Friday, June 19, 2009

Isabella Oliver 365

One of the thing I constantly bemoan about the fashion industry, as you all know, is the lack of clothing for women with lives in the real world. It's all very well me & a hundred other fashion editors writing about how marvellous Marni is for the quirky working woman, but it's not exactly realistic to spend £700 on a skirt.

But then neither do I want to wear Primark or Forever 21. What I want is to spend a reasonable amount on my clothes. Then I know they are ethical as possible, made from good fabrics, won't fall apart after one season and have some twist, so I don't look like everyone else.

And that's why Isabella Oliver 365 works so well. These are the pieces that may cost just a little more, but will be the mainstay of anyone's wardrobe. And I want the lot.

I've always liked Isabella Oliver's maternity clothing. Stylish, chic, definitive & worn by my best-dressed girlfriends. And, as it happens, they are based in London, just around the corner from my London flat. I discovered this when the lovely Baukjen de Swaan Arons, one of the joint founders, emailed me through the blog & we became friends.

I was beyond thrilled when she got in touch once I had stopped blogging last year to tell me she & her partner Vanessa Knox-Brien were in New York to show their new collection Isabella Oliver 365 and would I like to see it?

Would I heck?! I scrambled a town car after a long day at the coal face of fashion, slightly unsure as to what to expect from an Isabella Oliver non-maternity range. I needn't have worried: I loved it all.

I'm especially liking the Shirt Coat from the new Fall 09 collection in both pink & in black.($389, but there's 15% off all Fall pre-orders right now, so it's $330.)

Isabella Oliver shirt coat

Isabella Oliver shirt coat pink

I'm suspecting that this cape will be a best seller too come Fall($389, now $330 on pre-order):

Isabella Oliver cape. jpg

For now tho, I'm loving these crepe de chine shorts which are just perfect for a hot & humid Manhattan summer ($145):

Isabella Oliver white shorts

But the piece I really, really like is the Multiway Maxi Dress that caught my eye at their SS09 press show. Everything about it appeals: the fabric which is light enough to drape beautifully, but heavy enough to skim the body, the versatility of a piece that can be worn so many different ways, and which can easily take you from a lazy brunch to a black tie dinner and the very attractive price point ($325).

NB Someone asked in the comments about workwear of the pants/skirts variety and so I wanted to make clear: I have picked the pieces here from 365 (not maternity!) that I am thinking of buying (I never wear trousers & rarely skirts. Of course they make trousers, skirts etc. Go check it out at Isabella Oliver 365