Friday, 9 September 2011

Bastyan at Vogue's Fashion Night Out

“Modern classics with a twist”

The Bastyan team invited me to join them at John Lewis for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out. Although I have only recently discovered this gem of a brand, it has quickly become one of my favourites on the high street. It has won me over with luxurious fabrics, sloping, flattering silhouettes and the best attention to detail I have seen in affordable clothing for a very long time.
Formerly Senior Designer at Whistles, Tonia Bastyan launched her brand in Spring 2010. These are clothes made to be worn for years after purchasing. The core range includes great fitting jeans, classic silk shirts and timeless coats. The dresses are more trend-led but no less elegant. Most are also extremely versatile and would work for a number of occasions.
A case in point is the silk/Lycra Tokyo dress I for the event. The design was inspired by a vintage Japanese kimono and represents Bastyan’s first experiment with print. During the day I wore it with a simple knitted cardi, a pair of opaque tights and my favourite dusty flat biker boots. When partytime finally arrived, I quickly switched my boots for skyscraper patent platforms and replaced the cardi with an infinitely more glamorous Bastyan jacket, resplendent with its hundreds of stacked matte sequins. It’s detail like this that makes an occasionally three-digit price tag simply worth paying.

I caught up with Tonia Bastyan at the buzzing Bastyan John Lewis concession to see what she had up her stylish sleeve for the future. The Bastyan founder seemed really excited about upcoming plans to collaborate on a new print collection with textile designer Vanessa Harrington, “There’ll be a selection of DNA and floral prints. It’s an opportunity to really make the clothes your own.”

“For me, it’s all about affordable luxury – giving the customer more than they expect”_Tonia Bastyan

Styles are often inspired by Tonia’s collection of vintage clothes and the Bastyan colour palette is based around neutrals, mainly chocolate brown, black and navy but for spring/summer ’12, there are plans to introduce “a beautiful vintage chartreuse and hot tomato red.”

I had the opportunity to see some of the current collection on the runway as John Lewis hosted catwalk shows at regular intervals. I joined guests including Mischa Barton at the 6.30 showing. It would have been amazing to see an outfit per brand but (I suppose because of time restraints and model numbers) clothes and accessories from different brands were mixed. I spied another favourite Bastyan dress with leather detailing at the neckline and managed to snap the model waiting backstage (see below).

A very glamorous member of the Bastyan team in the rust version of my Tokyo dress

Glam Vogue Fashion Night Out guests visit Bastyan

Vanessa Harrington makes gorgeous personalised bracelets with the Tokyo print fabric

“I am obsessed with detail”. Gorgeous details are a Bastyan staple

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