Fido is a full-fledged member of your family - don't deny it! So she should be as well-attired as you are. But if your pooch princess is a little less than, er, ladylike - preferring the odd wallow in the mud to sitting sedately & being primped - then hightail it over to Holly&Lil Collar Couture HollyandLil.co.uk.
After Elaine Jones & Sarah Wyndham Lewis met while walking their respective pooches - Lily, a statuesque Flatcoat Retriever & Holly, an elegant little mongrel, "a Sophie Dahl and a Kate moss of the dog world" - this accessory-minded pair realized that charm bracelets shouldn't be limited to human fashionistas. "Wouldn't it be great if you could get charm collars for dogs?" wondered Sarah, and Holly&Lil Collar Couture was born.
Featuring highly decorative, hand-made designer original collars - in styles like Boho, vintage-inspired dangly janglies; Charm, faaabulous and loaded with beads, bells & enamel charms; and Semi-Precious, crafted from more chi chi materials like turquoise, coral, mother-of-pearl and sterling silver - every collar is one-of-a-kind. For something totally personalized, they have a Limited Edition Dog Collar & Lead (Leash) Set & a Make Me One option - all in fab colored leathers, cowskins & suedes.
Regardless of the collar you choose, don't worry that it it will just sit there & look pretty. Each & every Holly&Lil is robustly hand-stitched & made with actual dogs in mind. "Our dog collars are not just decorative!" they explain. "We hand-make them with daily wear in mind. They are worn year-round by our own extremely un-ladylike dogs."
Not surprisingly, we here at Fashiontribes are completely obsessed with these leashes & collars - how I love the idea of a couture collar! - and were lucky enough to chat via email with innovative pair behind Holly&Lil:
FASHIONTRIBES: How did you start Holly & Lil? You're fashionistas after my own heart what with wanting charm collars for your pooches!
H&L: We met walking our (then identical) fluffy black puppies on London's Primrose Hill. We fell into a conversation which - thus far - has lasted 3 years, and we both like to talk! Also found out that we both liked to decorate our dog's collars with silly, pretty, girly things. One day, on one of our long walks, I said to Elaine "Why does no-one actually make charm collars for dogs? "... and it all started from there..
FT: What are your top sellers? It's got to be the really girly collars decorated with masses of handbag and shoe charms. Heart charms are another big favourite - because we all LOVE! our dogs! None of our collars are mass-produced. Each one is unique because we hand make them. This allows us to take special commissions and theme the charms to people's special interests, hobbies, passions etc. They make really great gifts for dog-mad friends and family.
FT: How about the Holly & Lil "must-haves" for fall? A complete set of a Halloween collar, a Thanksgiving Collar and a Christmas Collar - so that dogs are fully equipped for the holiday season!
FT: What are some interesting trends you've noticed? We set up to fill a gap because no-one out there was making really witty and fashionable collars...which are also top quality, not just a gimmick . Given that all fashion buffs are accessory mad (we all know that the finishing details can be the most important) we would expect to see all the chic-est dogs sporting a Holly&Lil quite soon. Up until now, the only truly fab collars have tended to be the sparkly rhinestone ones - but they have had their day - people want some real class now...
FT: Has anything surprised you of late? How slow people have been to realise how fab their dogs could look in a truly special collar and lead. Why would anyone buy a boring collar?
FT: Is there anything in particular that your think isn't receiving enough attention? Dogs don't care what they wear - so while it's great to have really good-looking dogs and dress them up for fun - we should remember that dogs, of themselves, are not a fashion accessory. Anything that we buy to decorate them should not prevent them expressing themselves as proper dogs. Holy&Lil spend half their life modelling and the other half splashing around in muddly puddles (still wearing their pretty collars which we have made to be virtually indestructible!)
- Lesley Scott