Our Patch June 2016 - Page 8

Our Patch JUNE 2016 Our Patch JUNE 2016 WIN FREE TICKETS! SPIRIT OF SUMMER FAIR AT OLYMPIA COVER STORY Spirit of Summer is packed with design ideas Looking good: Milly and Rebecca with their panel of tough testers at home PICTURES BY JUSTIN THOMAS CLOTHES THAT IMPROVE Shepherds Bush mums put their creations to the toughest test of all - being worn by their harshest users and sternest critics A fter testing their creations out on their own children, two Shepherds Bush mothers have launched a range of clothing which is designed to improve with the rough and tumble of wear. Rebecca Freeland, 41, and Milly Von Westenholz, 42, who met at the school 8/9 gates and say their children have all grown up together, both live off Askew Road. They call their young fashion label Toto – the Swahili word for ‘cub’. “We want to create hard-wearing yet beautiful clothes for our little cubs to have fun in,” said Rebecca, whose trio of Zachy, nine; Harry, eight; and Marina, six, test the resilience of the garments. “They are our wearer trial testers,” said Rebecca. “If a piece can survive being worn by this lot, we know it’s going to last. They are also our biggest If our clothes can survive being worn by this lot, we know they're going to last critics in terms of the cut and style, which is incredibly helpful.” Milly, who also has three children (Otto, nine; Ferdy, seven; and Albie, four), said that she and Rebecca had decided to get weaving now that all their children are at school. “We wanted to be the masters of our own destiny, having come from fulltime jobs which didn’t allow us any flexibility or the opportunity to flex our entrepreneurial muscle,” she said. “The fact our children are all such good friends helps as it means we can have meetings as they charge around the playground.” Fabrics were sourced from local shops in Goldhawk Road, designs drawn up and a Hammersmith-based manufacturer enrolled. They cut their WITH AGE teeth in retail sales by opening a popup shop at the Hepsibah Gallery in Brackenbury Village. But it’s their website that is has allowed them to truly take off as an international brand. The first Toto clothes were produced in 2014. “They sold out, which gave us the confidence to grow,” said Milly. The Toto mums have produced a colourful range for the summer, including a reversible skirt and a multiple-layered, fully lined dress. There is also a collection of girls’ swimwear, babygrows for newborns, shirts, shorts, trousers and swimming trunks for boys. The collection conjures up a Swallows and Amazons era of carefree, stimulating play, say Rebecca and Milly, with the aim being to create ready-towear clothes that look better as they are worn. “Last year we also started a bespoke service and it’s been a great addition and has seen us create pieces for bridesmaids and page boys,” said Rebecca. The clothing is sold through their www. totolondon.co.uk website, and will be featured in a pop-up shop on Saturday (June 11) in Ravenscourt park outside cafe Fait Maison and on Sundays (June 12 & 26) at the Wendell Park Primary school farmers' market. Toto London will also have a stand at the Spirit of Summer fair at Olympia from June 22-25. Visit: www. spiritofsummerfair.co.uk for more details. T he Spirit of Summer Fair returns to Olympia from 22-25 June, with 450 independent boutique owners and designers exhibiting... including our Rebecca and Milly. Run in association with House & Garden magazine, the main fair focuses on fashion and children’s clothes, artisan food and drink. But within the show is The HOUSE Fair, a home and garden event full of inspiration to transform your outdoor space. Artists, furniture makers, antique specialists, interior designers, glassware experts, soft furnishers... every aspect of home creativity is covered. And when your feet will take no more, chill out at the Louis Roederer champagne bar, or Mosimann’s summer restaurant. We have five pairs of free tickets to give away. Simply tell us where the Spirit of Summer Fair is being staged. Is it: a) The Royal Albert Hall b) The Shard c) Olympia? Email your answer with your name, address and mobile number to: office@hortonandgarton. co.uk by 15 June. Usual rules apply. Visit: www.spiritofsummerfair.co.uk