I am crazy about this new kids' label Pala Mino! Designer Louise Coughlan, used to make costumes for Giffords Circus and now she designs magical children's clothes. The pieces are all beautifully handcrafted using vintage fabrics and trims from Louise's treasured textile stash. The styles are playful and fun, yet also timeless. They are pieces to be treasured for a lifetime, as they amplify the carefree nature of childhood. I interviewed Louise to find out more:
What inspired you to start Pala Mino?
I work freelance as a costume maker and I get most of my work from industry costumiers. In addition to the work room, they also have a large warehouse and I like to look through the rails at lunchtimes. I am always drawn to the beautiful fabrics and shapes of the children's section, so I started taking patterns of my favourite pieces and it kind of went from there.
What is the inspiration behind the current collection?
I'm inspired by costume, film, pattern, shape, colour and fabric. I love films that transport you using pace, landscape and music. I often think of characters and imagine what their children might wear, Jane from Paris, Texas is a current favourite. I am influenced by my costume background but like to be inspired by a cinematic persona rather than a theatrical character.
What materials do you use?
Cotton, silk, wool, viscose. I prefer to use natural fabric. I have sourced vintage fabric through the years. I am usually drawn to print and/or colour. It's the same with trims and buttons. I have also taken clothing apart and re used it for small pieces like a collar, facing or piping. I am a sucker for a graphic print and get a kick out an unexpected colour combo.
What is your favourite thing to do with your kids?
Have a lazy morning in bed at the weekend. If we have no plans, there's nothing better than eating breakfast in bed. Then hanging out, reading, chatting, drawing, watching stuff on the laptop. It doesn't happen as much as I would like though, we always seem to be too busy.
What is your favourite children's book?
I think it is probably Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was the first book my eldest son loved reading by himself, up until then he would only read short stories.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
Oh yeah, as long as I can keep making and being creative. At the moment I do all the making and dyeing myself, if it gets too much I already know very skilled people who can help out. The process is as important to me as the product, this is reflected in the price point but the garments are not throw away. I'm hoping that they will be cherished, well worn and handed down.
Louise can produce all the pieces in different sizes to order. Please don't hesitate to get in touch!