Bastyan. Red isn't a colour I usually wear, having very much a Ford Model T approach to fashion - any colour you like as long as it's black - but there's something immensely Christmassy about this particular shade of vermilion. Quite marvellous for Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve, and my sister's birthday, and, and ....you see what I'm doing here? Fashion maths. Fashion maths means you divide the price of some gorgeous object of desire by the number of occasions you think you might wear it. It always comes out as £1.22 per wear, and so it is that your brain says '£1.22? You can't even get a cappuccino for that' and it instantly becomes a complete steal.
It's not even especially expensive - it's currently reduced from £225 to £125, both on the Bastyan website and in House of Fraser, and it's silk too. What's more, Bastyan makes the most fabulously flattering frocks on the planet - Tonia Bastyan, the label's owner and designer, understands perfectly that when one is over 35 one doesn't want to be tugging things down to cover a less than perfect knee, or pinning a neckline to conceal the fact one can't get away with bra-less anymore. She uses luxurious fabrics and clever draping to drift gently over the difficult bits and enhance the parts that aren't quite yet completely disastrous. She's that all too rare thing, a designer that designs for, rather than against, all the idiosyncrasies of a woman's body, without sacrificing a strong design edge, and the net result is a collection which flatters, and is yet still completely on trend. The scarlet silk georgette goddess dress is a really good example of this, but there are many more. I could start to develop a small addiction.
Oh, see how I'm longing for it? Should I wait to find out if I get any money for Christmas? Should I brave the ghastliness of Christmas Eve at Westfield to see if they have one left in my size in case the yearning gets too great and I have to have it?
Addendum; Writing this post made the craving worse: I couldn't live without the dress. And not only did they still have my size at Westfield, my mother said that she'd get it for me for Christmas: evidently it was meant to be mine. I can't wait to unwrap it and put it on. Happy Christmas everyone.
UPDATE: October 2011 - I've just heard a whisper that the next Harper's Bazaar party is to have a black and red theme - guess what I'll be wearing? That's another nice thing about Bastyan - it's fashionable, but not so achingly on trend that you can't wear it for more than a season