With an army of stylists and designers at her fingertips, getting dressed should come easy for the former Kate Middleton. However in recent years, we’ve come to watch – encouragingly – as the royal has honed a small collection of labels that she continually rewears and favours. This week, the Duchess of Cambridge again looked to British label Eponine for her visit to the west end’s production of Evan Hansen. Led by creative director Jet Shenkman, the label continually references the polished glamour of the 50s and 60s to deliver collections that are tailored, while still modern. And it’s not just favoured by the royals; inspired by a checked boucle shift dress worn by Catherine in 2016, Carrie Symonds also chose the Kensington-based brand in 2019 when she visited the Queen at her Balmoral estate. Rented from MWHQ, Carrie stamped her own style on a blue and white tweed dress by styling it with knee-high flat boots for a Sixties twist.
In a retail first, from today customers can rent fashion from MY WARDROBE HQ in store at Liberty’s iconic Great Marlborough street store.
Customers can browse a selection of womenswear RTW and accessories on the 1st floor between 11th February – 31st March, with designers including Coach, The Vampire’s Wife, Lulu Guinness, Gucci, Chanel, Saint Laurent, Rixo, Franks London and so many more. From weddings and races to galas and garden parties; our specially curated edit of event wear exclusively available at Liberty will see you through every occasion across the year. Partnering with Liberty London on this project, MY WARDROBE HQ founder and CEO Sacha Newall explains, “Liberty London has so much heritage, there really is no other department store like it. We’re all about experiencing newness in a modern way and Liberty is all about heritage, while embracing the new; it’s a revolutionary new way of consuming fashion and I can’t think of a better brand to partner with.”
Here, Liberty London’s Chief Marketing Officer, Madeline Macey reveals why Liberty has partnered with MY WARDROBE HQ and how she sees rental and retail co-existing…
Why did you choose to partner with MWHQ? As a retailer that has always championed discovery, we are excited to be working with MY WARDROBE HQ who are disrupting the way customers are shopping in a sustainable way which we know our customers will respond to.
Who is the Liberty woman and why do you think she will embrace MWHQ and fashion rental as a concept? Ours is an artistic shopper, they don’t answer to trends but their own self-expression. They have also been actively informing us of their desire to shop fashion and accessories in a more sustainable way so I’m excited to see how they respond. Our vintage offer, which we have had for 14 years, has grown 66% up YoY which is a direct example of how our customers shop outside of the norm.
How do you see rental and retail co-existing? At Liberty, we have always embraced quality craftsmanship and design over fast-fashion, and so are delighted to offer our customers a new way to enjoy the Liberty edit. We stock designers and pieces we believe will last longer than a season in someone’s wardrobe, but also appreciate sometimes you have the need for a one off special moment, or particular time in your life like a holiday or a Honeymoon that requires some designer supplements! Shopping consciously is the way forward.
Which designers do you think are excelling/embracing sustainable fashion? BITE Studio are a new brand we are bringing on board who have some great tailoring I will be wearing this season, while Paloma Wool is a big winner with our customers already.
What inspired the Liberty collection featured in our edit? The Liberty RTW collection has only just launched to much fanfare. It’s a beautifully detailed collection created here in our London studio inspired by prints from the archive and each piece is timeless.
Which pieces from the Liberty collection would work well for renting and how would you style them with existing wardrobe pieces? Our classic Hera peacock print has been re-imagined in gold, brown and black which is how Liberty do Leopard print! I will be wearing the shirts and dresses across different looks.
Visit MY WARDROBE HQ on the 1st floor at Liberty London between 11th February – 31st March 2020.
It’s that time of year to hit the snow capped mountains. To glide effortlessly down the slopes, sip aperol spritz and overindulge in melted cheese. But what will you wear?
Thankfully, gone are the days of duvet-esque snowsuits that turn even the most waif-like into puffy marshmallows. Instead it’s hello to stylish, sleek and totally gorgeous ski outfits that deserve as much attention off the slopes as on them. Perfect Moment has embraced this philosophy with both poles and created a fabulous selection of fitted, brightly coloured and really flattering ski apparel.
But what’s that I hear you cry? You can’t justify the expense? Well fret not, there’s no need to drag your Bridget Jones style clobber out of the loft. Thanks to fashion rental you can rent skiwear for a fraction of the retail price. Why would you even want to buy skiwear new, when next season you’re bound to want to mix up your style? Instead pick from the fabulous selection of skiwear MY WARDROBE HQ has to rent and you’re guaranteed to turn heads this season. The gorgeous Chamonix jacket is equal measure stylish and practical. Pair it with some super hot skinny pants to look the part. Or why not channel Charlie’s Angels and rent an attention grabbing all-in-one. Or pay tribute to our legendary jumper, Eddie the Eagle in this fab Stella McCartney sweater.
It couldn’t be simpler – just browse the platform, click on the items you would like to rent (don’t forget to check the sizing) and the items will be sent your way pronto. Once your 4, 7, 10 or 14 days are up, you simply pop the item in the pre-paid envelope and mail it back. Every item you rent, but don’t actually wear, you will receive a refund upon its return. Whatever your style, MY WARDROBE HQ clothes rental has got you covered.
And seeing as renting fashion is so much more accessible and affordable, why just rent the one outfit for the week? Instead, make like a royal and rent several ski outfits to keep your look as fresh as the powdered snow.
Re-wearing outfits on the red carpet is nothing new; A-listers often opt for vintage creations from designers such as Valentino or Ralph Lauren to stand out amongst the crowd. While Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is lauded for her ‘thrifty’ choice to re-wear. But as sustainable fashion becomes a movement more than a buzzword, brands have been quick to challenge the status quo and adopt wearing past season’s fashion as the norm.
None more so than BAFTA, who for this year’s awards is “working towards having a net positive impact on the environment,” and politely issued a sustainable dress code to its attendees. Working with the London College of Fashion, UAL’s Centre For Sustainable Fashion (CSF) – which looks at three intersecting areas: research, education and knowledge exchange with industry – they have created a guideline to dressing so guests such as Olivia Coleman, Margot Robbie and Jennifer Aniston – who wore vintage Dior to the SAGS – can dare to re-wear by choosing either an item previously worn, an item from a sustainable fashion designer such as Stella McCartney, or a rented item – enter MY WARDROBE HQ.
Our collection of 3000+ items includes pre-loved pieces from individual’s wardrobes as well as items from emerging and established designers including Mother of Pearl, Amanda Wakeley and Bora Aksu provides consumers with a virtual dressing up box full of items to play with. It’s not only kinder to the planet but lighter on the pocket too..
Having grown up with a grandfather working as a producer on films during the golden age, the notion of old glamour is one that my eye is inherently drawn to; the world of the beau monde – starlets, big gowns, jewels and a red lip gave me my first insight into the transformative power of clothing and its ability to capture a persona. From Marlene Dietrich – the first woman to wear a tux (at the time, she could have gone to jail for it) and whom went onto influence YSL’s ‘Le Smoking’ collection to the liberation defined by Bardot and her fellow French muses; these women embodied strength and empowerment ahead of their eras.
As we live in times of visual over saturation and stimulation, as the speed and turnover of fashion has become so excessive that designers and luxury houses need to keep looking elsewhere for content, the last few seasons have seen a return to seminal film references: Virginie Viard’s debut RTW collection for Chanel SS20 took influence from French New Wave cinema; Christopher Kane segued sexual symbolism through Pre-AW’19 via Marilyn Monroe, whilst Molly Goddard became a global name through the screen dressing Killing Eve’s psychopath assassin, Villanelle.
As 2020’s award season begins, it continues to highlight not only the powerful gaze of the red carpet but the symbiosis between fashion and film glamour. With this in mind, I referenced seminal screen moments and borrowed pieces from MY WARDROBE HQ to show how they could work, whatever your generation.
She’s gone from studio assistant to helming the sustainable label that’s on everyone’s lips; we meet Mother of Pearl’s Amy Powney – the fashion designer who’s on a mission to change the way women shop.
What does sustainability mean to you?
I can’t think of a more important conversation right now than climate change, the future of all our homes, the quality of our lives and all that inhabit it. Not many people know, but the fashion and textile industry is one of the top contributors to climate change – this is why it’s such an important topic and a conversation that we all need to collectively feed into to make positive change together.
How do you educate yourself on the sustainable changes you need to make – as a person and as a brand?
Sustainability is a mindset, once you’ve started questioning things and opening your eyes, it will naturally infiltrate into every single thing you do. Research is key, finding solutions that give you what is needed with the least possible impact on people and the planet. My team and I simply started with Google; it takes time to research, but it is possible to find solutions and implement better practices. Mother of Pearl embraces sustainability from a holistic point of view: from restructuring the supply chain in accordance to fully ethical practices to creating a plastic bottle-free studio and low-waste working environment in our London HQ. Sustainability shouldn’t mean missing out. I see it as an opportunity to look into ways of doing things differently. On a personal level, I’m trying to reduce my air travel, so last summer I took the train to Avignon in the South of France; I definitely didn’t feel deprived, in fact the opposite, it was one of my favorite holidays with great friends. I’m also trying to buy second hand and rent as much as possible for my baby, where I do have to buy I am trying to make sure it’s the things needed for a long time or sustainable pieces I can keep or pass onto a friend.
Winning the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund in 2017 allowed you to launch your No Frills collection – what was the most important thing that you learned from this?
Through exploring our supply chain and looking into how we can re-develop the way we create at Mother of Pearl, we actually ended up making savings (which surprised us all!) and found we could sell classic pieces for lower prices, this is how “No Frills” was born; a fully sustainable line of core classics for everyday wear. Everything we have learnt, and continue to learn, infiltrates all of our processes throughout the Mother of Pearl collections.
What do you want the Mother of Pearl legacy to be?
Sustainability is the backbone of everything we do at Mother of Pearl and every piece we make has sustainability in mind. Our aim with all the work we have been doing is to not only offer a product, but to start a movement. My next mission is to use social media to empower and educate about the impact of fashion on the planet and how we can work together to make a change – stay tuned!
What kind of Mother of Pearl pieces can customers now rent or buy from MY WADRROBE HQ?
We curated a mix of our sustainably produced eveningwear collections – pieces that you can really paint the town green in! We love them paired with a chunky earring and a statement heel!
And if you could choose a favourite piece?
Our beautiful green Emmie dress which was worn by actress, producer and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Cannes Film awards in 2018.
What sustainable hack should we be adopting for the New Year?
I always stand by some basic tips to live more sustainably; change your energy supplier to a green one, shop less but buy better quality (or try renting!), swap meat for vegetarian for as many days per week as you can, support local farm to home businesses for your food and buy a re-useable water bottle and coffee cup. These things are easy to do and make a huge difference, some of them cost a little more and others a little less so it evens out.
Who should we be following on Instagram?
@gretathunberg for a reminder that no one is too small to make a difference
Last podcast you listened to or Netflix boxset you watched and why we need to be tuned in…
One Strange Rock is the most incredible eye-opening documentary I’ve seen in years. Narrated by Will Smith, this series shares the perspectives of our planet through the voices of eight astronauts.
Who inspires you and why…
Jameela Jamil because she isn’t afraid to speak her mind and the way she has used social media to create an incredible community with @Iweigh.
How are you spending the festive season?
As I’m 8 months pregnant, I will be firmly putting my feet up in my London home and not travelling. I will be eating my way through delicious food, hanging out with my husband and having a quiet one. I will of course be working on my new social media project launching next year but from the comfort of my sofa probably with hypnobirthing audio in the background!
The newest way to walk the red carpet? In a rented outfit from MY WARDROBE HQ! This year over 80 influencers and journalists including Chloe Delevingne, Amy Jackson and Roxie Nafousi enjoyed a Cinderella moment in the name of sustainable fashion as they walked the red carpet in rented fashion all available from our platform.
Hosted by our new Chair, Jane Shepherdson CBE, Zandra Rhodes, Lady Mary Charteris, Arizona Muse, Millie Mackintosh, Sofia Blunt, with husband James, Alice Neylor-Leyland, Mother of Pearl designer Amy Powell and MWHQ co-founder Tina Lake all made a stand on the red carpet in the name of fashion rental.
Change was the theme for the evening, not just seen by the way women dressed for the night. With Naomi emotionally accepting the award for Fashion Icon – the first woman of colour to be awarded the accolade – trailblazer Adut Akech taking Model of the Year gong and Rihanna bagging the Urban Luxe prize for Fenty, inclusivity was the buzzword and one that rippled through the Royal Albert Hall. Elsewhere, Bottega Veneta’s Daniel Lee took home all four awards he was nominated for: Brand of the year, Accessories designer of the year, Designer of the year and Womenswear designer of the year, while Karl Lagerfeld was honoured with a tribute from Lady Amanda Harlech and Dame Anna Wintour. With the awards handed out, Eric Clapton treated us to Tears in Heaven before Fat Tony turned on the decks to end the night with the most stylish mosh pit…
The day couldn’t have happened without our wonderful partners… The Berkeley in Knightsbridge treated our guests to the hotel’s signature Prêt-à-Portea before clean skincare brand Romilly Wilde pampered them with a bespoke facial and then In Parlour’s glam squad beautified them ahead of the night. Thank you all for your amazing energy and teamwork throughout the day – getting 80 women ready was no mean feat!
When it comes to luxury knitwear, few labels can boast the success of British label Chinti & Parker. Created by cousins Anna Singh and Rachael Wood who wanted to bring “effortless style to every occasion”, the label is instantly recognisable thanks to its playful cuts and timeless design in a riot of colour, often clashing or in print form. Counting fans in Gwyneth Paltrow, Poppy Delevingne and Alexa Chung, the label now offers ready to wear made up of elegant dresses and skirts, tailoring, staple tees and not to mention its iconic knitwear. Now available to rent or buy from MY WARDROBE HQ, we caught up with Rachael to ask her about her favourite AW19 items and who we should be following on Instagram….
What is your favourite piece from the AW19 collection? Chinti & Parker has been built around bold colour and bright, playful designs, and in our AW19 collection my favourite look has to be the purple Pop Colour look. It’s top to toe bold, bright colour and pulls together a super flattering high waisted tailored trouser with a classic Chinti & Parker cashmere roll neck. It’s a timeless piece which can be worn day or night, and is such a classic style it will last for years.
How important is sustainability to your production process? Sustainability has been built into the Chinti & Parker ethos since day dot; 10 years ago we really struggled to find yarns which were organic, ethically sourced or recycled. In the last few years the amount of materials we are now working with which have come from organic sources or are recycled and sustainably sourced has gone through the roof. As we’ve grown as a business we’ve had to adapt and rethink our practises to ensure they are aligned with our sustainable standpoint, which has been a really interesting learning curve.
What are the key pieces people should rent? The colour block shirt dress is so easy to wear, it’s versatile, can be worn from day to night, dressed up or down and a really timeless piece which will withstand the test of time. Then the Eccentric dress is classic Chinti & Parker, it’s bright standout print in a mix of such great colours. It’s so bold that it’s a great rental piece to wear to an event where you really want to stand out. Lastly, the Green Dot sweater is another really signature Chinti & Parker piece, it’s fun, playful and classic.
Name your go-to favourite restaurant? This has to be The River Café, you cannot go there and have a negative experience, it’s just not possible! It’s so lovely to sit outside next to the river in the summer and watch the sun go down.
What’s your approach to borrowing fashion items? My Chinti & Parker Co-Founder and cousin, Anna Singh and I have a very interchangeable wardrobe, we borrow from each other all the time! We have a very different style, and wear any borrowed items very differently, but it just goes to show how versatile classic items are to style.
Three people we should be following on Instagram… Chinti & Parker, obviously! I think Celeste Barber is hilarious, I can’t get enough of her and if Phoebe Waller-Bridge had an Instagram I would follow her religiously. At present I’m having to make do with following her fan accounts and reruns of Fleabag.
What books or podcasts are on your mind at the moment? The last book I read was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, it’s set in India and the narrative takes you through the changes in Indian society in the last century, it’s a really interesting read! Then with podcasts, I love a true crime podcast and the last one I listened to was The Teacher’s Pet. Which is about an Australian mother who disappeared in 1982 without a trace. It focusses on her relationship with her husband, a teacher, and his affair with a school girl… and I won’t say any more but it’s definitely worth a listen if it sounds up your street.
Who inspires you?All the women within my family are hugely inspiring to me, particularly my granny who came from India not knowing anyone in the UK and not knowing a word of English and all of our family’s successes stem from her determination and drive. Any women who are unapologetic about who they are and refuse to take life too seriously are also hugely inspirational, key names again are Celeste Barber and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
How do you live a more sustainable life? It was a conscious decision to launch Chinti & Parker with a sustainable ethos, and this is intrinsically linked into my personal life. There’s little things that everyone can do, which all add up and make a difference, such as; turning the lights off, taking canvas bags everywhere with you and switching to natural washing products. Then there’s also slowing down your rate of consuming products, such as finding key pieces which you know you will wear forever, that you know you can mend and that will withstand the test of time. If there’s anything you’re unsure about purchasing, try before you buy!
Sustainable fashion has come a long way since its brown hemp heyday, and while Stella McCartney is synonymous with encouraging the UK’s conscious consumption of fashion, a host of new designers are appearing on our streets in a bid to stand with her.
When London-based fashion designer Alice Early launched her brand in 2018, she had one mission in mind – to create clothes that feel and look great but have a minimal impact on the environment. Using organic materials such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton and Corozo buttons (derived from the Tagua Palm), items are seasonless and produced locally in London, while packaging is recycled and shipped using carbon-neutral vans.
With a utilitarian feel, pieces are cut with clean lines and in bold colourways, and can be worn myriad ways to reflect the modern woman’s world.
It was only in June 2018 that I was a self-confessed fast fashion addict; buying clothes with each new season and always knowing about the latest Zara drop. Yet one month later, I radically transformed my shopping habits and instead turned to a more sustainable wardrobe.
There’s a new addition to my sustainable wardrobe – clothing rental – and it’s here to stay as a regular for any event.
Despite being a sustainable living advocate, I like most other young women, want something ‘new’ to wear to a party. The social pressure and self-expectation to wear something ‘unphotographed’ for each event is solved sustainably by renting a dress instead of going out and buying one. As Livia Firth, founder of Eco-age would say, unless it will get 30 wears, don’t buy it!
As someone who hates online shopping (in my opinion it removes the experience of feeling the clothes and trying them on), the Dressing Room service has all of this… and the style advice. It’s as if you’re shopping with a friend in the comfort of your own home. I was sold! You can see my excitement here.
Written by Emily Broughton, Founder of Saving the Grace – a sustainable living platform focusing on 5 areas of change: lifestyle, food, fashion, wellness and action in the world, to save our world’s waters through empowerment and education.