As summer finally arrives – with a vengeance – you’ll be relieved to hear that we’ve just launched our pure cotton collection of classic shifts.
In a choice of colourful prints including dragonflies, lovebirds and roses, our Audrey shifts are beautifully tailored to flatter. The neckline sits just below the collar bone and is set wide to minimize the waist, the armholes are not too cut away and the hem sits typically on the knee of an average height lady. At the back there is a fully enclosed double box pleat, and the dresses are fully lined in fine 100% cotton lawn for maximum comfort.
Now it’s easy to look chic and keep your cool!
We’re delighted to let you know that we’re offering a selection of our size 12 pre production samples for sale at very special prices.
Our samples are made in exactly the same way and to the same high standard as our regular production pieces, using the same fabulous silks and wool and all lined in pure silk.
We currently have:
Peacock – green silk taffeta, size 12. Usual price £845, sample price £470 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/peacock—sample-sale-946-…
Audrey – purple wool, size 12. Usual price £695, sample price £235 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/audrey—sample-sale-923-p…
Ava – Mercury cotton/silk mix, size 12. Usual price £695, sample price £230 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/ava—sample-sale-938-p.asp
Elizabeth – purple wool, size 12. Usual price £735, sample price £265 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/elizabeth—sample-sale-96…
Grace – Pearl grey wool, size 12. Usual price £740, sample price £275 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/grace—sample-sale-969-p.…
Katherine – Banana silk, size 12. Usual price £395, sample price £215 http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/katherine—sample-sale-86…
Veronica – Coral silk, size 12. Usual price £455, sample price £270
Gina – Slate silk, size 12. usual price £445, sample price £245
Suzy – Ocean silk, size 12. Usual price £425, sample price £235
We were delighted to see Lorraine Kelly looking fabulous in our Lily dress this morning
– loving her matching pink shoes too X
It was a chilly windy day at Ascot when Jane attended this year, but she was warm and elegant in a bespoke Rita dress and Lauren jacket in light wool puppy tooth check, with ‘windproof’ hat by Liz Felix X
A selection of our designs are now available to purchase from Liz Felix Millinery Henley http://www.lizfelixhats.com/.
In addition to our dresses and Liz’s lovely hats you’ll also find beautiful jewellery and accessories to complete your look.
So now you can find everything you need for your special event all in one place.
In addition to stock pieces we can offer a bespoke service from Liz’s studio, and the lovely Liz can create a hat to match. All your occasion wear problems are now officially over!
A huge thank you to the gorgeous Pippa, Suzanne, Mel and Natalie for modelling at the show, and an equally huge thank you to the lovely Gemma from Beauty Call who did their stunning make up and hair. Beauty Call is a nationwide network of hair and make up artists (there’ll always be someone near you) have a look at beautycall.co.uk.
Glamorous fashion was on the menu at a sumptuous lunch in the glorious setting of Coworth Park in Ascot recently. Our lovely volunteer models sashayed between the tables showing Royal Enclosure ready outfits and we gave our top tips for dressing elegantly for special events.
Here are our edited highlights:
We always think if you’re looking for guidelines for formal dressing, look no further than the queen – she’s spent her lifetime in formal clothes so she knows the rules!
For example, you won’t see the queen wearing sandals with her hat, similarly you won’t see her with bare legs. If you’re wearing a hat it’s formal, and if you want to look polished you need to wear something on your legs (we’re big fans of fishnets as they are really light and comfortable) and shoes should really be court style.
Never wear a hat just flat on your head – always at an angle, and do make sure your hairstyle works your hat so it doesn’t look like the hat is an afterthought. If you have long hair, wear it up or back in a chignon, or at least tuck it behind your ears.
Handbags should be ladylike; structured is best, and big enough to hold everything you’re going to need but small enough to be elegant.
Keep jewellery minimal especially if you are wearing a statement hat.
Fundamentally, think one statement piece and keep everything else simple and elegant,
We’re delighted to let you know that Jane & Marilyn is now stocked at Creativations Chelsea – 301 Fulham Road SW10.
Creativations Chelsea is a unique concept showcasing new designers, artists and artisans and you can find clothing, accessories, art and home wares there.
In addition to Jane & Marilyn stock pieces we can also offer appointments at the shop to provide a bespoke service for a wide choice of colours and a perfect fit.
To make an appointment contact us directly on 0208 334 0204 or Creativations Chelsea on 07423226323.
A fabulous vintage shop in Kensington is now stocking Jane & Marilyn.
They have a large collection of decadent cocktail dresses and elegant evening gowns for all occasions, including bridal wear – and you can find Jane & Marilyn there too.
In addition to the stock pieces we also offer a personalised bespoke service for a wide choice of colours and a perfect fit, so you will have your own vintage inspired dress made to the same high standards and totally unique.
Orsini has a stunning range of vintage furs – full length coats and beautiful stoles and shrugs – plus glorious jewellery and mouth-watering vintage handbags in pristine condition from labels such as Chanel and Hermes.
If you’re in the area it’s well worth a visit to pick up something special for yourself, or perhaps a few gifts for glamorous friends!
We’ve had something of a celebrity fest chez Jane & Marilyn recently. Firstly, a Jane & Marilyn dress made an appearance on Loose Women (the second time a Jane & Marilyn design has appeared on the show), when Andrea McLean chose Katherine in banana for a recent appearance.
Next up was Lorraine Kelly who chose to wear our Lily dress for the Women of the Year Awards, where she was a judge.
You can see more pictures of Lorraine at the Awards here: http://www.itv.com/lorraine/hottopics/lorraine-goes-to-women-of-the-year/
Wonderful to see these gorgeous ladies looking so glamorous in Jane & Marilyn!
It’s always wonderful to see our customers in all their finery, so we were delighted to receive these pictures of ladies at Royal Ascot.
This lady has added some black and white feathers to our black cartwheel hat to co-ordinate with her black and white dress. This is such a versatile hat, it looks striking and elegant on its own but is also a perfect foil for a strategically placed feather or flower.
This customer chose a special colour for her Rita dress; a beautiful rich pink which positively glowed. She looked radiant with her matching picture hat and pale pink shoes.
The Rita was also Jane’s choice for her day at Ascot. In a midnight blue, with matching Lauren jacket it was accessorised with a dramatic dark blue mesh hat trimmed with peacock feathers and iridescent beetle wing hat pin. Jade green shoes and bag and beetle wing brooches completed the look.
Marilyn looked so elegant in her choice of the Katherine dress in a soft beige with taupe patent bag and shoes. She added silk flowers to match her accessories on both her hat and in the draped front of her dress.
With Ascot out of the way it’s all about Henley Regatta; it’s likely that Rita will be making an appearance and probably Veronica too!
It’s been a hectic first few months of the year with February seeing the launch of our new bridal service. We’d been approached by a number of ‘grown up’ brides looking for something different for their ceremonies, and most specific that they didn’t want ‘the full gown’. Our dresses work beautifully as sophisticated bridal wear in soft ivories or pearl greys. We can even add extra bling with crystal or pearl buckles, buttons and embellishments. And the added bonus is that a Jane & Marilyn bride can easily wear her dress again afterwards, so it’s excellent value too!
We attended an exclusive wedding fair in Kingston upon Thames at the beginning of March. Warren House, a stunning 19th century Victoria Mansion nestled close to Richmond Park. A beautiful backdrop for weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, Warren House is set within four acres of landscaped grounds and boasts a lavish ballroom for wedding ceremonies.
As well as showing our Premiere and Silk collections (perfect for mothers of the bride and wedding guests), we also showcased our bridal service.
With the Season’s events drawing closer and ladies looking for dress code friendly pieces, we held a series of ‘open house ateliers’. Ladies were welcome to drop in without an appointment, have a glass of something bubbly and view our collections and hats. Samples were available to try and we were on hand to discuss modifications to the designs and run through colour swatches.
We are currently helping a number of ladies achieve their perfect Ascot look, in addition to working with mothers of the bride who want to look glamorous, but appropriate for their special occasion.
Stay glamorous X
So it’s the party season so we thought we’d share some tips for grown up, glamorous festive faces.
Foundation is essential to even out imperfections. Choose a light diffusing one with a satin finish. Too matt is ageing and shows every wrinkle, too shiny and it just won’t look ‘finished’. We like Bobbi Brown’s illuminating foundation.
We thoroughly recommend using a foundation brush, but trial and error has taught us that the best way to apply it is firstly with the fingers. Press a little foundation into the skin all over the face but focussing more on the central panel where uneven colouring and pores are more likely to be a problem. Using fingers warms up the foundation so it glides on smoothly and you’ll use less than you would if you apply with a brush. Once you have completed the application, take your foundation brush and brush all over your face to even it out, ensuring there are no heavy patches, and creating a soft, cashmere finish.
Blusher (we prefer a cream one) should be applied to apples of cheeks, on the temples, the tip of the nose and chin and thoroughly blended. This will give a more contoured effect and you’ll look healthy too!
Depending on your skin type you may like to add a little powder, it creates a wonderful finish but you have to be careful as too much powder can be ageing and settle into wrinkles. Pressed powder applied with a pad can set too matt but loose powder can look flour-y. We have a tendency to shine on the T zone so we always use powder and have found the best approach to use a pressed powder (we like MAC) but to apply it with a large powder brush.
Use a highlighting eye shadow (MAC does an excellent one called ‘Nylon’) and just dab your ring finger into it and touch it onto the centre of your eyelid and the inside corner of your eyes so it lights both the top and bottom part of the inner corner. Using fingers rather than a brush or sponge applicator keeps it subtle – you want to see the effect (which is spectacular) not the eye shadow.
Elongate eyes and create a feline look with false eyelashes attached to the outer half of the eyelid. Use individual lashes to build volume, or cut a regular pair in half (the added bonus is that you get two pairs of eyelashes for the price of one)!
A nice pair of groomed and coloured brows frames the face and also adds vintage Hollywood allure. Threading is our eyebrow grooming technique of choice, and having them tinted also means less work is required with your eyebrow pencil.
Lipstick is of course essential. Marilyn Monroe would use multiple lipsticks to create that famous full lipped look. You can achieve it too with some cunning tricks. Firstly, use a nude lip pencil to line your lips, taking it just outside your natural lip line and correcting any imbalances as you go. Use a subtle highlighter such as Touche Éclat and apply along your upper lip just above your new lip line and under your nose. This will create a more ‘pouty’ upper lip. Apply one coat of your favourite red lipstick, blot thoroughly and apply again, this will give it staying power. Finally apply a dab of lipstick in a pale pearly colour in the middle of your bottom lip to create a fuller looking lip. Note – don’t be tempted to add lip gloss – a satin finish is the most you should aim for, with a strong red lip colour gloss just looks too much like jam!
Now you’ll rival any screen goddess, so go forth and be glamorous!
Merry Christmas X
We’ll be bringing our grown up glamour to Surrey in November when we support Fashion For Good’s uber stylish fashion weekend at the Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge, Surrey on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 November.
Fashion For Good, a Surrey-based community fund-raising initiative, is bringing together some of the hottest up and coming boutique designer collections, stylists and make-up artists under one roof.
There’s an evening catwalk show on the Friday, and we will have our Premiere and Silk Collections on display for fashionistas to peruse during a one-off shopping and pamper experience on the Saturday.
We’re delighted to be part of such a unique event that’s supporting worthwhile causes and we’re looking forward to welcoming ladies of all ages and helping them channel their inner Hollywood sirens with designs and tailoring to take them from work to play!
Fashion For Good helps people, who love fashion and beauty, to shop and pamper themselves whilst knowing that they’re helping to do some good in their local community at the same time. The initiative is working with The Community Foundation for Surrey to distribute the money raised to local causes, including Christopher’s Children’s Hospice, Your Sanctuary, The Oasis Childcare Centre, SAY-It’s Friday! and Happy Days.
For more details on the Fashion For Good Surrey Fashion Weekender, visit the official website at www.fashionforgood.co.uk.
Stay glamorous X
Sorry to mention but Christmas is nearly upon us! If the thought of what to wear for the festivities is vexing you may we suggest the perfect ‘little purple dress’? Purple is one of the hot colours for A/W12 and has the added bonus of flattering most skin tones, as well as making you stand out in a crowd of black!
Our flattering Elizabeth and chic Audrey dresses – http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/elizabeth-83-p.asp & http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/audrey-33-p.asp – are both available in vibrant Violet lightweight wool, and we can also produce Sophia, Grace and Jane in this colour too on request.
And if purple isn’t your thing, how about the other on trend colour for this season – green, as seen here shimmering in taffeta on our Peacock dress http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/peacock-140-p.asp.
We have these styles in stock in a range of sizes but there is also just time enough to create a dress for you before the party season starts.
Why not contact us for details of stock availability and delivery times for made to order pieces…
… and let’s make this most glamorous Christmas ever!
Our gorgeous tailored dress in banana, from the Silk Collection, has been selected by the event’s organisers as one of the designs to feature in their promotional activity next year. Teamed with an amazing Piers Atkinson feather hat it is the perfect outfit for the Royal Enclosure.
Our dresses have been designed with events of the season in mind, adhering to the dress codes. Royal Ascot is one of the biggest events in the British social calendar and we’re delighted our Katherine dress has been chosen to represent such a glamorous occasion.
Stay glamorous X
We were delighted to see the gorgeous Anna Friel spotted in our Grace dress (http://shop.janeandmarilyn.co.uk/grace-432-p.asp) on the set of her latest film, “Pavement Psychiatrist.”
Endlessly versatile, the Grace dress, available in soft pearl grey or black, offers classic lines with its boat neckline, bracelet length sleeves and niped-in waist. From the back, the dress gives plenty of va va voom with its heavily panelled, fluted skirt. Made from 100% soft, lightweight wool, it’s fully lined in pure silk in our signature lipstick red.
And it’s clear that Anna is a fan of the dress too – ‘I feel like I’ve just come off the set of La Dolce Vita,’ she commented.
Stay glamorous like Anna X
Well what a summer so far – it’s been a whirlwind of events, the Jubilee, Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta, Wimbledon, Henley Festival, Glyndebourne and now the Olympics.
Up until recently the weather has been truly appalling, but we Brits made the best of it (we always do don’t we?) and it looks like summer has finally arrived!
So we thought we’d share some of our highlights and observations of the summer’s events so far:
First, the Jubilee. Stunning us all with her seemingly endless energy and fortitude (that river pageant must have taken it out of her, standing for hours in that dreadful weather), the Queen and her support team showed us all how dressing for formal occasions should be done http://tinyurl.com/82w99qo. Effortlessly chic in colour coordinated outfits; dresses, suits and coats (we know tops and skirts are having a moment, but they’re simply not smart enough for formal events and just look wrong with hats); no bare legs; no sandals; fabulous hats http://tinyurl.com/clms4ec.
‘The Queen is not interested in high fashion’ says one of her couturiers ‘but she is very interested in her clothes and is very particular.’ It’s an excellent philosophy, and one which we wholeheartedly recommend, high fashion and formal dress are not easy bedfellows.
We had a flurry of purchases of our blue Joan dress; it’s just the thing for Jubilee events and the rich blue on a white background is patriotic too – especially teamed with red accessories. So popular has it been that we’ve almost sold out in that colour way now.
To Royal Ascot and the new tightened up dress codes were a triumph with ladies looking really elegant, everyone was remarking what a difference it made and how good everyone looked http://tinyurl.com/blarl5z. Just one observation though, ladies in trouser suits with a typical ‘Ascot’ hat just don’t look right. The only way to pull off this look is with sharply tailored ‘Al Capone’ style suit teamed with a Fedora.
Gina, Rita, Katherine and the Peacock dress all went to Royal Ascot this year in a variety of colours. The most popular colour choice was blue, albeit in a range of shades from the palest sky, to the richest Royal blue.
For Henley Royal Regatta, Marilyn, Joan and Peacock swished their full circle skirts through the enclosures, while we enjoyed brief outbreaks of sunshine and dodged the rain and howling winds!
One lesson we learned from this year’s goose bump inducing series of events is to go for either a dress with sleeves or a dress and matching jacket next year to cope with the vagaries of the British weather. That and always take at least one pashmina too just in case!
Another lesson to be born in mind for next year is however much you love a large hat ( and don’t we all) – it’s a really good idea to have a smaller, ‘plan B’ hat so, on the day if it’s impossibly windy swap for the smaller one. There is little more tedious or painful than ‘hat arm’ – spending the whole day hanging on to your hat while you’re arm aches and the blood rushes to your shoulder! It’s far easier to anchor something small (as long as it’s 4 inches across for the Royal Enclosure) with elastic and hat pins and you can hold your head high and your arms by your sides all day with impunity!
One great find which was a real lifesaver on the boggy ground was Clean Heels www.cleanheels.co.uk. They’re fantastic for protecting your heels on grass and protecting you from sinking into the mud! They make plain ones and charming ones with crystals and flowers.
On the subject of shoes, we saw a lot of ladies wearing shoes they couldn’t walk in. Nothing spoils a look faster than hunched deportment with a face contorted in pain. These big summer events always require lots of standing and walking, so learn how to carry yourself in your heels and wear shoes you can walk properly in. Avoid what the delightful Manolo Blahnik calls ‘furniture shoes’ (not elegant) think ladylike courts, and never ever wear brand new shoes for the first time at occasions like this. Wear new shoes around the house a few times first to soften them up and find out if there are any pressure points that will hurt or give you blisters. If they do, invest in a shoe stretcher to ease them (John Lewis does a great one). Being able to stand and walk with poise and elegance will do more for you than any amount of designer clothes. Holding yourself properly can give you real presence. Keep your back straight slightly leaning back, hold your head up, and point your toes forward swinging legs from the hip and placing your toe down before your heel. Let the Duchess of Cambridge be your role model – see how she walks tall – and glide gracefully through the rest of the season!
Stay glamorous X
We recently ran two fashion events to introduce our new Silk ollection and showcase pieces from our Premiere collection prior to the summer season.
Our first event was held near Henley on Thames and the guest list included many local women looking for something special to wear for Royal Ascot and Henley regatta.
We put out a call for lovely local ladies to model for us, and were spoilt for choice. We selected four gorgeous women with a variety of ages, and our makeup artist Jane Butler and hair styling team from Dorata in Henley ( www.dorata.co.uk) worked their magic transforming our models into 1950s glamourpusses!
We accessorised our designs with hats from our new millinery collection andjewellery by Stella & Dot. Popular purchases at the event were the cartwheel fishnet straw hat, Rita and Katherine dresses and the Lauren jacket.
Our second event was held at the prestigious Naval & Military Club (now popularly known as the In & Out Club) in London’s St James’ Square. ‘Tea with Jane & Marilyn’ was held in their stunning King Harold V room, an elegant, pale salon with glittering crystal chandeliers and grand paintings of European royalty on the walls; the perfect setting for our collections.
Guests were treated to a sumptuous afternoon tea while our beautiful (size 12) models walked leisurely between the tables, stopping so guests could get a closer look and talking to them about what they were wearing.
After the show, guests were able to try the dresses and accessories and popular purchases included the Gina and Veronica dresses and the leather corset belt. We also had a number of requests for the dresses in special colours.
Coincidentally, while writing this, evidence presented to the All Party Parliamentary Group on body image has emerged suggesting that more than half of the public has a negative body image, and of most concern, girls as young as five now worry about how they look. Media images of unrealistic bodies were said to be largely to blame.
But we are committed to our policy of using realistic imagery – including women of all ages and sizes – to promote our label. Naturally we want our images to be beautiful and aspirational, but we believe they must also be relevant and something our customers can identify with.
Stay Glamorous X
Fishnets have been coming in for a lot of flak recently, largely it seems due to Madonna sporting them at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami teamed with bondage boots and tight satin shorts.
Mimi Spencer and Liz Jones (http://bit.ly/Hbe6Vc) have both criticised Madonna’s choice of stage outfit and suggested that fishnets shouldn’t be worn over 50. And to a point we have to agree that you do have to be careful, especially with the black variety, when you’re a little more mature.
Fishnets and big pants can make glamorous and practical stage wear – Marlene, Judy Garland, Liza M, Marilyn and Kylie have all pulled of the look – and Madonna probably could have too if she’d got the rest of the outfit right. The pants for example, need to be big, covering the entire buttock, not, like Madonna’s, skin tight and cut so high they flattened and pushed the bottom half of her derriere out in a most unflattering manner! And rather than the fetishist lace-around-the-leg-up-to-the-knee boots, a pair of high, pointy toe stilettoes are sexy in a sophisticated, grown up way.
Stage wear apart, black fishnets can work on all ages but, at night, preferably in winter and definitely with a hemline well below the knee. Team with sky high but ladylike heels and it’s a simply glamorous look.
However, there is also another way to embrace the fishnet, one of which we have long be devotees – the flesh colour fishnet. In flesh the fishnet loses all its burlesque overtones (particularly if you go for the finer micromesh fishnet), and becomes a practical solution to uncomfortable hose issues. Especially in summer, if you don’t want bear legs (and for special occasions and in particular when wearing a hat, you really shouldn’t be doing bear legs) but can’t bear the thought of encasing your legs in nylon, flesh fishnets are the solution. They allow your legs to breath – you hardly know you’re wearing them – whilst making your legs look smooth and beautiful.
They help to prevent blisters too!
Stay glamorous X
The months of designing, research, fittings, sampling and photography are over … our new ‘Silk Collection’ has arrived!
We’ve used Matka silk for most of the designs. This is a beautifully soft woven silk that looks and feel a little like a cross between wool and cotton. It’s very comfortable to wear, year round, and comes in some luscious colours too.
The collection comprises seven ‘forever’ dresses and a cropped, matador style jacket.
True to our 1950s glamour signature style, our new designs have a shapely tailored look, with elements including pencil skirts with double box pleats or fishtail godets at the back, wide set necklines, pleating and waterfall draping. As before our dresses are versatile, perfect special occasions and ‘dress code friendly’ so no embarrassing moments at the entrance to the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot, or Stewards’ Enclosure at Henley Regatta! They all work with hats too.
We’ve chosen banana and coral instead of the currently on-trend ‘fluoro’ yellows and oranges, as they’re easier to wear for the average English rose complexion. We’ve also included ocean, slate and stone in the colour choices for our ready to wear collection (all the designs in the Matka silk are available in all these colours). We can also offer a choice of around 40 other colours in this cloth, as part of our demi couture service.
We’re also very excited to have secured a beautiful silk jacquard woven exclusively for us (here in the UK) in pink, mauve and green, which we’re using on one of our Chinese-inspired dresses. This dress (called Lily) is available in cocktail and full length and we’re also going to offer it in a bronze/silver colour way.
We’ve introduced a jacket too as a result of your requests for something to wear over our sleeveless designs. It has 3/4 sleeves that can be worn up or down, and a folded feature across the top of the sleeve, for a sharper silhouette.
And there’s more good news: through sheer hard work and determination to deliver the same level of quality at a slightly lower price point, we’re delighted to say our new collection retails from £295 for the jacket to £580 for the full length evening gown.
We’ve done our glamorous photo-shoot (watch this space for more on that) and the collection is now available to purchase from our website – along with our gorgeous new hat and accessories collections.
Enjoy, and stay glamorous X
Flying to Italy for a short holiday recently Jane was glad of her faithful Pashmina – why do planes always have the air-conditioning turned up so high? It doesn’t matter where you’re going or what time of year, it always seems to be freezing in the cabin – particularly challenging if you’re going on a summer holiday in August and dressed for high temperatures.
We got to thinking about just how versatile the Pashmina is. We bought our first ones years ago when they first became the cover up of choice, and they’re still going strong, but we’ve collected a few more over the years.
We’ve used our Pashminas in so many ways and we thought we’d share some of them. For flying taking one in your hand luggage is essential. The warm, soft Pash is lightweight, doesn’t take up much space but boy are you glad of it when they turn on that aircon! If you’re taking a night flight and find the blankets aren’t plentiful, or warm enough the Pash makes for great supplementary bedding.
Whether flying or not we always travel with at least one trusty Pashmina, usually a black one – the most versatile. Jane remembers staying in a very draughty hotel in Scotland; freezing in the night due to lack of heating, insufficient bedding and probably her own Sassenach softiness , she remembered her Pash she spread it on the bed – it made a perfect t bedspread and kept her cosy all night.
We have also used Pashminas as makeshift nighties to preserve our modesty and as a sarong over swimwear for trips to the bar.
But a word of caution here your versatile Pash is only versatile if it’s the real thing. Beware of imitations. There are lots of shawls and scarves out there that look like the genuine article, they may even be called Pashminas but they’re not.
Firstly it has to be the real Pashmina wool – a very fine Cashmere that comes from a special breed of goat called the Changthangi or Pashmina goat. This is what gives the Pashmina its exceptional softness and warmth. Then it should be full size 90cm x 200 cm if you want true versatility – and if you’re going to use it as a nightie or sarong and still retain your modesty. The real Pashmina isn’t cheap (which is another way to check for the genuine article), but it will pay dividends in terms of cost per wear.
One feature Jane was delighted to discover was that whilst not waterproof the Pash is surprisingly shower resistant; at Royal Ascot last year she was caught in a positive monsoon while wearing the blue Peacock, pure silk dress. She wrapped her pashmina around the dress cloak style to protect it from the worst of the weather, and protect it it did. We have also used Pashminas as oversized headscarves and snoods to protect head and hair from the cold and rain.
But we do wear Pashes more conventionally too. They are the perfect summer companion to cover bare shoulders on cooler nights. For added dash we’ve started wearing two Pashminas at once to contrast or co-ordinate with our outfits, it not only keeps you extra warm but looks really stylish too. Just layer one on top of the other and fold in half lengthwise so the one colour can be glimpsed from beneath the other. We must be on to something here because a number of our friends have started doing the same thing!
Whatever the occasion we are never far from our Pashes, a wrap in summer, draped over a jacket or as an oversized scarf under a coat in winter we are as inseparable from our Pashminas as we are from each other!
If you share our passion for Pashminas and have found any other novel uses for them let us know, we’d love to hear about it. X
So it’s that time of year again and we all want to look our most glamorous, festive best for our Christmas events. It’s tempting to pile on the glitz but while we love some sparkle ourselves competing with the Christmas tree is not a good look.
Choose one traffic stopping dress an amazing pair of statement heels or perhaps a substantial piece of jewellery and build your look around that – be dramatic by all means but do it with style.
Dresses are the ultimate in easy dressing and, if you’re going straight from work to event, choose a simple design and dress it up for evening with some party shoes and accessories – you’ll look chic and sophisticated especially if everyone else is in lurex and lame!
Colour is a big story this season and it’s fun to be festive in a red, green or purple dress. And all these colours look amazing teamed with gold shoes and accessories.
If you’re going for black – and why not it’s still the most popular choice for evening wear by a mile – it’s the perfect backdrop for host of looks. Animal prints are very on trend right now and a pair of leopard print heels will dress up a little black dress a treat, beware of leopard overload though; shoes and perhaps a fur tippet or handbag will look dramatic but go furthest and you’ll veer dangerously into barmaid territory! Team with a chunky matt gold cuff or collar for an exotic effect. Black always looks amazing with diamonds, crystals or any kind of sparkle. Vintage dress clips can turn asimple but dramatic dinner dress into something very festive.
Choosing a more covered up style of dress – sleeves and a longer hem for example – is not only practical for this time of year but it’s dramatic and sophisticated when the world around you may be in strapless micro minis.
And if you’re going to be doing a lot of dancing, choose some shoes that you can actually dance gracefully in, no point in ruining a fine pair of shoes (and your dignity)struggling in the wrong shoes however pretty they are.
Another tip for instant glamour is to add a pair of long leather gloves; black tunes in to the current ‘fetish’ trend but a rich jewel colour can look incredibly stylish teamed with a black or navy dress.
Of course it’s vital that your carefully constructed outfit doesn’t overshadow the star of the show – you. Clothes should never wear you; rather, they should be the setting, as with a fine piece of jewellery, to showcase you as the jewel.
Hair and make up play a big part in completing your look and emphasising your features. But when time is short one of the quickest and most effective ways to achieve a glamorous evening face is to apply some false eyelashes. For a slant eyed but subtle effect we like to cut our strip lashes in two (added bonus – 2 pairs for the price of one) and apply to the outer half of our lids. Team with some red lipstick and even in the simplest black shift, you’ll look dressed up, grown up and fabulous.
Have a glamorous Christmas X
We’re so excited to be working on some glamorous new designs to add to our existing collection.
For our new silk collection we’ve found the most beautiful natural silk with a linen type weave which is available in an array of luscious colours, in particular rich blues, corals and yellows – key trends for S/S 2012. Perfect for day dresses and jackets this cloth hangs beautifully and is wonderful to wear.
In addition, we have sourced some beautiful patterned silks from a mill right here in England. They can produce cloth to our own design and colour specifications, so look out for some spectacular cocktail dresses and even an evening dress or two!
Customers have also been asking us for a jacket to wear with our sleeveless designs and we’re going to be introducing a neat little cropped one which we can produce in a variety of colours and cloths.
Our first patterns have been made and we will be fitting them on our models next week – so watch this space. X