I've not been on the fashion ball lately as work has been consuming all of my time. I mean, I completely missed the Peter Pilotto for Target gig. I'm usually all over my favourite designer's collaborations with the UK high street and have often been gnashing my teeth with envy over the awesome collaborations with top designers run by Target on an almost exclusive basis for our sisters on the other side of the pond. Yes Pret-a-P in Missoni and Fort Smith Stylista in 3.1 Phillip Lim I'm talking to you.
In fact this time, by the time I got around to browsing the collection on Net-a-Porter most of it had sold out and was selling on Ebay at three times the retail price. No matter! To console myself I went out and bought the real thing on sale instead.
I jest. Not about buying the dress on sale, but that it was to console myself. I've been guilty of going overboard on these high street designer collaborations in the past to the extent that after totting up the spend I've realised that I could easily have put that money to get something from the designer's mainline collections if only I had waited patiently enough for a sale or an Outnet drop. I've had some quiet shopping resolutions brewing in the background these last few months. They include firstly to buy less and buy better, secondly to buy to fit my actual lifestyle and body shape now and not the one I used to have, or have in my head, and finally to avoid paying full retail unless it is a wardrobe basic.
As a result shopping on the high street has all but stopped. That's quite a shift in gear because I was a real fan of high street fashion. And I still am - however at s I get older it seems to be less and less of a fan of me - but more of that in another post.
When perusing the Peter Pilotto for Target collection I felt similarly alienated. Not that it was a bad collection per se, some of it looked really very cute, it just felt very young in a way that made it hopelessly irrelevant for my lifestyle let alone body shape. In fact this collection looked like the perfect wardrobe for a whippet thin university student who lives in warm climes near the beach and goes out partying every weekend. It would have been my dream wardrobe when I was twenty. Now (sadly) I have little use for crop tops, printed shorts, skirts with short hemlines, voluminous skater skirts, casual sweatshirts, beach wear or strapless cocktail dresses.
I do love print though and although it is what Peter Pilotto do best, an added plus is that the cuts of their dresses are also very flattering, something I wasn't sure would translate into a high street collection as easy as prints. I picked this one out of the winter sale rack for its turtle neck, angel sleeves and knee length hemline which gives the dress a definite grown up feel while the print stops it feeling stuffy.
Their last winter collection was inspired by Spain which may be why it resonated with me so much. The print on this dress reminded me of the heady visual and sensory overload of climbing Gaudi's unfinished Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I remember walking in circles for hours up and down winding staircases, along the way catching glimpses of stained glass windows, towering stone spires, columns and sculptures all in lurid contrasting colours. I remember it as a crazy, zany piece of architecture that somehow has a divine logic - and I think the print here captures that sense of madness with a method to it.
I wore the dress with this black frock coat and boots to afternoon tea a couple of weeks back with a very interesting and delightful lady who is an academic in fashion media and who I met through the blog. She interviewed me for a book she is writing about blogging. We talked about the contrast between work wear and what we wear on the blog and she asked me if would wear such a dress like this to work. I told her I wouldn't as suits in corporate colours is the order of the day at my office and I would worry it would be too zany. But since we had that chat I have been constantly thinking - well why the hell not? And as I had to go straight to the theatre tonight from work I did just that - wore the dress to work - so thank you Agnes for the motivation! Guess what? Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid - but I do wonder what they were all secretly thinking...
Joining Patti and the ladies over at Not Yet Dead Style for Visible Monday.
Dress: Peter Pilotto; Wrapover cardigan: All Saints; Coat: Sportmax; Mongolian scarf: Topshop; Boots: Moschino; Earrings: Christmas gift