes. The Uniqlo collection draws on her vast archive, with various simple shapes made up in reworkings of some of Birtwell's most memorable prints.
The last time those on a high street budget could get a piece of Birtwell was in the mid 2000s, when she collaborated with Topshop on a series of silk dresses and blouses. The Uniqlo collection is altogether more casual, with skinny capri pants (Uniqlo call the 'legging trousers') pajama style shirts, cropped wide-leg trousers, huge scarves, tote bags, vest dresses, a drawstring waist shirt dress, slinky mini-coulottes, and of course a plethora of Uniqlo's signature tees. The most expensive piece in the range is the dress at £29.50, with most things coming in under £20. Yet somehow, I still managed to drop over £70 on the collection.
For me the real winner is the capri pants - they're only £14.90, come in about 20 different colourways / prints, and will make a really great alternative to jeans in the Summer. I hate leggings, but these are heavier and a little more substantial. I bought the blue paisley-esque print but I'm considering going back for the cute daisies. I also love the coulottes - probably the first time I've worn a pair since Brownies.
The 3/4 sleeve dress is also a good buy that seems to suit everyone - from our 6'1" shopping editor Amy to 5'7" me - due to the dropped drawstring waist that can be worn loosely on the hips or bunched up at a little higher.
And then there are the t-shirts - I'm a huge advocate of Uniqlo's low-cost, high quality tees and spent a fortune on last year's Laura Ashley collab. I think I'll end up doing the same with these Birtwell ones. There are 9 styles in various colourways adding up to about 25 tees in all.
The entire collection is available in Uniqlo stores and online now.