My Spring Capsule Collection with Nour & the Merchant

anneMy spring capsule collection with Nour & the Merchant is officially available for sale, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about the collection and inspiration behind each piece. It's always exciting and daunting to put the work you've been laboring over for months in silence out there in the world, but I'm very proud of the clothes we've created together. Each piece is romantic and feminine with vintage inspiration but perhaps most importantly it's all made at Nour and the Merchant's atelier in Italy. Everyone in the atelier is paid a living wage and we tried to find deadstock or more sustainable materials where we could. We always aim to be as sustainable and ethical as possible, so another facet of that is clothes are made to order to reduce fabric waste--with the added benefit that customization is easy and affordable, whether it's shortening a skirt or getting something made in your measurements. I could talk more about her atelier because I think it’s really incredible what she and other small brands do, but let’s talk about the pieces a wee bit! Instead of creating a cohesive collection my goal was to create a few special pieces. And you might notice right away that the names are inspired by different figures in history and fiction.

P.S. We have an early bird sale, if you purchase within the next 30 days use code ONESS2023 for 15% off one piece, or code TWOSS2023 for 20% off two or more pieces!   marie-2 copy The Marie chemise dress: This is our take on the classic chemise a la reine dress that Marie Antoinette was famously painted in. I have a whole post coming later this month about that dress and its history, but my goal for this dress was to take that original inspiration and honor the silhouette and style but in a modern, easy-to-wear way. It has two layers of cotton to keep it from being too sheer and elasticized stitching at the bust and waist making it a very comfortable dress that adjusts to your figure. It looks lovely on its own but I also really love this dress as a base layer for a corset or statement belt. We made all the samples in white, but you can actually order this dress in a handful of different colors! I can’t wait to see it in some of the more off-beat colors. I think it’ll be a really fun twist on the classic to see it in a vivid yellow or blue! Shop the Marie dress here. regency jane copy Jane Regency dress: While I named this dress the Jane dress, it’s far more Bridgerton inspired than classic Austen because unlike a true to history Regency dress ours zips up the back! And doesn’t require stays and a shift. Still we looked at examples of real Regency dresses for our silhouette and the different details—like the ruched sleeves and open layers of skirt. I think this came out really lovely. I was honestly worried about it as I don’t usually look good in empire waist dresses; they can be very unflattering if you’re at all curvy or busty and some of our samples had me near giving up on the concept! I wish I could show you pictures of some of the samples, but I mostly tried them on and did Skype calls with Cristina and her team, so I didn't record much of the evidence. Cristina never lost faith in this dress though and was patient through all the tweaks. The band under the bust helps create differentiation between bust and skirt and the way the chiffon is cut to flow out as you walk makes it a very flattering dress. I styled it as simple as possible for our product shots but it will also look really pretty as you add more details like brooches. And you can style this in a very non-Regency way as well, which I hope to show in some future posts (think thick belt or corset and tucking the outer layers of the skirt up for a more pirate-y or Renn faire look). Shop the Jane dress here. belt marie-4 copy Belle corset belt: I love corsets and belts and this is our marriage of the two with a healthy dose of inspiration from Swiss waist belts as well. (It reminds me so much of Disney princesses as well that I had to name this one after the bookish Belle.) It’s a diamond shape in the front and has lacing in the back so you can customize the fit and how tight you want it laced. There’s boning in the front on either side of the diamond and in the back as well to help it holds its shape so it shouldn’t fold or crease too much when wearing. I love pieces that have a bit of structure like this as they so often stay neater looking than ones without because even as you move around throughout the day it holds its shape. For fit you should choose a size at least an inch or two smaller than your natural waist so you can show that beautiful lacing in the back. It’s not designed like a corset to change your shape or hold you very tightly, but if it’s the exact size of your waist you won’t be able to see the criss-cross of the ribbons in the back. The smaller size you choose the bigger the "gap" for lacing to show. We chose black for the samples since it's so classic, but this is also available in different colors as well! Shop the Belle corset here! anne-5 copy anne-2 copy Anne lace apron: Aprons are something with humble origins that have been glammed up and used decoratively throughout history. Most recently I’m reminded of the hostess aprons of the 1950s; sheer chiffon aprons designed to be worn over formal dresses when hosting parties. I really like adding aprons into my personal style, usually when I am doing a more home-y task like foraging or baking. Still more of the aprons I opt to wear are brightly colored and do little to protect my clothes. For the Anne dress I took inspiration from that desire to nod to history and pastoral styles, but in a way that is fun and perhaps a little unexpected. Initially I liked the idea of a half apron, but we decided a pinafore style was more versatile. We chose our lace very carefully so every part of the dress is lovely with different details and patterns in a soft ivory shade. And as you might have guessed the name is inspired by the one and only Anne Shirley. Her character would have worn a pinafore over her dress to school and I think she would have found this style very romantic and inspiring! It seemed like a perfect piece to shoot amongst the wild garlic. Shop the Anne pinafore here. marie-5 copyThat’s the whole collection and you can shop it here! And use code ONESS2023 for 15% off one item or TWOSS2023 for 20% off two or more items if you purchase within the first 30 days. 

 **A longer version of this post (along with previews and bts sketches of this collection) was first shared on my Patreon.**


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