Positive fashion: No label labels

Lemaire Aw17

Black Friday, black schmiday! I don’t really go mad for these sales unless I need something practical (I’m currently Googling printers #fml) but otherwise I would approach them the same way I do any other sale season; look for the ‘investment buys’ that I couldn’t usually afford.

For me that means hunting out the Christophe Lemaire, Sofie d’Hoore and Margaret Howell goodies that have a long lifespan and won’t date. The New York Times had a good feature spotlighting a few of these brands in its T Magazine. I hadn’t heard of Casey Casey before but it’s another one to add to the list. Here’s my edit of non-‘fashion’ fashion labels to look for…

Lemaire (above) Christophe Lemaire is the designer whose discreet outerwear and shoes have a casual refinement that lets them transcend seasons and situations. I love his neutral colour palettes with pops of saffron and red

Mackintosh This heritage brand makes rubber raincoats for the likes of Hermes but its own label has come along in huge leaps in recent seasons. Mr DRG and I both wear its coats but the ready to wear is fantastic too, with very simply cut shirts, sweatshirts and trousers in impeccable fabrics. As it’s now owned by a Japanese firm, the sizes run small which is great if you’re petite like me

Margaret Howell No surprises here, I could easily live in Margaret Howell. I have a version of this gabardine trench (in the gallery below) and 110% recommend it. The knits and silk spotty scarves also get my vote, the quality is just beautiful. If the mainline is too prohibitive, check out the MHL diffusion line

Sofie d’Hoore (below) This under-the-radar Belgium designer makes voluminous dresses, oversized shirts and schoolgirlish coats that meld themselves into your existing wardrobe without fuss and fanfare. It’s the kind of intellectual look that’s serious and cosy at the same time

Sofie d'Hoore

Connolly This brand is famous for its leathergoods but it’s now doing such great stuff in ready to wear. Lorraine Acornley designs the knitwear which is all about chunky, rugged cable knits that will probably live longer than you do

L/Uniform I discovered the French canvas bag line via Monocle’s Daphne Hezard, whose red satchel style was the star of my book. The bags are hand made in France and Portugal and the shapes are extremely practical and simple. The colour combinations are what give them a bit of fashion ‘oomph’ – but not too much! Buy them here.


And if you fancy heeding my advice, here’s a heads up on Black Friday sales:

The Mytheresa sale is on now. Get 30% off selected items by entering BLACK30 at checkout

Saks Fifth Avenue has up to 40% designer selections now

& Other Stories has up to 50% off from Friday to Monday

From 8pm Thursday 23rd Nov – 10am Tuesday 28th Nov (GMT) Harvey Nichols is offering 25% off Fashion & Accessories & 10% off Beauty

Omorovicza has 30% off all skincare until midnight on Monday. (I recommend the Moor Cream Cleanser, the Rejuvenating Night Cream)

John Lewis is launching its widest ever selection of Black Friday deals. It has already launched its fragrance promotion, with 17% off fragrances except for Jo Malone and Creed. There’s also up to 30% off selected beauty brands. It’s mostly the commercial brands but I’m flagging up Bobbi Brown, Acqua di Parma, Hermes fragrance and Tom Ford Private Blend.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: La Garconne
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