Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Jolie Julie: Evans brave new departure and why all women deserve the right to wear beautiful clothes.

Evans have embarked on an exciting and brave new step into high-end retailing by commissioning a range of dresses by Jolie Julie. These are all 100% silk with hand-finished details and they retail at £150 -£160; about four times what their usual price point might be.

There is a fascinating interview on Evans blog with their buyer who comissioned the range.  She relates how she spotted the range in Fenwicks and persuaded the manufacturers to make the range for them up to a size 26. I'm a big fan of this tenacious approach and wonder if Nikki Adams-Rose might be persuaded to have a word with those nice Marni people next season. I also really appreciate this level of transparency from a retailer about how they go about comissioning stock.

To me these dresses are perfectly lovely and exactly represent what I want to buy (I'll definitely be ordering the mint green style above) so I was surprised to read some very hostile comments about the range on the Evans blog and Facebook page which said the dresses were overpriced with much use of terms like "frumpy" and "shapeless". I fear that the younger Evans customer who is happy to pull on a slogan t-shirt over a pair of "jeggings" and who looks great in that can't possibly understand why someone might get excited over a beaded sash or a sheer bracelet length sleeve.

There is only a tiny amount of choice of plus sized clothing available at the luxury end of the market that might appeal to women over 30 with cash to invest in interesting clothes, something that Janet Street Porter has been recently been lamenting in her rousing Daily Mail columns  Similarly the battle cry of the great fashion journalist Caryn Franklin "All Women Deserve Great Fashion" could be the motto of this blog.  So finding this range, tiny as it is, is just wonderful and I hope Evans is able to find sufficent quantities of their customers fall into the same neglected demographic as me.

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