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School's out and the summer break is upon us once more, with holiday jaunts to plan, entertainment to provide and a shopping blitz required for that looming autumn term.
At Debenhams we're here to help with all three, in the form of our newly launched kidswear online magazine. In this, issue no.1, we're bringing you holiday style tips for the little ones, news of exciting ranges in store and schoolwear suggestions to ensure you avoid the last minute panic. Sound good? Read on.
First up, we're flying the fashion flag for the fabulous cause that is Children in Need. An official supporter of the national charity, our Designers at Debenhams jumped at the chance to create one-off kids' tees to raise money for the 2012 campaign. Here, Matthew Williamson, Henry Holland, Sadie Frost and co. show off their designs and talk us through their inspiration.
With a boom in babies always reported in the summer months the shopping 'Hot List' takes you through our pick of newborn essentials, while 'Back to School' and 'Fancy Dress' show you style options for every occasion - be it for kids at home, away, work or play.
With a other few bits 'n' bobs to keep the kids looking great, and having fun, this summer kids will feel fabulous, only at Debenhams.
Once upon a time, back in 1980, the BBC founded their own charity and called it Children in Need.
Today that charity is one of Britain's most well-known fundraising organisations, officially supported by us, Debenhams - one of Britain's most-loved department stores.
Raising awareness all year round and culminating in the popular November telethon, Children in Need aims to help disadvantaged children and young people - with fun and games along the way.
As part of the latest fashion based fun and as an official supporter of Children in Need, several of our designers for Debenhams, along with a national fashion editor or two, have created a personal tee for this year's fundraising campaign.
It's great that Children in Need are opening things up more to fashion editors. I was approached and asked if I wanted to be involved and I said I'd love to. For my inspiration I thought of my Godson - he loves to paint but just splashes things at the paper. My design was inspired by that. I used Pudsey, but painted in the way a child would.
OK! MAGAZINE FASHION & BEAUTY EDITOR, EMMA GUNAVARDHANA
When approached to design the tees we were doing our own ice cream design for our Frost/French blog - our own designs fit in with the colour palette so it worked well and went from there.
JEMIMA FRENCH & SADIE FROST
OK! Pudsey bear tee €10.50 - €12.00
Frost French ice cream tee (Coming soon)
I love dot-to-dot drawings. The brief said to focus more on the bandana rather than Pudsey, so I looked at dot-to-dots and thought it worked really well. I really loved those drawings as a kid...
Dot to dot Pudsey €10.50 - €12.00
Roksanda face tee €10.50 - €12.00
My t-shirt is the tree of life, with the balloon providing the fun element of the design.
Matthew Williamson butterfly tee €10.50 - €12.00
John Rocha spot tree tee €10.50 - €12.00
Our logo is a fun logo and great slogan for kids so I made it sparkly as kids love things like that. My daughter likes anything pink, pretty and sparkling. I went for sherbet colours, to create a kaleidoscope effect.
FABULOUS FASHION EDITOR, TRACEY LEA SAYER
My Children in Need t-shirt is inspired by my French bulldogs, Noa, Luca and Tea. They always make me smile and hopefully will bring giggles and joy to those who need it.
BEN DE LISI
Fabulous tee (coming soon)
Ben de lisi spot dog tee €10.50 - €12.00
Obviously what we do, occasionwear, is very far removed from kids. We have lots of kids in our lives though, through friends, and we know they love dogs!
ANDREW & REN, PEARCE FIONDA
I went to the Children in Need ball with Arlene Philips, where they happened to have a little toy version of Blush. She sits on my desk, still to this day... and I just thought it would be lovely to put a tutu on her and make her dance.
PINEAPPLE STUDIOS' DEBBIE MOORE
Pearce Fionda dalmation tee €10.50 - €12.00
Pineapple blush bear tee €10.50 - €12.00
There's so much to think about when shopping for a newborn. Luckily at Debenhams, J by Jasper Conran has all your baby's practical, and pretty, needs covered.
Jasper unisex 8 piece teddy set €22.00
Jellykitten small bunny €9.00
Jasper unisex towel and mitt set €18.00
They'll get house points aplenty when you kit them out at Debenhams - styling them all the way to the top of the class.
Boys 2 pack trouser €9.00 - €18.00
Boys 2 pack polo €7.50 - €15.75
Unisex knit €7.50 - €16.50
Girls 2 pack skirt €12.00 - €27.00
Unisex knit €7.50 - €12.00
Girls 2 pack polo €7.50 - €15.50
Girls summer dress €13.50 - €16.50
Boys 2 pack trouser €13.50 - €27.00
Boys 2 pack shirt €7.50 - €13.50
Girls 2 pack blouse €9.00 - €15.00
Girls pinafore €10.50 - €12.00
Girls love to play dress up, so indulge her as your mini-me in child-size, grown-up glamour from No.1 by Jenny Packham.
€72.00 - €86.00
€88.00 - €102.00
As a Sky 1 2010 documentary stated, Pineapple Dance Studios is the place where "careers are made, dreams are broken... and everyone is fabulous".
Here at Debenhams we're all about being fabulous, so we jumped at the chance to take a sneak peek inside the famous school. After all, with the gorgeous Pineapple clothing range currently on sale in our kidswear department, we might as well dance the dance - we've already got the t-shirt.
For any little ones aspiring to be dancers, there is no better place to step into learning than Pineapple. Founded by model and businesswoman Debbie Moore in 1979, today the school is internationally renowned as a centre for excellence in dance... and a focus for fun.
When Debbie invited Debenhams along to Pineapple to see what the studios have to offer, we admit we had fun and felt fabulous. In fact, just between us, we may have secretly pretended we were performing arts students, circa Flashdance, such was the cool, 'arty' vibe we sensed as we were given the grand tour.
Large studios with mirrored walls, ballet bars and pianos in the corner - it was exactly how we had hoped. Passing many an energetic, chatty student in the corridors, we half expected the Fame theme tune to break out at any moment, at which point they'd (obviously) have jumped onto the nearest table and started singing, before spinning in cartwheels across the floor.
Maybe we've been watching too much Fame but, spanning three levels, there was certainly enough to divert our attention at Pineapple. The dance studios offer every class, to every age imaginable - making it the perfect place for children to take those first dance steps. With over forty dance styles from which to choose, be you looking for absolute beginners to the advanced and professional, children can choose their class, as well as their pace.
Classical ballet, street jazz, hip hop, salsa and Egyptian dance are just a few examples of what kids can expect from Pineapple Dance Studios. One thing they might not expect, however, is a group of zombies to pass them in the halls. If this happens, fear not, it's probably just a local West End production auditioning, or practising, for one of their shows. It happened to Debenhams - we were even invited to audition...
Our brush with zombies may have been somewhat unexpected from our day at Pineapple, yet it was a fantastic example of the variety offered by the studios, and the West End presence symbolic of the standing they have in the world of entertainment. With private dance lessons offered as 'taster classes', one-to-one tuition or a chance to learn and train with a group of friends, dancing may be enjoyed by kids either solo, or as a hobby pursued as fun for all.
Whatever tune they dance to, be sure your kids head to Pineapple looking the part with the Debenhams' range of Pineapple clothing. Designed by Debbie herself, Pineapple clothing has been a symbol of dance since the early 1980's, with drawstring bottoms, vests and off-shoulder tees - just don't forget the legwarmers.
After all, kids will want to look cool when they're running from those zombies.
For further details on classes, membership, drop-in prices and opening times, visit the Pineapple Dance Studios website.