Will Cath Kidston bloom again?

As a new designer unveils her first collection for the ailing brand…Will Cath Kidston bloom again?

  • All 60 of Cath Kidston’s UK stores closed in April 2020 as fortunes tumbled 
  • Holly Marler has been chosen as Cath Kidston’s new creative director
  • Dinah van Tulleken reveals a selection of items from her first collection 

There are few firms in the fashion firmament which feel farther apart than achingly cool Alexander McQueen and Home Counties icon Cath Kidston.

Yet Holly Marler, Cath Kidston’s new creative director, is bridging that gap. She spent five years at Alexander McQueen, working with the man himself. Now she’s been chosen to breathe new life into a brand that, once a global sensation, has seen its fortunes tumble — in April 2020, all 60 of its UK stores closed.

Holly’s CV also spans Temperley and Liberty, and her experience shows in this, her first Cath Kidston collection. The prints work best on childrenswear — my daughter’s favourite was the pink dress with Peter Pan collar (second from right). 

Child’s pinafore, £35, cathkidston.com; top, £39, tights, £12, and shoes, £52, lacoquetakids.com

Dress, £85, cathkidston.com; shoes, £229, lkbennett.com

Pictured left: Child’s dress, £42, cathkidston.com, bow, £12, and socks, £7, pepaandcompany. com; shoes, £76, papouelli.com. Pictured right: Dress, £95, and bag, £65, cathkidston.com; shoes, £229, lkbennett.com

Pictured left: Child’s dress, £40, cathkidston. com; tights, £12, and shoes, £52, lacoquetakids.com. Pictured right: Dress, £95, cathkidston.com; shoes, £229, lkbennett.com

The mini-me trend continues to be a big one this season and the same floral print is available in womenswear in the viscose crepe Forever tea dress (second from right).

 The same shape dress, a wearable midi with puff shoulder and V-neck, comes in a winter-friendly black-backed design and a mid-blue (far right). For those tiring of the midi, there’s a more risque dress (far left), a mini made from polyester, which is available in black or red for the festive season.

My money is on the bags, both the oversized shoppers and quilted shoulder bags, being bestsellers. They match the prints, but what used to be seen as cringey matchy-matchy, fashion now calls cool co-ords. 

It remains to be seen if the detractors will put their knives away (Cath herself once said: ‘People either love it and want a little bit of it very much, or want to stab us’), but there is much to love in this new collection.

Child’s dress, £40, cathkidston.com; socks, £7, and hair bow, £6, pepaandcompany.com; shoes, £52, lacoquetakids.com

Pictured left: Child’s top, £26, cathkidston.com; pinafore, £52, socks, £7, and shoes, £52, lacoquetakids.com. Pictured right: Dress, £95, cathkidston.com; shoes, £229, lkbennett.com

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