A couple of weekends ago I was photographing some rather wonderful clothes for a lovely boutique called Image in the historic city of Bath. Check out the website: if you're a regular reader of this blog you might get a sense of déjà vu looking at some of the photos of the clothes! I've known the owner for years, always drop in when I'm in the area and inevitably come away with a bag of goodies.
Image caters for sophisticated customers who enjoy good design and are looking for something classy but a bit different. There is a good selection of classic clothing with a twist for the older and professional ladies but I'm always delighted to find some new and quirky designers which are a little off the mainstream fashion radar too. This is where I bought my velvet tuxedo jacket with the chiffon peplum featured in my Harper's Buy Now Wear Forever post. It's by a relatively new designer called Kaylee Tankus.
And then of course I love trying on all the really luxurious clothes just for fun! If only this sumptuous floor length shearling frock coat was mine! This is by a British design label I've been introduced to by Image called Nigel Preston & Knight.
The late Nigel Preston was a British designer who specialised in suede and leather for over thirty years and I was interested to learn that in his heyday, where he led, houses like Gucci and Hermès would follow. He was an artist, musician and singer who had a love of clothes design and who started out making stage clothes for friends and rock stars of the late sixties, working from Pete Townsend’s (The Who) recording studio in London. In the mid-seventies he opened his own shop, Maxfield Parrish, just off the Kings Road.
The Nigel Preston & Knight collections were founded by Preston and his wife Brenda Knight in 2007. They became renowned for artisan hand-painting and decorative techniques as well as for exquisite form and pattern cutting inspired by Knight’s collection of 18th century antique clothing, accessories and fabrics - a collection which was sourced from her travels to the antique markets of European cities like London, Paris, Milan, Venice and as far away as India. (Doesn't that just make you want to quit your day job right now?)
Knight also released her women's collection in 2007 and when Preston passed away a couple of years ago she took over the business. Knight's designs take inspiration from 18th century old French Priest Coats, Edwardian frock coats and military jackets or antique silk and lace jackets, blouses and skirts. Now that is my kind of designer!
The design house's expertise in cutting leather is evident in the cut and fall of this coat. It looks more as if it has been cut from luxury cloth like satin or heavy velvet. I love the way the collar falls into a relaxed frill. It makes the perfect partner to dress up blue jeans and would also look fabulous over evening wear. And it is so warm!!! As a petite, short person I am often warned away from floor length coats by style guides, but try seeing if I care wrapped up in this when we plunge into subzero temperatures in the height of winter.
Boyfriend dearest, this is on my Christmas wish list! Have a word with Santa will you?
If I was chart my pregnancy in terms of some of the best outfits I wore over a growing bump it would start with last summer at ...
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