Monday, 18 March 2013

Dark Flowers


This weekend I had the pleasure of going to the wedding of one of my oldest friends. We did our PhDs together at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Engineering.  While walking the hallowed halls of one of the world's oldest universities may sound very glamorous, the reality was that my friend and I spent our student years toiling daily in chilly laboratories, mucking about in denim jeans, trainers and ugly fleeces we would mess up and ruin with chemicals and artificial clay.  Extremely unglamorous.

Years later and we're both ended up with careers in the City.  Our daily toil no longer involves clay or nasty chemicals.  We've swapped jeans, trainers and fleeces for sharp suits.  For the wedding we were invited back to the more romantic side of Cambridge to see her marry in the tiny chapel in her old college followed by a reception dinner in the beautiful college dining hall. Unfortunately my blurry champagne fuelled efforts at photography did not do the bride's dress enough justice to post a photo!  It was her second marriage so she threw convention to the wind and walked down the aisle in a dark gold Catherine Deane evening gown in a Grecian goddess style with a floor length, finely pleated skirt and gold chains embroidered into the bust and straps. She wore a lace shawl draped about her shoulder and a spectacular fascinator with white lilies and feathers.


I too decided to throw convention to the wind and as a guest wore a black dress with a black patent leather skirt and a silk chiffon bodice embroidered in English wildflowers.  From experience I know that a medieval college chapel and college dining halls are always places which are freezing cold when the weather is wintery, so I finally opted for this dress for warmth because it had sleeves and also a matching coat jacket.


Both are from Christopher Kane's Autumn Winter 2010 collection which was my all time favourite collection of his ever.  Since I was first seduced by the vision of all those dark flowers on lace and leather coming down the runway I have studiously hunted down these and other pieces over many trips to designer sample sales.  There are runway pieces in my closet.  I don't often get to post about them because there is not often occasion for them to be worn and my outfit shots are what I actually wear.  I don't buy from runway collections very often, or without thinking about it quite hard, but I do buy if I find a collection truly and timelessly beautiful, it speaks to my sense of style and only if I find pieces at a substantial discount at end of season.  I buy with the intention of treasuring and wearing them for years to come and don't really pay too much attention to whether it is in season currently or several runway seasons old.

Fashion magazines would have us believe that we should all be renewing our wardrobe every season with new runway looks.  I don't know anyone who can afford to shop like that.  When you spend this kind of money on beautiful clothes, these are not clothes that you just stop wearing and get rid of after a season, these are clothes you will eventually be handing down to someone special.


This winter has been such a dressed down, keep warm in piles of layers type winter that I was very glad to have finally had a formal occasion to wear this dress and jacket.  Fashion advice is always fixated on saying you shouldn't wear designer head to toe looks but for me Kane is one designer who deserves to be worn head to toe.  I really enjoyed wearing his vision of florals this night because this outfit made me feel more like me.  Here's to the next Kane themed event!


Linking up to Visible Monday over at Not Yet Dead Style.

Embroidiered Dress and Coat: Christopher Kane; Clutch and shoes: Alexander McQueen; Tights: MaxMara

34 comments:

  1. I'm stunned by the gorgeousness of this outfit! I love the jacket and tee (and the link to the leather jacket - swoon!), and for an unconventional bride, this is just a perfect outfit! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. you look amazing, and i LOVE the tights and shoes together.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Absolutely breathtaking. I totally agree with having works of art to treasure and wear. Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of you in this extraordinary ensemble. I loved the description of her attire, as well, and the location. Helps make all that hard work worth it, yes? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I die for black patent leather!! Let's keep in touch, follow me at:

    http://whosyourdowdy.blogspot.com/

    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a stunning ensemble! Truly spectacular. I'm always drawn to color-on-black embroidery. How wonderful to have an opportunity to wear it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my gosh! Such a stunning outfit! I LOVE LOVE the florals on the black back drop...SO SO dramatic! Absolutely gorgeous! My hubby would love the stockings! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your Kane ensembles is seriously beautiful. I have never had the name on my radar, but now I will never forget it. Félicitations to your friend!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is stunning. Breathtaking. I love every single thing about it. The tights are simply divine!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How gorgeous! The dress and the coat are so stunning - definitely heirloom pieces. I hope you didn't outshine the bride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Val - impossible, she was a vision, a truly radiant bride!

      Delete
  10. Stunning, edgy, and bold - well done! Can't wait to see what else come out of that closet of yours!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Mr. Kane should be overjoyed that you are gracing his pieces. You're right, they are glorious. I'm so taken with the high-gloss leather combined with the florals. Like a night garden, invaded by strobe lights.
    How nice to be able to celebrate such a happy event with a long-time friend, and in such a wonderful place. So glad you shared a bit of it with us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Like a night garden, invaded by strobe lights."
      Gosh Jan - what a beautiful and poetic description!

      Delete
  12. Fantastic!! Love the skirt the floral top, the patterned hose, the cage shoes!!!! Sounds like a gorgeous wedding :)
    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  13. This dress is really stunning, so beautiful embroidery! Love your tights too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm with Sheila. Wow, this is a beautiful ensemble. The embroidered dress and coat are obviously very special pieces, but I like how you've added the silk chiffon bodice. Beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a magnificent outfit, the embroidery is just beautiful. I know nothing of the designer or his work but I can tell it's something special! x

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi there! I am so pleased you wore this stunning outfit and shared the pictures-although I don't have any of his runway pieces if I did then this is what I would have-definitely my most favourite of his designs without a doubt, just love it so much. The wedding sounded fabulous too xxx

    ReplyDelete
  17. So stunning! What a wonderful outfit to wear, and treasure, and pass down, too. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, your style is so special.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If convention tossed into the wind looked this lovely all the time, I say, let's toss it up more often! I love the look- romantic and modern.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Adore your look head to toe! I totally love the flowers and the mix of materials. I feel exactly the same about my clothes as you do. My goal is to have transeasonal pieces and where possible punctuated with things that I'm passionate about such as colours, textures and embellishments.
    Many congratulations to your friend!

    ReplyDelete
  20. The wild flowers look stunning against that black background. Gorgeous outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a glorious outfit to wear to a wedding, so expressive and uniquely you! The Kane pieces are incredible. Embroidery is such a work of art, and clearly these are clothes to treasure and cherish. You have such a beautiful sense of style sweetie.

    Your friend's wedding dress sounds just perfect, hope you all had a brilliant time and enjoyed being back in Cambridge. I know the uni quite well as my brother and many friends there: bet you needed all that champers to keep you warm in the freezing hall!

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is STUNNING. I want to steal the clothes off your back!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Gorgeous outfit! I love it. Thanks for stopping by pret-a-vivre.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Incredibly gorgeous! I love it with the patent skirt. And, the matching jacket, wow! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Absolutely stunning outfit, you look beautiful! And very saucy with the skirt, hose and heels.

    ReplyDelete
  26. WOW! This is some outfit! It is definitely heirloom material, the happiest combination of elegant, edgy and individual. You have set the bar high!

    ReplyDelete
  27. You look incredible in that ensemble. I was going to say from head to toe - but obviously we can't see your head! Hey, it just adds to the mystery of it all. Total luxuriousness.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Gorgeous! You are a work of art in this outfit. The embroidery is perfection and I love the shine of the patent leather skirt. The patterned tights are a delicious surprise. Your description of the bride's fascinator made this post sing to me.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love, love this unconventional outfit you wore to Cambridge! I'm sure your friend didn't care that it was black with the explosion of colors everywhere else. I have a favorite black, brocade coat by Desigual with colorful designs embroidered around it and along the hem. Every time I put it on, people ask if I'm an artist! So I must say, you look incredibly artistic in this. - J xxx

    ReplyDelete
  30. I just wanted to let you know that I loved this outfit so much I've included you in my Favourite fashions.

    Have a great holiday weekend!

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  31. What a special outfit, a true treasure! Fits you like a glove. Money well spent!

    blue hue wonderland

    ReplyDelete

Thank you kindly for your comments! Please be aware that comment moderation is on to weed out the spammers and I can only check comments once a day, so please don't worry if you don't see your comment come up at first - it is probably there and will be up later xx

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...