Thanks in part to our Instagram-obsessed culture there’s one hashtag you won’t find me employing: #ootd (“outfit of the day”). As opposed to its equally popular yet comparatively candid sister hashtag, #iwokeuplike this, the #ootd ranges in spectrum from the carefully crafted to not-so-borderline contrived. The trendy hashtag is evolving ever so slightly each season in order to reflect the styling tricks and statement accessories of the moment. What’s current? The blazer artfully draped on the shoulders to resemble a cape (who needs sleeves?), or the half tucked shirt.
While the #ootd had humble beginnings, inciting inspiration for the people, by the people, with the occasional spotlighting of emerging design talent, the hashtag has become a monotonous experience as of late.
Before brands were royalty and designers were celebrities, personal style prevailed, and the increasingly rare breed of seamstresses could easily be discovered. Bespoke tailors are fairly plentiful as the need for men’s suiting show no sign of deceleration, though experts in women’s suiting are less prevalent.
In pursuit of novelty, I sought out vintage patterns and a reputable seamstress, resulting in an overwhelming amount of fabric options available in New York’s Garment District and a clear lack of direction. However, my search did yield a promising result (through Instagram, no less!), the work of London-based Anna Mason.
After graduating from both the Edinburgh College of Art, and London’s Royal College of Art with an MA Mason honed her design skills working for the esteemed Karl Lagerfeld in France, followed by periods at Valentino and MaxMara, respectively, in Italy.
Through her mentorships, Mason’s design aesthetic became unabashedly feminine yet modern, and handmade to-order in England. There is an ageless quality to Mason’s work, too, and an incredible versatility: the sort of frock that one could wear to a dinner with friends or the races at Ascot. The pale yellow, tiered pleat, fluted sleeve “Florence” dress (£450.00) is the perfect solution for all those summer weddings while the voluminous, belted liberty print “Bardot” dress (£460.00) has all the charm of a homespun heirloom, best suited for sipping Pimms in the rare English sunshine.
Now, if I can just decide on the color...
All images courtesy of Jonathan Glynn-Smith