Since Waddler launched in 2010 we have had happy customers writing to us to ask whether we would ever make clothes for grown ups. We decided this year to launch a limited range of three styles and the feedback so far has been amazing. You can see them on our website here, as well as a short film about Three little bears…
Two great influences for us are Charlie Chaplin, the man with a neat sense of dress who makes us laugh, and the Bolivian cholitas, a class of mercantile ladies who share with Mr Chaplin a love for bowler hats. Inspired by these two worlds-apart icons, we have launched our very own Waddler bowler hat. We hope you like them as much as we do
Every Waddler photo shoot is an adventure and for our Autumn Winter 2013 collection, it was one of the best yet. We took six children to a remote region of the Bolivian Altiplano between four and five kilometres above sea level where they ran free in a vast land of open grassy plains and grazing alpacas, overlooked by the snow capped peak of Sajama…
Wild rainforests branching out over swollen rivers and shrouded in dense mists, vast grasslands, marshes and sluggish creaks that bake under a fierce sun. Though the Madidi national park and the Beni pampas are less than a couple of hundred miles from the Bolivian altiplano as the crow flies, they feel like another world. Separated from the highlands by the soaring peaks of the Cordillera Real, the only way to travel there is a perilous 18 hour bus journey or a thirty minute flight. Opting for the latter our tiny 15 seater twin engined plane struggles into the thin air and carries us by some of the continents highest mountains, their glistening snow seeming just metres from our tiny wings.
A reminder of how high La Paz is, the plane then drops through thick cloud before coming in to land at a terrifying 45 degree angle on a tiny air strip surrounded by thick jungle.
From the small town of Rurrenabaque we travel up river to a community run eco lodge on the banks of the mighty Beni. The following days are spent exploring the Madidi rain forests, one of the most bio diverse areas on earth. Towering red rooted açai palms, tarantula spiders, howler monkeys and a host of endemic plants that cure every ill from muscle ache to arthritis fill every nook and cranny of this vast planetary lung. The local village sits in a clearing by the river overlooked by a dramatic granite ridge that breaks through the thick forest, a last vestige of the Andes powerful geological force before the plains begin. Surrounding the village are plantations of sugarcane, grapefruit trees and mandioca fields and enveloping everything is a sense of paradise found. Fifty or so of the local children make fires, swarm up trees, fish by the river and play every kind of game imaginable. Games are dropped and taken up, participants change and laughter echoes throughout the forest as the shadows slowly lengthen over the village and the children gradually disappear off to their homes leaving behind a lingering sense of magic.
Boating back down river we then travel overland into the enormous marshy grasslands known as the Beni Pampas. In the midst of his harsh landscape of swamp and burning sun, we travel a little ways up the Yacuma river to a small oasis with solar lighting, wooden cabanas and crisp cotton sheets. Over lazy sunny days, trips up and down river yield sightings of alligators, giant storks, the pig-like capybara, pink river dolphins and a host of other strange and wondrous creatures. Despite seeing the man eating black caiman and having fished for piranhas the previous day we throw our selves from tree tops into the cool drifting waters of the Yacuma and for a moment escape the thick riverine heat. Huckleberry Finn, The Little Grey men, this land of heat and slow moving water is awash with magic, dreams and long lazy afternoons.
Accompanying our adventures in the boat and on the bank is a small squirrel monkey we rescued on our journey from an unfriendly policeman who kept him tied up with a string. Relieved to be free of his former master he quickly becomes inseparable from the boys.
Our trip to Madidi and the Beni opened up a whole new world to us, brought new friends and once again we fell in love with another chapter of the Bolivian tale.
At Waddler we’re all about travel and adventure, so it was a real treat to get the stamp of approval from our friends at South America’s finest luxury travel agency.
If you dream of galloping across the grassy Argentine pampas, sipping cocktails while looking out across the crystal blue lakes of Patagonia or exploring the hardcore luxury of Brazil’s vast coast, Plan South America are the people for you.
Dongsun Choo is a boutique fashion photographer and has been a big fan of Waddler since 2010. He sent us these photos today of one of his beautiful models dressed in Waddler. You can check out more of his wonderful work on his website www.babymoment.co.kr or blog . We love the Pierrot Clown look, exactly what we envisioned!