Friday 9 December 2016

Fit for caprice

Photography by Andreas Pettersson fashion edited by Constance Harris

Published 10/04/2011 | 05:00

Jacket €290; shirt €65; trousers €165 all Bastyan. Photo: Andreas Pettersson
Jacket €290; shirt €65; trousers €165 all Bastyan. Photo: Andreas Pettersson
Photo: Andreas Pettersson
Jacket €260; jumpsuit €260 both Bastyan. Photo: Andreas Pettersson

Businesswoman, supermodel, mega busy, mega in demand, Caprice Bourret flew into Dublin direct from China on her way to New York, for this photo shoot on the streets of Dublin, because "I think Bastyan is a fabulous label and I want people to know about it."

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Caprice discovered Bastyan when she was one of the judges on Style Wars last year. She didn't know that her best friend, Ian Galvin, also a judge on the show, was behind the label and had been itching to tell her about it. What happened was stylist Amanda Kevlin showed her the label and she fell in love with it.

Bastyan is an extraordinary label. The colour palette is monochrome and the clothes are understated on the hanger, yet, once on the body, they turn every woman into a curvy, kick-ass, urban goddess. Only when one tries on a Bastyan outfit does one notice the beauty of the fabrics, the extraordinary cut and finish, the secret details, which, all combined, make the wearer feel rich as Croesus.

The fact is, if Tonia Bastyan had not set out to create a successful label on a par with Karen Millen prices, the label could well have ended up in the ranks of international, high-end designer departments. No question.

Bastyan's spring/summer 2011 collection is a mix of contemporary urban luxe and Seventies glamour. The tailored jackets -- be they cropped tuxedos, single-breasted masculine-yet-curvaceous navy blazers with leather trims, or striking butter-soft leather pieces -- attract attention with their cool attitude.

"For me, a big part of the pleasure of designing is about the fabric, the cloth, the fabulous Italian detailing." says Tonia. "Quality and detail are the key words for us. And affordability."

Tonia is a mistress at cutting sexy black dresses that even La Prada would admire. Apart from her love of devilish sharp tailoring, Tonia loves vintage, so in each collection there are thoughtful, soft touches such as frayed edges, the use of sensual, luxurious silk-satin or georgette, and rich, jewelled embellishment.

"It is a relaxed collection. I aimed to make it timeless, so that it would work from day to night for women, and transitional -- so that women could wear it from one season to the next," Tonia told me.

"I think our wardrobes have changed because women have changed so much; women require much more versatility. Less and less are our wardrobes structured into work wear, eveningwear, and so on; it is much more integrated. You still need a statement dress such as the red Aphrodite dress. But, fundamentally, we want to wear all our favourite pieces, all the time.

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