For most of us, bows have been a symbol of ultra-femininity since we first saw Cinderella’s singing birds tie a perfect satin bow in that dressmaking montage. From the bow-adorned scrunchies of our childhoods to the oversized, chevron varieties that permeated through 2010s Tumblr, bows have long been the perennial go-to for elevating any outfit. Today, whether it’s Kiko Kostadinov’s knee-high bow embellished boots or Sandy Liang’s understated hair ribbons, it’s undeniable that bows have remained the accessory knot to miss.

And it's no wonder, as achieving the perfect look is as simple as tying your laces. Instantly adorable, attainable and versatile – bows are going nowhere. Like many of the DIY accessories trends popularised by TikTok, it's emerging designers that are doing bow-centric collections best. And with the Saturday just gone marking International Bow Day (yes, that really is a thing), there’s no better time for us to shed light on our favourite independent brands embracing the bow so you can add that final flourish to your everyday looks.

Damson Madder

Just launched, Damson Madder’s AW23 collection is certainly no stranger to a bow or two. The London-based brand honours nostalgia for uniform dressing, pairing checked prints and Peter Pan collars with a bounty of playful ribbon details. These all come together in the ‘Lola’ blouse, with the delicate criss-cross bow pattern, frilly oversized collar and balloon sleeves making it the shirt of our girlhood dreams. Meanwhile, a tie closure is added to a checked, frilly gilet for the perfect bow front and centre, and a puff-sleeved midi dress is adorned with three black velvet bows. Balaclava and bonnets make a comeback for this transitional season, secured at the neck with chunky knitted bows. If there’s anything to take away from this collection, it’s that you can never have too many bows.

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Handmade in Barcelona, from upcycled and deadstock fabric, all of Merrfer’s bow accessories satisfy our knotty needs. Our personal favourites are the theatrical bow shows, available in a myriad of vintage silks, from a ballerina-approved peachy pink to an olive green that shimmers gold. Finished off with a crystal heart detail for all the lovers out there, these sling-backs have a sharp pointed toe hidden underneath the dramatic – albeit floor-grazing – oversized bow. But it doesn't end there, Merrfer’s expertise in all things bow lives on through the whole collection, from upcycled rings, hair clips, and knee-high multi-bow socks.

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Marland Backus

Marland Backus’ take on the bow replaces the traditional satin with stainless steel. The result? A choker with adorable accents but a high-shine, metallic edge. For the Brooklyn-born, Tokyo-based jewellery designer, nostalgic callbacks to childhood are a staple feature in all her pieces. Whether it's birthday candle rings or a pearl necklace tangled with synthetic hair, Marland offers her own masterful reimaginings of nostalgic favourites we all know and love. The bow gets an elegant treatment with the snake chain, in keeping with fluidity while adding an almost utilitarian touch.

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Shop more of our favourite bows below...

By Mimi Francis