Everyone was banging on about The Reformation dresses last year in a way I found incredibly off-putting.
I feel very allergic to “It-dress” mythologising; I do not want to wear an It-dress or any other dress that has been seen 4,000 times on Instagram because if you wear it to an actual party, people don’t think “Ooo, an It dress” they think “That woman has got no imagination or originality”.
Or maybe I’m the only one who’s that much of a meanie-pants.
So I didn’t even LOOK at their stupid website last year. But then just now I thought I might have a peek just to see if there was anything horrible that I could say about it, but in fact it’s all rather nice.
What it does very successfully, which is not that easy, is to create a world, an atmosphere, an aesthetic – a dream. It’s why Kate Moss for TopShop was so good – it was her style, her world, and we wanted to copy it. The French brands Sezane and Rouje do it, too. Sure, okay, we’re not going to look like those girls just because we wear the same dress, but we’ve got to put something on in the morning and feel good about it.
Business commentators have been talking lately over the 8% fall in Next’s share price – (or was it profits… I can’t remember I’m not a business commentator) – but you go in there and it’s not a surprise because the place is an absolute catastrophe. A car crash of colour and pattern and shape with absolutely no idea of who Next woman is or what she wants to look like.
Some resourceful and stylish bloggers and Instagrammers can take individual pieces from Next and style them properly and make them look okay – but as a whole, Next offers the casual browser absolutely nothing.
And if a high street giant with a boardroom full of designers and plenty of resources can’t do it, you have to give Reformation a bit of respect for presenting you with a new or distilled style of dressing as a fait accompli. These sorts of brands who are doing this, (Anine Bing is another that springs to mind), are worth looking at, even if you don’t buy anything, in order to get some inspiration.
Now look, let’s get real: these clothes may not work for you if your boobs are so huge you require a bra made by NASA, or you live on a farm in North Wales and wear gumboots indoors because otherwise the chickens go for your feet.
YES the models are improbably-shaped and YES it’s not madly cheap, but not every brand is for everyone and, while I always try to offer you things to buy whether you’re a size 8 or 18, which are fabulous quality for only £50 I can’t deliver that every time.
I AM very interested to hear from anyone who has bought anything from Reformation, particularly if they have had it shipped from the US rather than bought from Net A Porter in the past and what they think of it.
There is a waiting list for a lot of these things, but I don’t mind a wait list myself – it means I’m less likely to see someone else wearing my dress.
Here are my favourite things:
I also think their jeans look good. I am still trying to brainwash you all into trying some high-waisted jeans. I mean not up to your armpits, but just a little bit higher than mid-rise as it’s the quickest way, right now, to look a bit more modern.
I mean guys, seriously, what IS to stop you from wearing some high waisted skinnies with a band t-shirt tucked in and a gold necklace and looking – if not exactly like this girl – then at least some approximation?
I’ve just realised that I’ve written this entire post about the wrong brand – the one I had in my head when I started on this little journey was Realisation Par, which does in fact look pretty hateful in every regard, but I’m tired now.