Yesterday Anna and I slapped on the lippy, added a little MasonBentley number, clicked our heels and headed off to the Vogue Festival at the South Bank to hear the e-commerce oracle Natalie Massenet give a talk.
Impressions? I have never been in such a large group of people where fashion was an over-riding obsession, it created a touchable energy I wished I could bottle. In fact it would be easy to intimidated – I know I used to worry much more about failure – and maybe it’s one of the joys of growing older that you can to stand back, observe and place feelings within context from the memory bank.
It struck me – and I have to be honest here – that there was the lack of heart stopping visions of fashion that really floated my boat. Everyone was all very very – there was neon, there was sheer, there was monochrome, there were see-through clutches..but surely if it’s been labelled a ‘trend’ you are following fashion rather than creating it?
For me great fashion has always had that element of unattainability – all precision cut, impeccably crafted, rich visual rewards with cleverness and innovation, Glamour, mystique and cool sophistication, beautifully crafted visions of perfection. But I did’t see that..instead I saw the need for celebrity spread across clothes like landing beacons for transient moments of limelight and a little bit of me wanted to grow wings and fly away.
Maybe the fashion I lust after is elitist which is why it’s been sidelined to a corner? Maybe fast fashion, bright colours and basic material is the only way? We had hoped that Anna might get ‘papped’ in our Valentina dress..I still believe that quality shines. But it was disappointing when we saw that the only outfits being noticed were the most extreme…the towering platform heels, the tiny skirts, the bling…do they really represent what women want to wear? what makes them comfortable? cool? It feels very wrong when we don’t like good any more…that we don’t hold it in esteem.
The talk was great – I would give my eye-teeth to have a two-to-one with Natalie Massenet..if you want to see it for your self all her slides are available on Instagram at @nataporter_mystorysofar. A huge amount of what she said completely resonated with us and our vision for the future. We were inspired.
Then, on the way out..’Madame..Can we take your picture?’…Only USA Vogue!
As Steve Martin said…be so good they can’t ignore you…
I have more dresses from our first collection…not perfectly shot because these were taken literally on the rails at the factory…but perfectly made…
The Grace in black..just a completely different dress…simple, elegant…wonderful!
This is our no-named shirt…Lace is our reflection on now..this print represents our vision for the future and a very british essence we wanted to capture. What has delighted us (can you tell?!) is that we wanted the core of our first collection to be cross-seasonal so we could carry it forward whilst growing new ideas…the other concept we wanted to embrace is escalator dressing..the ability to wear an item dressed up out to dinner..or casually with a pair of jeans or flip-flops..the final criteria is that where humanely possible everything will have pockets..love. love. LOVE! – check out the cuffs and the shoulders..
The Valentina, tarted up…don’t you want to just touch it? stroke it? Wear it? She is gorgeous!
Laters, a delighted Kate xxx
So excited!!! – These are four of the summer dresses we have been working on over the past few weeks…Normally all the ‘developing collection’ pics are posted on our ‘latest MasonBentley page’..but I think these deserve a little more limelight..
The nostalgia of these dresses is in the magic of re-discovery…the basic patterns have all been taken from vintage dresses – and then re-worked so none of the character is lost but there is an added attitude or ease of wearability (i.e. zips in easy places) to reflect our modern day living. The pictures below show the dresses primarily in the pale taupey beige broiderie anglais which is a gorgeous colour but we also plan to do them in white and black..and there is a winter version of the Valentina in the pipeline…
The dresses were all designed with different body shapes in mind..spot the one to suit you..I hope you like!
This is the Valentina. Dress up or dress down. Perfect for an English summer wedding when you can’t rely on the sun. Or put on a pair of flip-flops and head out to the shops..This is the Billie. It’s simplicity and ease of movement is a joy – it will look good no matter how high the temperature rises… a pair of wedges, large sunnies and a straw bag and you are good to go. The belt can also be worn to the front with a large bow – Anna is just improvising without the official belt in this pic..but note the shape to the hem to show a flash of leg – the split and the curve – J’adore.
The Grace. Youthful, elegant, fresh. Dress up for dinner..or just wear on a summers day to pick up the kids from school.. feel a million dollars…the ‘dress’ has to be the ultimate capsule wardrobe. Full stop. No faffing with what goes with what – it’s on..and you’re off…
The Bergman. A hint to Anna’s Swedish heritage. A summer dress to get you noticed..wear this and you know people will comment…but it’s still a cotton summer dress..
Laters, Kate x