In the internet age it’s never been more possible to try out a truly global collection of clothes, accessories, and cosmetics. Thanks to concepts like Etsy.com, it’s even the case that you don’t need to be in contact with megamonolithic corporations to buy what’s being innovated overseas – I recently bought a beautiful bracelet from a small vendor in Ankara thanks to the magic of the internet, and have barely taken it off since it arrived – leaving the fashion-conscious shopper with a wider range of choices than we’ve ever had before.
And perhaps it’s because of that that I really enjoy finding and supporting local fashion industries. Now, living in London I have no shortage of options: this city is overflowing with creative and interesting people making beautiful things and getting their brands to local and global attention, from the stall-holders in various markets to London-domiciled fashion houses of small, medium, and vast size.
One of my favourites is a-england. Based in Wandsworth, this nail polish company currently only ships to the UK, but if you’re abroad and able to get someone to ship on to your location I’d definitely encourage you to take the risk, as their products are beautiful.
With collections themed around romantic ideals of English mythology , “Gothic Beauties” (both in the modern and in the literary sense), the works of one of my favourite artists, and quotations by famous Romantic and Arts & Crafts poets the polishes themselves are thick, glossy, and bestowed with a real depth of colour that I’ve rarely seen in other brands.
I own Beauty Never Fails and Holy Grail, which in addition to having rich depths (Beauty Never Fails for example looks rather like a sepia photographic of a clear view of the Milky Way) are excellent partners for each other. a-england also sell their magnificent polishes in pairs and in three-part harmonies, meaning that if you’re not quite sure what to wear with what, you’re in good hands already.