International Women’s Day is always a significant date, it provides such a great opportunity to champion the achievements of women around the world, as well as highlighting what desperately still needs to be done in the ongoing fight for women’s rights and equality.
We can all get involved. Whether it’s shopping women-owned businesses or simply spending more time with the women in your life.
With this year’s theme for International Women’s Day being #ChooseToChallenge, we want to listen to women who speak honestly and candidly about their passions, opportunities and challenges that face them. We recently collaborated with a Floral Photographer Fanny Cohen to turn one of her stunning images into a dress print. We believe that all work should be credited and it is important to highlight anyone we take inspiration from our admire. We spoke to @fanceebee who’s floral photography is hugely inspirational to us about the collaboration and her journey as a female artist.
With Ethereal London’s inspiration coming from the beauty of the natural world and the romantic dreamscapes it inspires, the affinity between Ethereal and @fanceebee’s work was too obvious to ignore. After discovering Fanny on Instagram, we were obsessed! The passion that exudes from every frame, mirrored our own and the collaboration was born.
We design our collection to be timeless and versatile so each piece will live on in your wardrobe and be wearable for lots of different occasions, from big events to everyday, depending on how you style them. They are forever pieces that you will cherish and love wearing for years to come.
We are also striving to offer you the perfect fit and style choices in lengths, sleeves and neckline to suit your preference as we know that one design or style does not suit or answer everyone’s requirements. We believe in slow fashion not throw away fashion and want to find ways of helping you, as our customer, to maintain your favourite pieces.
As all great Personal Stylists advise the best way to curate the perfect capsule wardrobe involves investing in key pieces that will last the test of time and that wearing well fitting clothes will make or break an outfit. So knowing a good tailor, can be even better than a good stylist, when all you need to do is make that little tweak to make the garment fit you perfectly – giving a made to measure look for a fraction of the cost.
“Wearing something that is tailored to fit you instantly elevates your style. It can make even an inexpensive item look expensive – when it fits you well” Monika Mueller Founder Signature Five Personal Styling Service Zurich
“Never be afraid to buy something you love just because it’s not necessarily available in your size. With the help of a great tailor, you can have something made to measure, uniquely to fit you.” Karen Wareham @thestylenurse Fashion Influencer, Stylist and Image Consultant
We are therefore really excited to be collaborating with the Clothes Doctor who offer an award winning online service for tailoring and alterations with a convenient home delivery service and expert advice. As seen in The Guardian, Refinery29, Independent and The Week they are experts in wardrobe maintenance. All our customers will receive a voucher to spend on any tailoring or alteration service to use, either on one of your Ethereal purchases if required, or any other garment in your wardrobe.
Sometimes a nip here and a tuck there is all it takes to make you feel truly fantastic in your most coveted clothes, have a look at their website for more details…
Sometimes its not just a tweak to the fit that can make a garment last, even the slightest change in design can help give an item a refresh or make it more versatile in your wardrobe. We just love the way Venetia Lozovskay,a @champersandpacifiers lifestyle and style influencer, has re imagined our Viola Print Maxi dress from its first wear to a formal event in Paris to a more relaxed holiday style simply by altering the length to be a midi length and styling with sandals. An alteration the Clothes Doctor can easily help with at a fraction of the cost of buying a new outfit.
“Using a tailor to refresh a favourite piece can give it extra years or update it and bring it inline with current trends, I’ve been known to buy an item of clothing, only to have it changed into something completely different. I currently have a gorgeous floral jumpsuit I’m waiting to turn into a pair of trousers, I’m thinking with a paper bag waist band. It’s where you can really get creative, which is what I love the most! ” Karen Wareham @thestylenurse Fashion Influencer, Stylist and Image Consultant
Silk is a luxurious yet durable fabric that will stand the test of time if it is treated well and looked after, here are our top tips for caring for your item
1. Wash care instructions always advise to dry clean silk which is the easiest and safest option
2. If you are very careful, and the trims on a style allow it, hand washing or a low temperature machine hand wash cycle will be fine. Using gentle detergents and spin cycles will help care for the fabric. Silk releases dirt quickly so the was process can be shorter
3. Silk will fade over time so always test for colour fastness and avoid hanging in direct sunlight or near strong heaters whilst drying
4. Rather than spot treating stains on silk it is better to wash or dry clean the whole garment to avoid any changes to the fabric or colour in the area being treated
5. Steaming is the best way to finish a silk garment ready for wear however if this is not possible ironing on the reverse whilst damp is the best approach
6. To store correctly hang in your wardrobe on textured velvet or non slip hangers. Moths are huge fans of silk and cashmere garments and can cause small holes in these garments if not stored correctly so keep cedar wood in your wardrobe to ward them off or for longer term storage fold carefully once cleaned and store in sealed bags – should you have this problem all is not lost as this is another area the Clothes Doctor can assist with!
7. Finally, avoid any rough or sharp jewellery or accessories that will snag or pull the fabric, if you do get any snags don’t be tempted to cut the loose thread as this could lead to holes. Gently try and thread the snag back through or get the experts at the Clothes Doctors to look at this and they can prevent any further damage
Investing in the dress or that luxury item of clothing is worth it when you know it is going to last you, and if you are armed with the knowledge to correctly care for it you will definitely get your pay per wear over the years! Our moto would definitely be…
“Words to live by, from the queen that is @viviennewestwood. Did you know that in London alone 11 million tonnes of clothes get thrown away every week. If we all made our garments last a little longer, we could make a big difference in decreasing that stat. Rework, repair, rewear #ClothesDoctor” Founder & CEO Lulu O’Connor
The Little Black Dress has been an icon in its own right since Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s where it became more than an item of clothing
“It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker.” Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
This iconic long little black dress was designed by Hubert De Givency and worn with effortless style By Audrey Hepburn
Chanel created her first little black dress in 1926 just a few years after she told Harper’s Bazaar “Simplicuty is the keynote of all true elegance“. The Little Black dress was more than just a design to Chanel, it was part of a larger idea that modesty was the chicest way of proclaiming superiority. Having spent time in a boarding school amongst pupils from much wealthier back grounds than her she witnessed from an early age the great distinction between those that had money and social position and those that didn’t and clothes formed the uniform of both these classes and distinctions. In her era, women who wished to live a privileged life would go on to ‘marry well’ or would work hard to gain their own wealth with the ‘kept’ mistresses of wealthy men dressed in elaborate fashions, again like a uniform or badge of honour.
The little black dress Chanel designed was almost a uniform of her own choosing which the wealthy mistresses would then go on to pay her for the privilege of wearing. Chanel was a woman of her time, independent to men while retaining a desire to be attractive to them, however she was certainly not a slave to fashion to please anyone and if the fashions of the time did not suit her she would just design styles that did. Comfort, and practicality where at the core of her designs and black’s appeal to her was that of practicality
Black has many connotations and can trigger powerful reactions from provocative, the dark arts through to a more pure observation of a nun’s habit and the use of mourning dress. The observance of mourning dress reached its peak during Queen Victoria’s reign where as well as showing respect, wearing all black reflected a family’s wealth and social position and Queen Victoria, as a widow, wore black for 40 years until her death, in homeage to her beloved husband.
The LBD has proven everyone wrong over time and has remained a fashion staple decade after decade. Yes the silhouette and the fabric of the dress has changed to suit the style of the times however it continually proves that it can be reinvented and remains a favourite, the thing about any little black dress that remains the same is the fact they share the same timeless quality. There have been many style icons who have shown the versatility of the little black dress alongside the impact one can have, the likes of Elizabeth Hurley, Hilary Clinton and Princess Diana have had their fashion moments in a LBD and I bet you can all remember them!
People wear black for many reasons from fashion statement, for its slimming affects, to contrast with blonde or just because its easy and it looks cool. It is a seasonless, all year round colour staple in many wardrobes and, as the Audrey Hepburn quote above eludes too, there is nothing chicer than a black dress in the summer. The black dress is a perfect interview outfit, everyday piece or party piece, the good old faithful have you got yours?
We have the Ultimate Black dress in our Luciana styles that will take you from day to evening effortlessly with the two belt options and the most stunning black tie worthy dress in the Portia. The Audrey Hepburn styling of a little black dress still lives on however I think today’s take on that would be with boots and a biker jacket personally. What would you choose and what do you look for in your perfect little black dress? Do let us know your thoughts
“She raised the little black dress to an art form. She taught us how to wear it once and for all, not with fussy fuchsia print scarves, but with simple pearls, a black hat and a long, black cigarette holder” Ellen Melinkoff What we Wore about Audrey Hepburn
Trend forecasters predict what we will be wearing, watching, eating and even where we will be going both in the short and long term future. In the fashion industry there are many subscription services offered to support design teams in their quest to deliver on trend ranges sought after by the consumer. These trend forecasters take inspiration and collect data from all over the world and can segment the upcoming trends as global movements or localised trends happening in one particular country or even specific to one particular city. Each brand will interpret trends to suit their style and brand values, as not all will be relevant, and the execution of a trend will also differ depending on the level of the market that brand is pitched and their target customer.
Designers work at least 6 months ahead of the season, sometimes even further ahead depending on the business model they are working to. They take inspiration from everywhere pulling together trends through a mood or feeling based on what is going on around them. Whether it be through travelling to a new destination and seeing a new culture, a big event, current film or exhibition right down to on the street current style trends and, in today’s world, social media influencers. Trends come and go and are also reinvented season in season out to feel new and different however there are certain things that remain consistent, like the little black dress, for example.
I personally am obsessed with flowers and floral prints and this is something that has been on trend in fashion in several guises from ditsy florals to painterly or digital florals for sometime. They rarely go ‘out of fashion’ but sometimes feature more prominently depending on the wider trends. Inspiration for floral prints comes generally from nature or artworks. I have followed the work of Rebecca Louise Law and seen many images of her hanging floral installations for some time now and have also seen this style of floral decoration popping up as wedding theme decor on Pinterest and Instagram so it felt really new and relevant as a print style.
Rebecca Louise Law recently featured at Kew Gardens with her ‘Life and Death’ exhibition and I was lucky enough to go and see her work in person and it was truly breath taking. She is passionate about the process of natural change and preservation, allowing her work to evolve as nature takes its course offering an alternative concept of beauty, so the hanging style installations are designed to start fresh and then slowly dry. Her inspiration for this style of installation actually came when she started suspending flowers to dry them for other works and she saw the strength of the change in perspective. Life and death has been created using her personal collection of preserved flowers, saved over the past decade, and hand crafted into one thousand garlands suspended in time. Her installations take anything from 1 day to 1 month to complete depending on the size of the space she is working to and she always works to fill the space. When asked what inspires her Law says ‘observing the earth and nature itself inspires me. My parents taught me to appreciate natural beauty from an early age; the way they look at the world has always been an inspiration to me.’
The Viola Hanging floral stem print alongside Rebecca Louise Law’s….. photo source unknown
The Luciana ditsy floral print alongside Rebecca Louise Law’s ‘The flower garden’ photo source unknown
Above you can see our prints alongside images of Law’s work, when designing and selecting our prints we were influenced by her artwork with the floral stem print featured on the Viola dress emulating her hanging installations with the white ground, delicate flower design and hanging effect and the ditsy floral inspired by the mix of floral colours on the dark rich back ground making it very impactful
See our instagram story highlights for more images from Rebecca Louise Law’s ‘Life and Death’ exhibition and Shop the links for the Viola hanging stem print and Luciana ditsy print
I don’t know about you but I love a pocket in a dress, not so I can ‘store’ anything in them, but just to put one hand in. I mean, what do you do with your hands if you don’t have a pocket or a glass of fizz when you are milling round at an event?? A pocket in a dress just makes the look that bit cooler so for that reason all our styles are made with that all important pocket discreetly hidden in the side seams, to give your feminine look that little bit of modern attitude… It did get me thinking though, why do some dresses have pockets and others don’t and do other people like pockets or is it just me? So, I started googling and found it absolutely amazing what I found. Did you know there are actually websites giving instructions on how to add a pocket to a dress that doesn’t have one? There is also a website (called pocketocracy) whose sole purpose is to highlight brands that include pockets in their designs, there is such a demand for this small but important feature! I also discovered that historically there is a really interesting story to the use of pockets and that it has always been a topic of great interest or should I say debate with men’s clothing generally always having a good functional pocket and women’s clothing lacking this functionality for many years. It’s good to note here that we perhaps wouldn’t have the purse/clutch bag today if this hadn’t been the case though so silver linings and all!
A brief history of the pocket:
Pockets have been a part of fashion and ingrained in society for the last 400 years since the 17th century. Although according to London’s V&A museum women’s clothing didn’t really have internal pockets for most of history. Instead they had purse like items and makeshift pockets that were worn or hung under their dresses making them difficult to access until they added slits into the sides of their voluminous skirts at the time. The pockets were often attached through strings or small belts and the size of these pockets varied. The women used these makeshift pockets for anything from storing trinkets to gin and sometimes even cakes! However, many pockets were stolen – in the 18th and 19th centuries, thieves known as ‘pickpockets’ removed men’s wallets and cut the strings of women’s pockets and there are many court cases documented over this period with detailed discussion on the said ‘pockets’ stolen. Fashion historian Barbara Burman wrote a whole book on pockets called Pockets of History: The Secret Life of an Everyday Object, and she touched on the pocket situation for women commenting “The frustrations and limitations of women’s access to money and ownership of property were neatly mirrored in the restricted scope of their pockets”. According to the Victoria and Albert Museum, in the mid- to late-1800s, women started to rebel with dress patterns adding instructions for sewing pockets into skirts advertising it is being an independent woman. Women also started to take their pocket rights back in the early 1900s when they started wearing pants and with both World Wars came a boom of utilitarian clothing for women who were now working in many of the previously male service and labouring roles so there was a requirement for more ‘practical’ clothing including functional pockets.
Obviously today the majority of women’s clothing carry a pocket so most coats, jackets, trousers, jeans etc however pockets are often left out of a garment for design purposes. For example, if the dress is bodycon or the jeans are so skinny a pocket will be unflattering. This I totally understand, no one wants a pocket that is going to add any bulk to your hip area so the construction, position and size of said pockets is very important. We have really considered this in the design and construction of our dresses even down to the fact you also don’t want to be able to see the pocket bag. They need to be discreet to work properly in a dress but are so worth having in terms of finishing you whole look.
The age old debate to pocket or not to pocket lives on but in a very different form to 400 years ago and more in terms of a personal or design preference, you know my opinion now however I would love to hear your view on this so please do get in touch and let us know what you think and if you like to have a pocket, hate a pocket or if it had never really been something you had considered before.