“Details make the design. Our buttondown buttons, like the 1920’s Levi’s® Sunset shirts they were inspired by, are hidden. It’s more difficult, more time consuming, and more beautiful that way.”
Just before Christmas, Reiss asked me to take part in their guest stylist programme. They gave me free rein in their fashion cupboard (ie, the entire flagship store – whoop!) and let me dress my model in a mash-up of menswear and womenswear (and some of my own tat ‘archive’ bits). Reiss’s own Jonathan Weatherley shot the pictures in their studio, Sonia Bhogal did the make-up and I was thrilled with my model, Hirschy from Select. Don’t you love her intense eyebrows and Mean Girls stare?
Most of the clothes are sold out now or in the sale. The camel men’s coat is in the sale for £142 and it’s a really beautiful coat! The red shoes are by Underground shoes who incidentally just did the shoes for the Thierry Mugler menswear show…
I was lucky to get Hirschy when I did as she jetted off home to Australia for the holidays the next day. But I did manage a quick fire Q&A with her first…
Mert & Marcus, Camilla Akrans and Mario Sorrenti
A brilliant shoot I did with Tank magazine for Liberty – in a completely bizarre set with a load of random props. It was like a crazy jungle!
Zimmermann for their vibrant coloured swimwear, Sass & Bide for their cut-out stuff and Acne for the shoes.
Can you recommend any Australian shops?
In Melbourne I like mostly vintage shops. I’ve bought heaps of stuff from Lion in Love on Brunswick Street – I still wear the little black wedges I bought there years ago.
Forgive me for boasting but I do know a bit about about dressing for the worst of weathers. For one, I’m a bad-weather-phobe and two, well I’m a Brit duh, we’ve seen a fair few downpours and oh how we love debating them. So here I present my failsafe arsenal of wet-n-wild weatherwear.
The Burberry Trench
Sorry to be a Burberry bore but the beauty of the Burberry trench is that it’s functional to the core yet has as much style as a couture coat. I favour the ultra classic knee-length gabardine version in black for my Disneyrollergirl-goes-to-Mallory-Towers look. This shower-proof trench is truly versatile as it’s hardy enough in a torrential downpour yet not too bulky on a spring – or even summer – day. Best of all this is a wonderful day-to-evening coat. I love the idea of wearing my Burberry trench draped cape-style over the shoulders atop a billowing scarlet ballgown (Stella Tennant at Chatsworth much?) or tightly belted with the collar flipped and sleeves pushed up over a mid-calf prom dress – with vintage Vivier slingbacks of course.
SHOP: Burberry trench coat, £595, Net-a-Porter.com
The Knirps umbrella
OK, I have had a lifetime of £10 Totes brollies which I admit are pretty good; they’re affordable, lightweight and they fold to nothing. But they do eventually go the way of all cheap umbrellas – bent, broken and simply worn out. My last one got to the stage where it developed two leaky holes so in the bin it went. Knirps is a German company and its umbrellas are suitably no-nonense. They’re also indestructable. My Knirps X1 umbrella comes encased in a standard nylon sleeve and a darling little zip-up pochette.
SHOP: Knirps X1 umbrella, £49.95, James Smith & Co
The Woolrich coat
Sometimes when you get the kind of winters that we’ve had, a fashiony coat just doesn’t cut it. Once you’ve added your six sets of thermals, two jumpers, bodywarmer, snood and ten-ply cashmere scarf, the average COS cocoon coat has lost much of its charm (and pretty much all of its shape). When I tried on a Woolrich coat in The Shop At Bluebird last weekend, I instantly knew it was The One. Originally designed for freezing conditions in Alaska these jackets are water-repellent with down and feather padding to keep the heat securely locked in, even at minus temperatures. The pockets are flannel-lined to keep hands warm and the supreme practicality extends to special capacious inside pockets so you can almost live without a bag.
The furry hood is the icing on the cake. Woolrich coats come in many varieties so you can choose whether or not to have fur framing your face but they’re so soft, warm and fuzzy it’s literally like walking around in bed with your head still cosseted in your pillow. I have been attached to my Woolrich to the point that I actually look forward to shitty weather. Can you tell me and mine are still at the honeymoon stage?
SHOP: Woolrich jacket, £615
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Vogue, Burberry, James Smith & Sons, Woolrich
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here