Monday, 30 November 2015

All good things must come to an end and with 2016 looming, I can’t help but think The Mibber does not fit into my life anymore. I could just avoid it and at some point in the future take it down but something inside of me just wants one last post. Whilst on a personal level, I still champion British-made and I still want to shop from indie British Makers, my whole approach to fashion and shopping has completely changed through writing this blog.

As wonderful as all of the fine and beautiful things that are made here are, for me it is just as unsustainable to want these things because they are just things. There are adventures and experiences I would prefer to spend the money on.

I have recently become obsessed with Un-fancy. And her genius approach to a wardrobe, one I want to adopt, but feel is unnecessary to document to quite the extent she has. I want to be considered in my approach to my wardrobe, ultimately dressing for myself instead of The Mibber.

I have also recently joined a collaborative blog SAME. which allows me to write about anything perhaps the odd Mibbing may show up here, but I don’t feel as confined to the pre-sets I created on The Mibber nor to the schedule of a sole blogger, because let’s face it consistent blogging is hard work. As well as a few other ideas in the pipeline, I don’t have the free time to devote to this online persona, so it’s time to retire this corner of the internet to focus on myself.  

I want to thank all of the brands, readers and supports of my little blog and will continue to hold the directory open and these pages for inspiration to anyone looking to buy women’s British fashion. There is still a hell of a lot of great things out there and I will still be looking and occasionally shopping these too.

Truly wonderful things about being The Mibber:
  • I have found STALF, M. Hulot, Hilary Grant, Ronnie Northampton, Baia, Lexie Sport, Hiut, Beaumont Organic, House of Hackney.. the list does go on and on and on
  • I have bought a lot less and have a defined style aesthetic, bye bye trends!
  • I am a lot more conscious when I shop, impulsive shopping be gone!
  • I appreciate the value and worth of clothes, what every stitch means
  • I recycle, reuse and donate my clothes instead of selling on eBay
  • I’ve seen high street brands proudly list provenance on their websites, Mulberry even going as far to brand it on the base of bags. Marks and Spencer and Jaeger once synonymous with British manufacture revive their affiliation with specific MIB lines.
  • I have a tiny wardrobe, one drawer and half a rail – but I love everything I own and actually wear it
  • I have been inspired and still am inspired by all of the self-starters, creators and innovators, who just thought ‘F**k it! I can do this myself’ and created amazing brands, with wonderful ethics and are a delight to shop from.
  • That feeling you have when you buy something new means a lot more when you know you can afford it, will wear it and know it has come from a good place. It’s no longer a fleeting feeling that never quite satisfies you.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ―
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Lots of Love,

p.s. if you care follow @andrea_ava on Instagram or Pinterest to find out what’s next please do.

The LFW Live Stream: Day Four

Monday, 21 September 2015

Day Four is already upon us and today we have a jam-packed line up.

Don't forget The Mibber is streaming LFW all week, check out the schedule today:

Antonio Berardi 9am
Roksanda 10am
Erdem 11am
Burberry 1pm
Barbara Casasola 2pm
Christopher Kane 3pm
Thomas Tait 4pm
Peter Pilotto 5pm
Giles 7pm
Joseph 8pm

What show are you most looking forward today? What has been the highlight of the past three days?

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The LFW Live Stream: Day Three

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Day Three

All Hail Fashion Sunday. This is always the day with my favourite shows, although yesterday's are giving Fashion Sunday a run for their money! Weren't they beautiful *heart eye emoji*

Take a look at today's schedule and tell me you're not excited!!

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi 9am
Margaret Howell 10am
David Koma 11am
Jonathan Saunders 12pm
Issa 1pm
Topshop Unique 2pm
Temperley London 3pm
Paul Smith 4pm
Vivienne Westwood Red Label 5pm
Mary Katrantzou 6pm
Pringle of Scotland 7pm
KTZ 8pm

Day Four always features the spectacle that is Burberry, Rain Macs and "let it rain" at the ready!

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The LFW Live Stream: Day Two

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Day Two of Live streaming from London Fashion Week!

Today will be full of breathtaking designs, guaranteed! From the avant garde of Gareth Pugh to delicately beautiful Simone Rocha and minimal perfection of Jasper Conran, there really is something for everyone.

I can't wait to see what Simone Rocha, Mother of Pearl and Emilia Wickstead will send down the catwalk. And the (slightly bonkers but) brilliant House of Holland and JW Anderson have in store.


Mother of Pearl 9am
Jasper Conran 10am
Julien Macdonald 11am
Sibling 12pm
Holly Fulton 1pm
Hunter Original 2pm
Emilia Wickstead 3pm
JW Anderson 4pm
1205 5pm
Simone Rocha 6pm
House of Holland 7pm
Gareth Pugh 8pm
Versus 9pm

Let me know what show you'll be tuning in for and which ones you can't wait to see!

Day Three will be live tomorrow - Fashion Sunday, the best day of fashion week in my opinion, Mary Katrantzou, Paul Smith and Topshop Unique!

Ah Yeah!

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The LFW Live Stream: Day One

Friday, 18 September 2015

I'm back!

And all this [London Fashion] Week I will be live streaming the best of British design direct to The Mibber. What a treat!


Bora Aksu 1pm
Eudon Choi 2pm
Daks 3pm
Jean-Pierre Braganza 4pm
PPQ 6pm

Oh it feels good to be tapping on the keys again! Life update to fill in the blank to follow,

Thanks for your patience and your continued readership, I am very grateful.

Lots of Love

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Baia SS15

Friday, 3 April 2015

Baia's new collection is here, and it's a dream.

 The SS15 collection was photographed by blogging megababe Leanne Lim Walker and modelled by Jacq Boulton. And oohh it makes a gal wanna shop. Of course, the new collection is made to order and made in Britain. But you can pick-up these featured MIB ready made items if you just can't wait!

From pastel leathers and super soft nubuck and zesty suedes to an exclusive printed leather illustrated by Ella Masters. This seasons fabric options are hard to whittle down. 

Do you opt for bright and fun lime suede? Or sophisticated duck egg blue? How about embracing this seasons must wear colour yellow?! Or go all out with the understated black printed leopard print on your clutch, tote, mini rucksack... Oh boy then there's the new bag styles.

With prices from just £70 for a made to order bag there is no end to what you could create. 

Be still my beating heart - 

I'm still trying to decide. 

Bucket in white leather by Baia 
Mini in printed nubuck by Baia
 Rucksack in duck egg blue leather by Baia
Tote in orange leather by Baia

Want to know more about Baia? Read my interview with Baia owner, Susy, HERE.

Which is your favourite piece? What would be your dream combination?

Andrea xx

p.s you could WIN one of these made-to-order minis on Baia's Instagram or Facebook. All you need to do is follow Baia and regram the #Baiaeastergiveaway photo to be in with a chance. T's &C's on the post and entries close on Monday 6th April 2015 at midnight!


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I'm only joking. As much as I am lusting after my favourite print designers making animal wear, I doubt it's a viable business plan for them. 

Here's what I've actually been lusting after the last month:



Wednesday, 1 April 2015


Andrea xx



Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dress, Nancy Dee; Glasses, Fan Optic; Tote, Danielle Foster; Black Ring, Charlotte Valkeniers; Ring, Bloody Mary Metal; Shoes, Dr Martens

Today is an errand day. 

Time to give the eyes a rest and actually remember to wear my prescription. Perhaps these fancy specs from Fan Optics are the answer. A simple dress paired with equally simple jewellery for a classic yet understated look. Add in some comfy loved goodyear welted DM's in this season most loved faux snake print and a tote big enough to fit life in and I'm ready to tackle my list.

Andrea xx

The Secrets Out...

Monday, 2 March 2015

 A mini 'What's In My Bag'/ on my head/ face: Phone Case, Fifi Lapin @ Iconemesis; Hat, Topshop; Midi Bag, Baia, Lipstick in Saint, Topshop; Lipbalm, Burts Bees; Purse, Baia. 

My favourite thing about buying stuff made in Britain is that it looks well made. It's not a homogenous item of clothing/acc/jewellery reproduced half heartedly by all the high street stores. No matter how worn I have made it. Or how old I now think it is. I still will be complimented and asked where, what, who.

It could be down to my cracking personal style. Or it could be because there is a noticeable difference between crafted products and mass-produced products. Something not immediately obvious, you can't quite put your finger on it, but it's just better than the ones you've seen elsewhere. 

Today, I am lucky enough to share with you the story of Baia from the owner, designer and maker herself, Susy Brown. One of the most striking things about reading back the answers is how passionate, how much she cares and how much that reflects in what she produces. It's refreshing.

I own a Baia bag, a Baia purse and made the boy buy a Baia card holder. You could say I'm a little Baia obsessed. I see amazing things in the future for this fledgling brand. And although delighted Susy agreed to answer my Spotlight Q's for this post; the secret is well and truly out. At least I can say I was an early adopter, right?

Even though, my Baia looks very well loved, it's become so much a part of me. Waiting at bus stops, with my oversized boyf MIB coat, my skinny ripped jeans poking out and my favourite pointy suede booties, it's unmistakably me. Despite it's loved appearance; it's shape, it's simplicity,  it's quality, still garners attention. And I love that every time I'm asked I can proudly say "Baia" to an unknowing expression. They'll soon become as obsessed as I am. 

I studied Fashion at Manchester Met, and graduated knowing that I loved design, but with no real idea of what I would do. There wasn't that much relevant work available in the North of England, but I managed to get a 6 month placement with a company based in the Northern Quarter in Manchester (A Few Fine Things, sadly no longer open), who made bespoke bags. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did, but I ended up staying for a year and really learned the trade. Eventually I decided I wanted to do things my own way, and that was that really. Baia was born!

I would hope so! I learnt a lot from working at A Few Fine Things. They really did start from scratch, and it wasn't unusual for a look of fear to descend when a customer realised how many decisions they had to make.
I wanted to harness the idea of choice, and an individual end result, but also not to alienate the customer who was happy with a black bag and an exciting lining colour. I think people are attracted to the idea of an item made just for them, and it continues to surprise me, even at the end of a season, the combinations that people choose. It's really not unusual to make a one off piece. 

There's just no way that we could make to order outside of Britain. And Baia was born from me wanting to create, and use the skills I had to make beautiful things. It's literally a hands on process every single day.
I'm very proud of being a British brand, and everything that means. Our leather comes from British suppliers, metal plates are made in Sheffield, cotton lining from Manchester, and metal work from Cheshire. I made these choices, not because they're British, but because they are the best.
I think there is a real integrity to supporting British manufacturing, big and small. 

That's a really tough question. For me designing a bag is dual processes - it has to look great, but it also has to be successfully functional. It's as much a construction plan as it is a aesthetic decision. Sometimes it'll be a colour or shape that catches my eye, others a silhouette or texture. Or simply theres a gap in the collection that needs filling. At the moment I'm working on AW15, and my Pinterest board is full of natural textures, art deco architecture, a lot of monochrome and abstract paintings. It sounds really serious, but it isn't. I'm quite pragmatic when it comes to the design process.
I tend to get the design equivalent of a song stuck in my head - some of my best designs have been ideas that won't go away, have niggled at my brain and evolved over a period of time

I've always got plans! Baia was 3 in January, and I'm amazed by how much has happened in that time. Having said that, there's so much I want for Baia. There's a lot in the pipeline for the next year. I'm hoping we can find some wonderful stockists, and plenty more. But if I told you that I'd have to kill you!

Dalmation Drawstring, What Olivia Did Midi, Rucksack, Bucket, Leopard Mini, all Baia.

The summer of 2014 was huge for Baia. We were featured in the Times Magazine, which was a bit of a pinch me moment. The response was incredible, and we moved in to our studio a couple of months later. Baia was started in the spare room, so to have a real light airy workspace felt like a real mile stone. 

Another tough question! I don't think there is a specific profile customer for Baia. The made to order nature of the what we do, means that we have customers that span a huge age range. We have made bags that are used for school books, bags for business women, and my grandma has several Baia items (though I think she's a little biased!). I think a handbag in general is an accessible item. I like that inclusive approach. 

I have a real soft spot for the Mini, and the Drawstring. They're the ones that I use on a regular basis. Ironically my family and friends have more of the current styles and colours than I do, typically I'm the last in line!
I loved the pony skin from AW14, because it had such a luxurious feel, and similarly the croc. And I'm really looking forward to our first printed leather in our new SS15 collection, which was illustrated by the wonderful Ella Masters. I'm really proud of it. 

I'm looking forward to not needing to wear a thermal vest, two pairs of socks, and several jumpers! I adore a good jumper, but I've had enough of the cold this year. Baia HQ is in an old mill and it's been pretty bloody nippy the last few months. I'm dreaming of blue skies and summer dresses. Though having said that I will miss a polo neck! 

I love a good inspirational quote! I post at least one a week on instagram. I particularly like 'Opportunity is missed by people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.' - Thomas Eddison. Working your guts out is pretty much the key to everything!

Thanks Susy!

Keep your eyes peeled for Baia's next collection for SS15 launching very soon.
(that printed leather tho...)

Follow Baia on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for tempting sneak peeks and bag inspo galore!

Until then, snap up the last of the current AW14 line here:

Andrea xx

Lemons, Oranges and Limes

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Did I ever tell you about that time, the boy and I stumbled upon THE greatest drink ever? 

LOLz ™*


We literally thought we'd be laughing to the bank when we came up with it. Especially as you could ask for it in varying quantities i.e. MEGA LOLz.

All the same that 'development kitchen' in Sicily, proved even with the finest ingredients, rum was the only solution to the underwhelming outcome. 

My obsession au citron has gone into overdrive. So imagine the thrill I had upon discovering the zesty 'New-In' on Tatty Devine?

be still my limoncello heart. 💛

I have long been a fan of Tatty Devine. I'm pretty sure my first acquaintance with the the brand was probably about 13 years ago in Sugar or Cosmo Girl, the super cool plectrum pendants were all I wanted. Now, I get complimented every time I wear a piece of Tatty Devine. And because of it's trademark style, if I ever see anyone wearing TD, I have to compliment them too. It's just one of those items you will own that will transcend trends. It will transform a so-so outfit into a extraordinary one.  It will brighten your day and put a spring in your step. And I can  The Mibber guarantee you will be showered with compliments.  And unlike our LOLz,  it is never err, underwhelming.

Andrea x

* not really trademarked.

Recipe for LOLz

2 parts Orange Juice
1 part Real HOMEMADE style lemonade
Juice of one lime
The zest of one lime, lemon and orange.
10 parts White Rum. (joke, drink responsibly! 25ml)
Brown Sugar to line glass rim
Tatty Devine Necklace and Earrings to match

1. Shake all the ingredients (minus the sugar and jewels) with ice in a fancy shaker, bartender style.
2. Run the Lime shell round the rim of a tall glass and dip in sugar.
3. Fill glass with ice and strain concoction over ice.
4. Place on your Tatty Devine finery
5. Try to ignore the texture. 


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Polo Shirt, Fred Perry; Hoodie, Gym Luxe; Skirt, Paper London; Trainers, Norman Walsh; Bag, Lost Property London.

I'm feeling a little sporty following my triumph in the gym yesterday. Can you tell?

Everything featured is Made in Britain.

Andrea x 

January Lust List

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Everything I'm wearing (ankles up) is High-Street bought 'Made in Britain'. But how ethically was it produced?
It's a question I have been debating for quite some time. And I'd really love you to share your thoughts too.

This post has mainly been spurred on by a recent conversation I had with a MIB designer. I feel quite a lot more passionately about the ethics of clothes than the place of manufacture. Don't get me wrong, but the reason I started buying British and then blogging about it was more about economics of the state of our country, not because of ethics surrounding manufacture. But since I started this 'journey' it's become appallingly apparent that MIB doesn't equal ETHICAL. Something I probably assumed was a given. In fact I even said fairly recently:
"I know how much minimum wage amounts to. I know we have strict health and safety legislation. I know the brands I'm buying from. To some extent I even know some of the factories and studios and people making the garments and products. There is traceable transparency in what I buy made in Britain."   
- Online Descriptions

But as a Made in Britain blogger how can I ensure that everything I feature is made in this way? The majority of things I have bought with MIB in the label have been from small brands, the kind that only have a couple of employees, the type that I know are so small they don't have a marketing department sending their tweets, it's actually them in their day-to-day life. Yet I often challenge myself to find entire outfits 'Made In Britain'. Googling "made in Britain xxxxx" or resorting to High-Street faves, but should I be including everyone just because they say they're made in Britain, or should I just start featuring the brands I have the confidence that they are doing what they are saying? I've bought a fair few things (online I must say) which have been proudly labelled as Made in Britain, only to then discover it isn't what it said it was when I bought it.

British-made is hugely desirable in the wider world. It means something to people. But I don't get the impression it really means a lot to Brits. Is it sustainable to manufacture here for example if Brits don't care and the majority of your client base isn't even EU? Short answer - not really.

I hoped our law would govern that if something says it's made here, it's because it's actually MADE here. But it's not the case. It happens time and time again. Yes, by law you can get something made else where and then 'finish' the item here and state it provence to be made in UK. So does this give brands the right to cut corners, finish something off and then lay full claim it was made here - only then to ship it out again? How would anyone know? It en vogue to celebrate the provence of something. SO hip. SO cool. But how can brands be proud of a lie? I've read a lot on the subject. From newspapers, forums and other bloggers. And you can't be blind to what people are saying.

Then theres the ethical or sustainable issue of the raw materials, where are they made, how can you be assured that the amazing sequinned dress is ethical? I can probably go out on a un-researched limb and say sequinned/embroidery fabrics are not made in the UK. More likely India as it suits their skill set. So if something has some seams which were sewn here... does it make that dress ethically made in the UK or more likely (I hope) ethically made in India? What about the zip, the thread, the buttons, the lining, the facing? Should we be considering the time it took to make the components part of the manufacturing process and therefore the provenance of the garment?

Finally, my last thought goes to the well paid, well treated workers in the UK. All those fashion students I studied along side who delight at their basic expenses paid 3 month internship in a design studio, only to find out there is no job at the end of the tunnel. Repeat cycle. I know my Uni did a lot to ensure no internship was offered without pay. But it still happens. And then theres apprenticeships. A company I used to work for offered apprenticeships. And whilst we agreed and wanted to pay minimum wage. Actually, the "minimum wage" subsidised by the govt for on the job training is half that. And there was no obligation to pay anymore than that. Is that ethical? Is that fair?

I'm not claiming this to be a well researched, well thought out blog post. But it's cumulative thoughts which have been going around my head for the last few weeks. And whilst I was keen to just think it and not say it, actually, yes it's better to say it. If you're interested in more of what I'm alluding to - I'm sure I can put the time to gather my sources and discover some more reputable sources and actually try and justify my thoughts. But what do you think? Is buying British inherently ethical or sustainable?

Andrea x

Happy New Year

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year The Mibber readers!

I'm rather excited about this year. This is the year I will absolutely become a homeowner. I've been saving for our own space for what feels like an eternity with this year in our head, everyday, every purchase, every pence and pound thought about because twenty fifteen will be the year.

This year it happens.

My main aim for the year is to buy a house and create a home. But I worry I'll waste a year of my life, probably one of the defining ones, if I just write it off because of this imminent enormous purchase. And it seems silly and obvious to resolve to buy a house. (although it's a given and tops the list!)

In light of this I resolve to document this year. To create memories, regardless of my empty purse and obsession with dinner plates. I'm going to scrapbook it. Well sort of, the low maintenance kinda scrapbook. I'm going to take pictures... and develop them, collect all the small things to look back at all the things that makes this year more than the year we bought a house.

It's been difficult to justify the big investment clothing purchases which is why my Mibbing ways have stuck to sale purchases and high-street finds. I've lusted after House of Hackney prints knowing full well I could never bring myself to checkout. I want to buy less and choose well. So I think this year I'll create a clothing budget. I won't need to buy every month but I will budget every month, so that I can save up for the dreamy stuff; the statement items and not feel as though buying a house was all sacrifice. I'm here at the final hurdle and let's face it as soon as I've stopped saving 80% of my disposable income will go on clothes. LOLZ plz don't read this Mr Mibber!


  • I resolve to stop drinking GU drinking chocolate by the gallon every night, stop eating stollen and get back into my fitness routine, after a brief detour via a crazy month of pre-christmas retail work.
  • take much better care of my skin
  • attempt to wear more lipstick - just because I really like it and it intimidates me.
  • (buy every dinner plate I see and like, and go back for the ones I had to leave behind.)
  • stop feeling guilty for not being a regularly posting blogger, it's a hobby after all.

What are you resolving to do? Or are you against resolutions? 

Let me know what you plan to do with your 2015.

And make sure you have a wonderful year,

Andrea xx
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