When I put this dress on I was imagining going on the set of Mad Men, only it would be Betty Draper in charge while Don stayed at home smoking and looking after the children! Mad Men ELLE style.
The dress is by Jonathan Saunders, one of my favourite designers and people: he understands a woman’s body and has a genius touch with print. He also has a wonderful sense of humour and is a joy to spend time with. I asked him what he was thinking when he designed this look. Miami housewife in the 1950s he replied, explaining the print is baroque-inspired, ‘framed at the neck and hemline with block colour, similar to Edwardian portraiture’.
Colour is a driving force for Jonathan Saunders’ collections, so I asked him what his favourite shade is right now. Red is top of his list, so look out for it in his next collection.
If you want a high-street take on this season’s retro-dress trend, go to Zara, Asos, Cos and H&M. As for designer styles, I like include Vanessa Bruno, the romantic Valentino and Diane von Furstenberg, always – she is the queen of the summer dress.
What to wear with it? I struggle, as I’m sure you all do, with what to wear with something as dramatic as this dress. Today, I opted for a soft knit jacket which doubles as a cardigan from Les Petites.
And I accessorised it with this Jil Sander clutch as clashing prints are acceptable this season I believe!
Sometimes, when I order a dress, the designer sends a note, too. I have been collecting these messages as they make lovely keepsakes for my daughters, aged nine and eight, who both love fashion.
(Note from Richard Nicoll)
Neon brights: they are stalking me. I spotted these as I wandered through to the ELLE fashion cupboard. How fantastic are they?
(Shoes by Carven)
TODAY THE EDITOR:
Downloaded ShopStyle: Want something specific but not sure where to buy it from? All you need to do is type a description into this app and ShopStyle will let you know who stocks it.
Is Reading Dark Matter by Michelle Paver: The page-turner that everyone is talking about.
Is Listening to Black White & Blue by Ladyhawke.