We may be gearing up to move into spring, but this autumn/winter season I developed a serious thing for burgundy and I don’t see that affection going away any time soon. It’s not even that I didn’t like the colour before only to suddenly see the merit in it, but my liking of it increased so suddenly you might be forgiven for thinking that the case. Possibly my normal obsession with red simply spread wider at the edges, encompassing the moodier, darker iterations of the shade, but no matter how it came to be, where it brought me was to the here and now, with my claret Lana dress.
Vivien of Holloway are renowned for producing their staple dress designs in dozens of different colours and patterns, leading to ladies with collections of Halter Neck Circle Dresses or Sarong sets. I noticed the Lana dress for the first time perhaps the winter before this one, so I’m not sure if that was it’s first release or whether I was just blissfully ignorant before then. What struck me most about this design was the beautiful draping of the neckline. I’m not really a 40s girl when it comes to my own wardrobe, much as I appreciate the styles, but when it came to Lana, I had little choice in the matter. Pass over that drape-age? I think not. I could resist the style when it came mainly in dark florals, but once this claret was released, I was powerless.
Dress: Claret Lana dress by Vivien of Holloway
Shawl: Faux Fur from eBay
Hair Flower: Red Signature Rose Double by Daisy Jean Florals
Bag: Black Vintage inspired handbag by Lola Von Rose
Shoes: Minnie D’Orsay heels by Bettie Page Shoes
I’ve got to get it right out of the way that this claret shade of Lana is no longer available. I’m not sure if it will be in future, but Vivien of Holloway have a recently released two new Lana colours. so if you’re smitten with the style there’s other Lana dress options available on their website and judging by the popularity of the style, I’m sure others will be following in future.
Made in London, the exquisite draping of this dress is as classic and beautiful as the city it was made in. Every time I pull this dress from my wardrobe I’m captured by that flowing design feature. Echoing the elegant, eye-catching draping of the neckline is the pockets in the skirt, each framed by a long pleat of fabric that flows into the rest of the skirt. Straight cut rather than a fitted wiggle skirt, this style gives more ease of movement and is great for those who might be self-conscious about areas of their bottom half. There’s shoulder pads for that quintessential 40s silhouette, combined with the fabric across the bust working to make your waist appear smaller. It fastens with a side zip and it’s supremely comfortable to wear, easy to layer up in colder months but flowing and lightweight in warmer weather.
This dress is made of a polyester peach skin fabric that has plenty of give and comfort of wear, something that surprised me as from pictures online I thought everyone looked so trim and structured in their Lanas that I expected it to be a sturdy, non-stretch fabric. Said fabric means this dress can be machine washed on delicate and left to drip dry, better than a dry cleaning bill any day of the week.
Vivien of Holloway use vintage sizing, so it can be confusing for newbies to the brand, but every product on their website has a drop down menu that lists the measurements of each size so the easiest thing to do is take your measurements and compare it to the options presented. I ordered mine online in the size 20, which is listed for 34 inches in the waist and was the only size remaining at the time of my order, but my actual dress flat measures 36 inches. As such it’s a little loose on me but nothing a belt and a stitch can’t fix, and some extra wiggle room never hurt. It accommodates my 45 inch bust, despite the size chart listing 42 inches in the bust, and even my 50 inch hips fit, although my butt does test the way the fabric lays somewhat. If you’re still concerned about sizing, London based ladies can pop into their shop for some assisted help, or you can search for your nearest local stockist to try items on in person.
The Lana dress is available in the newest shades of plain Topaz Blue and blue Cornflower print, each for £99. Vivien of Holloway ship internationally and have shops in North London and Victoria, Australia, as well as global stockists.