Friday, January 17, 2014

The Story of a Jacket

One of the first places I discovered in London was Old Spitalfields Market. It's in Shoreditch, the trendy, up-and-coming London neighborhood where Keira Knightley used to live until she got married and moved to West London (which is apparently what Londoners do when they want to indicate that they are settling down to a quiet family life). Spitalfields Market is a full-on old fashioned European market, with everything from food to flea market vendors to fashion. The best day to visit is Saturday, when Spitalfields hosts their Saturday Style Market and up-and-coming London designers set up their stalls to show off their latest designs.

The very first day I visited the market back in September, I fell head-over-heels in love with Amin, the designer behind Love and Be Loved. His incredible structured jackets with their detailed seaming and iridescent materials were absolutely stunning. They also fit me perfectly, as Amin designs his clothes for hourglass figures like me :-) Needless to say, I was completely enraptured. However, I was also completely broke from the move over to London. So, for the next three months, I visited Amin's stall every time I came down to Spitalfields, just to admire his clothes. A couple weeks before Christmas, my husband and I were at the market doing some last-minute gift shopping and I stopped by Amin's stall as usual. After chatting with Amin for a while, my husband offered to get me one of Amin's jackets for Christmas. Amin and I discussed cut and fabric and he had me try on a couple of jackets that he had on hand, just to get an idea of my size and body shape. The weekend before Christmas, my husband and I picked up the finished jacket, but I had to wait until Christmas to wear it. It was the MOST PERFECT GIFT EVER!!! Every time I put the jacket on it feels amazing - Amin's tailoring and design work is simply phenomenal!

Amin's jacket is definitely a runway piece and not usually the kind of thing you see in a law firm. But, it is an elegant black jacket and I see no reason why it's slightly shimmery fabric and couture-cut styling should banish it from the workplace. After all, high-end design companies can hire us to do their legal work, we should be able to wear their style of clothing while doing it!! To make it office-appropriate, I paired it with a black cami, a warm red wool pencil skirt and basic black pumps. To keep the focus on the jacket, I kept my jewelry very minimal, opting for only basic stud earrings.

Jacket: hand-made by Amin for Love and Be Loved. Prices for his jackets start at £300.
Camisole: Ann Taylor, UK readers can find similar here.
Skirt: Banana Republic from 2012. Red pencil skirts are hard to find at the moment, as they are a popular holiday collection item and then went on sale after Christmas. Here is an option for US readers and here and here for UK readers.
Pumps: back to my Stuart Weizman's - they will make a lot of appearances on this site. Similar ones can be found here for my US readers and here for my UK readers.

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