Rachel Jensen of Chicago Chic Blog is one of my style inspirations, for a thousand obvious reasons, so I was pretty excited when I learned that she had collaborated with Voodoo Vixen to design a capsule collection of pieces for their Autumn/Winter 2016 line.
I actually saw previews of one of her designs, the Lola dress, before I knew Rachel had a hand in designing it. When previews from the photoshoot of the Voodoo Vixen AW16 Lookbook were first released, the Lola dress was one of the first images I saw. It was an immediate favourite. Everything about the dress struck me as perfect: the navy and rich green check, the pleated bust, the longer vintage length, the removable faux fur collar.
That first glimpse came in summer and made me long for Autumn just so that I could get my hands on this dress. When the Lookbook was officially released later and it was revealed that Rachel helped design this dress, I wasn’t the least bit surprised. It screams Chicago Chic, exuding the luxury and sophistication that Rachel is known for, so my excitement did nothing but mount. And so, it seems, did everyone else’s, because as soon as the dress was released all of Voodoo Vixen’s wholesalers bought up the entirety of their stock. Those same wholesalers sold out lightning fast, leaving those of us who had missed out with no choice but to wait for the second restock and to try our best not to be dramatic about it. (Lo, O’ wonderous darling, Lola, thine nectar is sweet and mine cavernous heart is empty without thee! Return, please, with haste, lest my echoing nightmares remain in the presence of day. Oh, wait, I said try not to be dramatic. Got it!)
Finally, sweetly, thankfully, that restock has arrived, and the Lola dress is here again. Every inch of it is as lovely as I had hoped.
Dress: Lola dress C/O Voodoo Vixen
Heels: Old season New Look
I would say that the colours of this plaid fabric is my favourite thing about this dress but that would be overlooking the obviously gorgeous–and practical–faux fur collar. Faux fur trimmings always add a healthy dose of glamour to an ensemble, I feel, so the collar of this dress brings the look to a whole new level. However, for those who aren’t fond of fur finishes or for anyone who wants/needs to wear this dress somewhere that wouldn’t fit well with such a glamorous addition, it’s a brilliant design feature that the faux fur collar is entirely removable. Secured with small buttons around the entire length of the collar, it’s easily removed to reveal a plain navy collar beneath that matches the dark blue of the plaid. That versatility makes this dress a wonderful addition to your wardrobe (as if it wouldn’t have been already.)
Another notable feature of this design is the skirt length. Voodoo Vixen tend to err on the shorter side of the vintage inspired brands as far as their skirt lengths go, both in their separates and dresses. They also tend to be cut considerably slimmer than a full circle too, making for less voluminous skirts. This Lola dress makes a change in both of these areas, not only measuring longer than usual VV designs but also cut much slimmer. If you’re curvy in the upper hips then the skirt may well grab on to you there before dropping away to fall to 35 inches long. It creates a look that is much more 30s/40s reminiscent, which Rachel was very inspired by in the design process.
The navy of this dress is a dark midnight blue, almost reading as black in some lights, so that combined with the black of the removable collar means you can style this dress with either black or navy. The three quarter length sleeves are finished with a solid navy band at the cuffs, the bust is pleated and it comes with a matching navy fabric belt.
In terms of sizing, that’s another area where this dress is slightly different to Voodoo Vixen’s usual range. The differences are minimal but as an XL, I did find them noticeable. On the whole Voodoo Vixen tend to run a little large against their size charts, but consistently so across their entire line. This Lola dress, whether deliberately sized a little smaller or just feeling that way as it was designed with a slimmer cut made in a fabric with minimal stretch, fits closer to the size chart than a standard VV piece does. The waist flat measures 34 inches and stretches to roughly 36 inches, but the bust and arms are where I felt there was the most difference in sizing. The bust flat measures 40 inches, stretching to 44, and I felt my 45 inch bust tested it tightly. The widest point of the upper arms flat measures 14 inches with just an inch of stretch to 15 inches. The arms certainly weren’t so tight as to be uncomfortable, but they did feel different to my other VV dresses, so ladies who have larger upper arms might need to take note here before deciding on their size if this is an area that causes them discomfort.
There are 3 other items in Rachel’s range of designs, all of them sporting this same gorgeous check print, so whether the Lola isn’t quite your preferred cut or whether you’re ready to devour the entire range, there’s several other options available for you. There’s the Carrie high waisted trousers, the Rachel pencil dress, and the Agnes pencil skirt, all available in sizes S-XL, with the trousers also offering XS. Both dresses and the skirt feature longer hemlines than is typical of your usual Voodoo Vixen dresses, so taller ladies will likely love this range.
The Lola dress is available in sizes S-XL and costs £58, but discount code vintage20 will get you 20% off any Voodoo Vixen order.