Inventive style alert: new mums will love this!
What d’you get when you cross an ex-Boden designer with an savvy business woman determined to make the lives of all new mums easier? Milla London designs, is what. I discovered it early this year when looking for a present for a friend who had just had a baby. With my Mudlets well out of that stage I never thought I could get particularly excited about post baby fashion, but I am. I’ve come across something so rare – an inventive stylish thing for women that’s also hugely functional and practical. So I’m feeling the need to tell people about it. Mums-to-be you’re going to want to read about this range – and so is anyone who knows someone that’s expecting because it would make a lovely present.
Milla London is a range of breast feeding tops born (no pun intended) out of one woman’s realisation that everything that already existed on the market quite frankly sucked (I swear, I’m not doing it on purpose). The woman in question is Camilla Bartlett and she lives on the Kent / East Sussex border. Launching a breastfeeding clothing brand had never been her life plan. When she started working on her range, which has been on the market less than six months, she didn’t have a clue about design or retail – she worked in the corporate world, international banking in the City, to be precise. And here she is.
After having her first child she shopped around – the tops were all unflattering, impractical – and don’t even get her started on the feeding apron her friend brought back from the States! Then one day, while trying to feed her son at a gathering of friends and faffing around pulling up various bits while trying not to make anyone feel uncomfortable an idea came to her. And, as with all great inventions, the idea is such a simple one. Camilla just thought about adding side zips to allow discreet feeding access – SO obvious, why has no one else ever thought of that? And a soft, stretchy modesty layer lining the front. And Eureka! No more exposed shoulders and tummies and weird panels and clips.
They’re not that cheap at around fifty pounds each, but definitely an investment piece. It was only when my second Mini Mudlet came along that I realised the benefit of buying just one or two quality items rather than a wardrobe of rubbish I’ll never wear again after the six months were up. I’d have been especially keen on anything that made my life easier and looked good enough to distract from the baby sick in my hair.
I reckon I’d have nabbed a classic Brigitte top (£54) and never taken it off because I love a Breton. And if I’d really wanted to make an effort (I never did in those early days, but sometimes, you know, you have to) I’d have gone for a Grace top (£52) in red with its statement zip at the back and worn it with heels and a big necklace to zsush it up.
If you think the style looks familiar that’s because Camilla teamed up with designer Katharine who had previously worked at Jaeger and Boden. So creating relaxed classic tops with a modern twist is totally her thing.
These tops are gorgeously soft (I’ve even tried one on for you) quality cotton with a splash of lycra and the side zips are cleverly integrated so barely visible. Even the arm lengths of the clothing has been thought through – ‘bracelet length’ to take into consideration all the hand-washing.
So if you’re still in the baby zone, or you know someone special that is and you’d like to treat them, you can’t go far wrong with one of these.
Milla London, millaonline.co.uk