I really wasn’t quite sure what to wear for the shoot I did last week: I knew I was going to be filmed talking on camera, as well as having stills & portraits shot during the day. I also knew I was going to be standing next to two very well known – and very tall – models all day long.
Of course, I had been so tied up with getting to and from California for Jill & Michael’s wedding that I really hadn’t engaged with what I should wear. Having had my fail safe Erdem frock nixed by a last minute email that requested no prints or patterns in case of distortion, I wandered into House of Fraser Oxford Street a few hours before I was due on set and had a desultory flick through the rails.
I don’t find it easy to find clothes that fit me, as I pretty much can only wear dresses, and dresses that are cut to fit a bust, so the likelihood of my ever just pulling something off the rack is less than zero. (Which is why I loathe shopping.) I was in House of Fraser because I knew there was a good contemporary section, and an excellent Bastyan concession upstairs, and the quite structured lines of Tonya Bastyan’s clothes and the simple colour palette can throw up some good options for tricky dressers like myself.
And there it was: my new dress in the perfect colour – navy. The Corine Shift Dress. It came with a belt that wasn’t so great, so I ditched that tout suite. (And frankly I look like a sack of lumpy potatoes if I belt anything). If you are a belt wearer, replace it immediately with something of better quality. The dress is made from that lovely heavy viscose that hangs beautifully, and the bottom hem is weighed with thick satin ribbon on the inside, so it falls properly.
I’ve also discovered, from trial and error, that whilst I tend to avoid anything that shows cleavage (freak show) day-to-day, wearing crew or high cut necks in photos just makes me look upholstered: the very definition of a matronly shelf (see me in Sainsbury’s Magazine May issue for a perfect example of what not to take along to wear on a photo shoot), so I was pleased to see that this dress has a very deep button up front. (Not only does this avoid the shelf effect, it makes the waist look neater.)
And even better, it was – and still is – in the sale in all sizes. £150 reduced from £220.
I paired it with these fabulous shoes (above) from Zara, a spur of the moment purchase on the same morning, and which cost a mere £29. They weren’t bought to wear with the dress; that was just a lucky coincidence. Because we were shooting a campaign that breaks in September, I wore slate grey cashmere mix tights.
I’ve been buying mine from Calzedonia, a Turkish haberdashery brand my mama and I stumbled across when we were in Istanbul eighteen months ago. They make great winter tights for about £12, and I was pleased to discover that they have recently opened stores in the UK, thus ensuring a steady supply of my favourite tights.
I also wore my new frock, as an eagle-eyed reader spotted, for the Fashion targets Breast Cancer & My Wardrobe shoot I did on Monday.