Friday, 24 December 2010

THE SCARLET DRESS

It's a long time since I was this obsessed by a dress. You know how it is - you see something in a shop, and you can't stop thinking about it. Every time you open your wardrobe, there's a great glaring hole where the coveted item should be, but isn't, because it's still in the shop. Every time you get dressed, even your most favourite outfit is diminished by not being the dress. And so it is with this scarlet frock from 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

21 comments:

TheOnlineStylist said...

Oh My! That is one amazing dress and I'm so with you on the rules of dressing over 35.... you need to feel comfortable and confidant otherwise, whatever you put on will just not work. So glad that you have it in your possession and hope you enjoy every single wear. And may I say £1.22 is an absolute bargain in the CPW equation! Merry Christmas! xxx

Tania Kindersley said...

Utter heaven. You were so right to get it. You will look most festively gorgeous. Hope it is a very happy Christmas at Trefusis Towers. x

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Mrs T, red is my favourite colour and that dress will be utterly fabulous on you.

Have a wonderful Christmas, love Christina xx

Blighty said...

happy Christmas Mrs T, that dress is divine, so glad you got it!

Knackered Mother said...

It is gorgeous, and you are going to look just so. Happy Christmas x

Lady Jennie said...

Oh wonderful - enjoy! It looks like a pretty dress and once that glaring hole in your wardrobe manifests itself, well there's nothing doing.

Merry Christmas

Miss Whistle said...

It's absolutely perfect. I'm so glad you got it for Christmas. Thanks for the fashion maths heads up. I shall employ your technique forthwith.

xx

Looking Fab in your forties said...

Gorgeous dress and love the ethics behind the design, making it a suitable option for us, ehem, over 35's! I bet it looks fab on you!

Mtff said...

Happy Christmas, well done, your mother. Nothing lovelier than a stunning blonde in a red dress. It would have been just wrong not to own it.

Rose said...

your Mama sounds wonderful- you were meant to have the dress- I hopey you had a super Christmas

Gary said...

From your profile picture I suspect you would look great in a bin bag but, treat yourself to the dress anyway!

Tish Jett said...

OMG, fab-u-lous. Do we get a picture???

xo

p.s.: Gary has a point.

Helena Halme said...

I went on the Bastyan site and got not one but three of their cashmere cardigans in the sale (and blogged about it too!) So your site is officially not good for my wallet. (Lovely stuff and very useful, I hope...)

That dress winked at me too, but I resisted.

Lots of love and Happy New Year to the whole Trefusis family.

Helena xx

Doriana Gray said...

Your post was irresistible... browsing the Bastyan website now, sounds right up my street :)

Alison Cross said...

Beautiful dress! The other day, I experienced the heart-stopping desire for a frock myself.

I was idly flicking through a two-week old Sunday Times magazine (look, I don't tidy up much) and happened upon a photo of a lady in an Alexander McQueen frock and I think I actually stopped breathing.

I now covet that frock with a physical ACHE - even though the only place I could wear it is to the Co-op for my shopping. Possibly Tescos.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy wearing your red frock - it's gorgeous!

Ali x

Blighty said...

Dear Mrs T, i have given you a Stylish blogger award, no, I am not sure what it is either but pleases check over at mine. Happy New year and please start blogging again soon, real life is very overrated!

Marc Jacobs Bags said...

So glad that you have it in your possession and hope you enjoy every single wear.

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heroturko said...

I used to watch this with my grandad :)

heroturko said...

Nice Nice