All this talk of fashion week has us quite exhausted already, even before we’ve decided what to wear (hope you all saw Jane’s beautiful Solar System Tatty Devine necklace on our Instagrams yesterday?) Where once I would have invested in some fancy new outfit to look ‘current’ at the shows, after decades of attending, I’m reluctant to invest in anything too fashiony because it looks a teeny bit daft in the real world and in the new austerity-shopping matrix, just doesn’t make sense. NB Accessories, as Jane’s necklace demonstrates, are def the way to go to make a big impact while not investing in a complete new wardrobe.
Back in the real world, what I really want and need, is too look good in the garden, or rummaging around a vintage market, or cooking supper, which is where quite a lot of my real life happens.
There’s a very stylish, black and white, based-in-a-smart-reality feel to a number of catalogues from this season, with a strong grown up feel. COS (which features Julia Peyton-Jones to keep us grown up girls happy), John Lewis and Toast to mention three. The Toast catalogue is called Nourishment and is actually the ‘Men’s and Some Women’s’ version and features interesting people you might really want to know more about, wearing clothes for real life.
Putting the men featured to one side, I loved the women Toast selected. Firstly the Herefordshire bio dynamic farmer Jane Scotter, co founder of Fern Verrow who looks fabulous in her Josie Sweater and Belledune tunic, although its the neck scarf that adds that sense of gardening glamour. You can see Jane at Spa Terminus market in Bermondsay every Saturday to sample her delicious wares.
And then there’s our favourite gardener and gardening writer Alys Fowler who told us recently she always tries to dig in a good dress because otherwise she’s be spending her gardening life in rubbish clothes. We think she looks amazing in her brushstroke top and Isla foulard scarf (scarves, gardening ladies, is the way to go for a touch of style it seems).
Thomasina Miers is pretty glamourous without the help of Toast, but I do like the way they’ve put that Alberton Top underneath the Loopback tunic.
I attended the Toast press day back in May and was desperate to own the above Alana jacket immediately, it’s beautifully made with lovely bound seams and the fabric felt gently robust. It would be a perfect transitional weekend jacket, more suitable perhaps for looking around gardens and markets than working in them, but as Alys says, there’s no reason why you can’t wear nice clothes gardening, it just means you look nicer while doing it.
Below is my fantasy romantic top, I’m not sure I’d buy this cross stitch blouse as It’s not quite my style but oh, it’s pretty, with lovely smocking hand stitched around the bodice and made from a linen-feel shirting you know would work hard for you. Perfect with jeans for glamourous gardening or cooking and also available in a tobacco/olive version too.
It’s possible -think Diane Vreeland here- this could almost make it to Fashion Week, if teamed with some slim ankle skimming cigarette pants in a bold colour, or even black, interesting flat shoes and maybe a duster coat in posh denim from Marni thrown over the top. Totes Amaze!
But back in the real world, top marks to Toast for an excellent choice of models for its Nourishment catalogue and keep up the good work on the clothes.