StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Dorothy Perkins

There are some London high-street favourites I return to each time I take a trip back home, Blog Reader.  One of these is Dorothy Perkins, an established brand known for providing affordable fashion – it’s one of the UK’s biggest retailers.  Recently Dorothy Perkins collaborated with designer Olivia Rubin on a delightfully named ‘Postcards From…‘ collection of clothing, created with some of Rubin’s signature bold prints.  It’s a small collection of simple wrap dresses and tops with some draping and peplum details and the print is very cute – colourful flying birds, shells and flowers:

Image above: Blush Shell Peplum Top and Grey Bird Peplum Dress, both Olivia Rubin for Dorothy Perkins.

The Dorothy Perkins mainline collection tends to stick to classic silhouettes and simple shapes.  I go to them for their shoes, tees and dresses and during my last trip home to London in February my mother treated me to this lavender lace pencil dress.

Available in blush pink and a similar style in grey also, it’s a simple dress with flutter sleeves that give a lovely balanced, hourglass shape on the body.

Some of my other favourites at Dorothy Perkins right now: below left, the Border Print Prom Dress and Lilac Sleeveless Blouse.

I’m hugely fond of this label having grown up with them.  Do you have similar brands, Blog Reader, who follow you through life?

Wearing: Lavender Lace Dress, Dorothy Perkins; Tassle clutch, Robyn Brooks New York.

Yan To and Young British Designers.

Earlier this year I was the lucky winner of the Young British Designers (YBD) competition to win a dress by Yan To.  YBD is a collective focusing on new and emerging designers in Great Britain, providing a dedicated retail environment for those in the formative years of their label.  The site hosts some phenomenal talent – Yan To,  Olivia Rubin, J.W.Anderson and Eudon Choi amongst others – across the arenas of fashion, accessories and jewellery design.

My dress was to be made-to-measure and I was thrilled to win the competition.  Yan was incredibly approachable and communicative about the fit, style and structure of the dress, questioning me about my likes and dislikes as well as taking all manner of measurements to ensure the final piece would be perfect for me.  We talked a lot about depth and texture – initially I wanted something quite simple (you know me, Blog Reader) but I can now see that with the different elastics; some matt, some with a sheen (there is a close up, below) the dress has a more unique visual effect. Yan sent me images of the creative process as it unfolded in his studio and to be so close to the anatomy of a design was a really lovely thing for someone who adores fashion but who does not have a design background.

The dress forms part of Yan’s forthcoming winter 2012 collection, with many pieces created using elastics, one of his signatures:

I met up with Yan during my trip to London last month to take delivery of the dress and we talked about his inspiration for the new line (a thought process I felt showed a lovely awareness of the psychology of being female) and about his work in general.

Yan explained, “Autumn winter 2012 is inspired by the stripping away of the perception of woman as seen through the eyes of the media, to expose her inner light /dark.  It is realised from the point of love, not cynicism.”  He continued, “For those with a more mischievous disposition it’s kind of like throwing down the gauntlet. ‘If you see me as an object, then check out what’s beneath.  Scared?  Intimidated? Please close the door behind you.  Intrigued? Well…’.”

Yan’s inspiration tends to come from a combination of emotions and thoughts.  He told me that  there are very few drawings in his design process.  ”I prefer to work in 3D either in my head or on the stand.”  His design process? “It’s as much about experimenting with a technique as it is about trying to satisfy an inspiration.”  With a collection of thought provoking, beautiful dresses that are amazing to look at and great to wear I am very excited to see Yan’s future evolution as a designer.

Outfit photos by Lydia Hudgens.
Many thanks to Yan To and Young British Designers for the competition!!  Special thank you to fellow Tweeters Lorien and Jessica from Atelier 36 who I met for the first time in Lahndan town and who came along to see the fabulous new dress.
Wearing: dress by Yan To.  Heels by Dorothy Perkins. Diamond pendant by Anjolee jewellery.