Spring Summer 2013 Collection Inspiration

I do like to be beside the seaside

The Spring Summer 2013 collection features a collection of trusted styles and cuts that we know we love!

Bella used to spend hours sketching on Shoreham beach, Sussex, spending summers at the family beach hut. Hence the conscious decision to hark back to a simple hand painted motif of a small sailboat and a more fluid ‘shoal’ print.

We developed a quintessentially English summer seaside colour palette; navy, oatmeal, white and sky blue but needed to throw a little European ‘apricot’ and ‘putty’ to set the more subtle tones apart.

Sketch by Bella 1997

Hand painted sailboat motif

Hand painted shoal print

Sailboat screen

Styles this season are simple, flattering and as always can be dressed up or down. We follow direct requests and listen to feedback every season, so dresses feature capped sleeves, long and short versions and comfortable jersey or elastic fitted trims – allowing you to accessorise or style a look in your own way.

The photo shoot (gamble!) paid off and it was a stunning 30 degrees on Shoreham Beach. Mottled pebbles, beach huts, rusty paint and freezing sea all formed part of the atmosphere and very felt in keeping with the core ethos behind the brand and this collection.

We hope you enjoy it and do please send us your snaps for our “MELABELLE FRIENDS” facebook page. At the end of the season we will pick someone to send a gift.

Bella x

With thanks to our fantastic photographer – AshleyJouhar.com

Behind the scenes – AW12 Thora collection inspiration

The theme/inspiration for AW12 collection came about by chance really. I was being really nosey and picked up this battered envelope and these stunning, delicate, sillouttes flittered to the floor. What on earth was someone doing sending these to my grandmother without a note, in 1955, other than they thought they were beautiful. I completely agreed. So the ‘Dalton Print’ was aptly named after her side of the family and of course was the name on the envelope. It is certainly unique and this started the collection off on a ‘vintage’ inspired route.

I was given a ring when my grandmother passed away, that I have worn all over the world, every day, since.  It’s enormous with a really old ‘setting’ (apparently!) and I have no idea what stone it is, or where she was given it. Somehow it does make me think of her perhaps more than I would have done otherwise and I wonder if she is following me around on this journey! I have SO many items of clothing that I wear all year round, which were hers.

I have thought for a while that I would like to pay a little tribute – she was always so stylish and we always talked about clothes, shoes, bags for hours! She would get over enthusiastic and want to go upstairs, fishing around in her sewing room for this trim or that ribbon. I would find myself sent up to the attic to fetch shoes she had made for this ball or dance or party. Fur, bespoke shoes, tailored dresses, sparkly head bands, glove boxes. You name it. Her life was from a different world and it was amazing to be let into it from time to time.

Dalton Print on camel colour silk crepe

A shot of buttons we like from favourite place – Liberty

My Grandmothers button box – it’s like a treasure chest

Our research progressed to post World War 11 styles, mainly dresses as our focus. Nipped in waists, sashes, covered button cuffs, lace panels, puff sleeve and of course much more modest lengths/ neck lines. It seemed fitting to use English tweeds, Irish wool – which we decided to produce in London for the first time.

I wanted to attach a version of the original mood board so you can see where some of the ideas for the styles in this AW12 collection came from..
Plus one of my grandmother in there (she is on the left, in heels, sitting on the car) which makes me laugh.

Enjoy x

Linen/wool tweed check used for the flat skirt

Dalton Print on camel colour silk crepe and the ‘Jag’ Print in navy,camel and cream

Caption missing


September has been an even busier month than usual… Our AW12 collection arrived, samples for SS13 have been tweaked to perfection and we are busy finalising designs for AW13 – yup, we have been burning the midnight oil!

To make our lives just that little bit more interesting we are also running a pop-up shop until 30th September on Portobello Rd AND we have a stand at Vodafone London Fashion Weekend at Somerset House from Thursday 20th until Sunday 23rd!

If you are in London please pop in and say hi. This season’s collection is on sale as well as some serious bargains on one-off samples and previous collections. We always love meeting our customers and getting some real life feedback.

We are giving away pairs of tickets to London Fashion Weekend on our Facebook page, so get liking us if you want to win!

Bella and the Melabelle team X


We are delighted to announce the arrival of our  autumn winter collection. This collection is a personal tribute to Bella’s grandmother, Thora, and features garments inspired by vintage shapes that keep the Melabelle ethos very much in mind – to create a versatile wardrobe of flattering, beautifully made and original clothes.

Thora’s impressive wardrobe influenced many items in the collection, such as the ‘Eve dress’; the nostalgic, feminine shapes flatter all body types and can be dressed up or down. Garments like the ‘pea coat’, form a more masculine overlay that compliment the feminine dresses but work brilliantly with jeans and tunics too.

This season’s bespoke signature prints feature stars, a ‘jag’ print and ‘dalton’ dancer print, which was inspired by a mysterious envelope dated 1955, packed full of charming silhouettes that had been sent to Thora by her sister.

If you would like to see the collection yourself please visit us at one of our forthcoming events


Accessories Bags Dresses Gifts Jackets Limited Edition Shorts Skirts Tops