Yup, it's pretty much about this time every year that all memories of being sophisticated and Parisian go flying out of the window and the only thing that I can focus on is frolicking through knee high wafting grass on a super sunny day, thinking I am vaguely reminiscent of an 80s Flake Ad. GO BOHO.
A hint of a tan (and when I say hint, I mean "not blue") and I crave flowy, embroidered dresses.
Those canny of you will recall that at the beginning of the season, I attempted to embrace the boho look. (as I tried a tunic on...) Which was a hilariously bad idea and didn't work. Yes. You think I'd have learnt my lesson.
But god loves a trier and with the sun shining, my skin slightly less mottled and certainly less hirsute than in February and so "obviously" I'm going to rock this style a la Mossy now. (don't all guffaw at once)
This slight inkling of an obsession was blown out of the water, elevating me to STALKER mode, when I caught sight on Instagram of a pic of a Vita Kin dress. This then sent me scuttling over to Pinterest where I was inundated with what one, who probably hasn't had as much sun or is on their knees crawling towards the end of term, might term "national dress" pictures. See the beauty people, see the beauty.....
Vyshyvanka by Vita Kin - that's what these are. The Ukranian label that is based on (you won't be surprised to hear) the country's traditional embroidered clothing. You will either love or hate them.
I, with visions of the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate and a balmy 80s evening in my mind, went on a mission to track them down.
Well that went well. Not.
There are two stockists in Kiev who will ship worldwide and one stockist in London - I didn't go to the bother of finding out who (seriously these things are hard to track down, google was just full of articles telling me how amazing these dresses are and how hard they are to find) when I learnt that a dress cost north of £1000. Ok I don't like them that much - something that The Husband will bust a lung laughing at me in?
However it did get me to thinking - hang on - do you need to spend that much? (to get ridiculed in?) In all seriousness though, I adore the look - and can see me wafting along a beach with the puppy and my children in the Summer.... yes, I need me one of these.
I also think they're a great A/W dress too. Ankle boots, fur gilet, leather biker jacket - oh hello.
And I did manage to track down some much cheaper ones, just in case you didn't want to spend 4 figures on one. Are you sure? They'll be selling them on Matches by the end of the Summer..... (ha ha ha - and they'll sell out too. Mad. Ness.)
This one is far more wearable (oh and it does seem that a floppy hat is de rigueur with these. A must have. I shan't be participating in said headware fashion statement as I look slightly more Miss Hannigan and slightly less Vanessa Paradis in one). The dress I have high hopes for......
Glamourous Folk Maxi Dress with embroidered trims was £55 now £38.50 This is definitely my top choice (of the more reasonable ones)
Here is a great place to introduce Free People. I first came across them in the US actually but then saw them in Selfridges and lost two hours of my life to them last night online. Best way to describe them? A properly hippy Anthropologie.
Like Anthro, the prices vary drastically. To be honest (again like Anthro) there's nothing Forever 21 prices (but fear not - I spent my time wisely last night. Oh yes, further down.....) and it does go up to over £1000 on some dresses (swerved them).
But there are some more palatable, top end High Street comparable, price point pieces which are interesting. (along with the hat, you also have to flash a bit of leg it seems, in one of these frocks. Who knew?)
One really clever thing about the site, is that on each item at the bottom of the page, there's a collection of pics posted by people who have bought and worn the item. Genius. Really helps to give you an idea of what the garment would look like on real life person and how different people have styled it. All very impressive in my book.
I have NO idea what delivery times are like, what customer service is like as I've never ordered from them but I did spend some time reading the reviews which were pretty helpful on feedback on the clothes (zip info on delivery - apologies.) I think I've seen them on ASOS as well? Or that may just have been the Selfridges website..... I look at so many....
Journey to the Horizon Dress £138 from Free People
Dreamweaver Dress £138 from Free People in olive This isn't cheap but on further inspection (the "real people wearing it" pics online of this are AMAZING), the embroidery is stunning, intricate and heavy. Lots of different colour ways of this as well.
Embroidered Fable Dress in black £138 - again this looks so so much better when other people have styled it online. I promise.
In a sage green mix - £138 It looks very different in the sage, doesn't it? Again, there are some other colourways online.
Full of Love Shapeless Dress (their interesting description not mine. Personally I think "hides a multitude of sins" says the same thing but is slightly more flattering) was £98 now £59.95
This is slightly more mainstream now - still at Free People. Love it with the sneakers - goes to show it can be more versatile than purely bohobonkers.
Cloud Nine Dress in Washed Blue £98
But back now with some much more reasonable ones if you do honestly think this may be a one trip pony for you.
Midi Length again at Glamourous in their Tall range
Embroidered midi skater dress £42
Couldn't do an embroidered dress blog without looking at Monsoon. Although this was the only one that really worked for me.
Navy Paloma Dress from Monsoon £79
And now to my newly found obsession of Forever 21. Let the bargains commence.
Floral Embroidered Gauze Midi Dress from Forever 21 £22
Embroidered Crochet Midi Dress from Forever 21 £28 Yes you read that right. This is amazing. I searched high and low for this in store today. Well that was a waste of time. I can confirm that everything you see on line isn't found in the shop and vice versa. Which isn't irritating at all. I'm going to order this one. Totally totally floats my boho boat.
And no, before anyone asks, these F21 sandals aren't in store OR online. Yes I'm irritated too.
I do appreciate that some people may not like the midi length and fear not - there are shorter options out there.
Etoile Isabel Marant Viola Dress now £120 was £200 BARGAIN (for Marant....)
Absolutely love this pumpkin colour.
Glamourous Tall Embroidered Kaftan £36 (also available at ASOS in regular and petite)
Embroidered Tassel Dress from Topshop £34
And a little bit more of a dress option. It still has a hint of national costume about it (a really cool and trendy national costume but of course) so it makes the grade here.
Isabel Marant Etoile Scarla Broderie Anglaise Dress was £300 now £150
Embroidered gauze shift dress in navy from Forever 21 £19 (perhaps a top to most?)
More expensive but oh my lord I love this one. Why oh why oh why an they not do them longer??
Embroidered Smock Dress from Topshop £48
And after all of that, I went to try one on today in navy, thinking that there would be oodles in the sales. Well NOPE. ONE in Zara which was full length and not what I had in mind but I thought maybe if I got it altered to midi length..... but it was £24.99 and then I'd have to pay for alterations and did I love love LOVE it? Err no.
On reflection of course, it's not that bad at all. Actually nope more than that, I NEED IT and I've just gone online to see if I can find it and of course I can't. It's not meant to be. But I am going to order the Forever 21 white one as I think that's a happy medium between full on hippy and just a lovely Summer dress (ok so in my head it looks very Maranty as opposed to full on Ukranian national dress which I've come to the conclusion might be slightly more me)
Finishing with outfit from yesterday.
Logo tee - Zoe Karssen
White skinny jeans - Next
Black Tux Blazer - hush
New Club sneakers - Geox
So be honest - have I had too much sun? Surely this is just Marant with a bit of colour? There must be some fans of the embroidery out there? I did remember a top at Uni that I spend a whole holiday embroidering with flowers and I did think - oh hang on.... maybe I can get crafty... (that thought did last for all of about five seconds. When I think how much spare time I used to have, I genuinely don't know whether to laugh or cry....)