I know, I know, you’re going to look at that title and say ‘Catsuits? has Amanda lost her mind?’, but honestly team, if you can wear trousers, then a catsuit could be a brilliant and practical solution for party wear.
We heard originally about how easy they are to wear from the master of cool style, Jane Shepherdson, CEO of Whistles, right back here. And since then I’ve seen a number of really good ones on women that look just fantastic and they all say how easy and forgiving they are to wear.
When I interviewed designer Maria Grachvogel she stressed that if you really want to make an impact, wear a catsuit and she should know, she wears them all the time and even got married in one and I sure she wont mind me saying she’s a proper womanly shape.
When I turned up to visit the studio of Moka last week, I fell in love with a catsuit and two coats. I went to visit this newly launched brand (this is its first season) because I loved the sound of the women who run it. Dania Sakka and Mona Mourad are childhood friends, Mona has run a production company for years, making clothes for designers such as Heidi Klein, Anya Hindmarch, Amanda Wakeley and East, Dania has been an interior designer since 1998. In a burst of mid life energy they decided to start a fashion business to make clothes they really wanted to wear themselves. Their years of experience shows, the fabrics they use are amazing and the production quality would put many a big designer name to shame.
When we met there was a home made banana cake on the table, which is how I’d love every meeting to start really. The catsuit -or jump suit if you prefer, IS a fantasy number here, as there are only a few stockists in the UK and the price is high -£465. But it’s beautiful, the trouser fabric is softly stretchy and worn generously fitted so it doesn’t need a super-flat or slim bottom. The plunge neckline of lace and chiffon looks daring but you’d wear a camisole underneath and the chiffon blouses out at the waistline to a soft froth, which camauflages any issues you have with your tummy.
And it looks drop dead gorgeous, so unexpected and modern. If this one isn’t quite your style or price range, then try Phase Eight, which has a range of them on special offer currently or Whistles, where there’s a couple in the outlet category. I’d send you to Maria Grachvogel’s catsuits but although they are the best, they are expensive and you’ll only be cross.
And then there’s the coats from Moka, which are very neatly cut for sheepskin, and cleverly combine woven wool with the skin, so you don’t overheat. I loved the half and half coat on the left, it looked great on Dania.
Moka is a brand that’s likely to get picked up by department stores and good independents going forward, it’s still settling down in terms of design, I didn’t love everything in the winter range, but summer is better and next winter better still, as it often is with new brands. Keep an eye on it, if you are in the Middle East (looking at you Becky) there are lots of stockists and for anyone living in London, there’s a trunk show selling next Autumn’s clothes in February (the brand isn’t selling on line yet), so if you like the styles, get yourself added to the customer list by contacting them here. You might be lucky and get banana bread too.
PS, do read reader Sara’s wise words on wearing catsuits in the comments below!