I have finally treated myself to a garment from Wall.
Wall is one of those companies I’ve admired from afar from a long time, but never actually experienced in real life.
I first heard about them about eight years ago on a Women’s Hour devoted to fashion and why it’s so bloody rubbish for adult women. Wall was mentioned as a shining light in the darkness of tat, with elegant, comfortable designs aimed at women with real shapes.
Wall, which has a website named Wall London, presumably because someone else owns www.wall.com, was set up in 1997 as a boutique in Notting Hill, London. Its designs are sometimes characterised as ‘casual luxury’ but they themselves say: "Our collections are designed with a certain type of woman in mind; one who is artistic, independent, mature yet energetic and who enjoys both an intellectual and a social life."
Designs are subdued and subtle, as is the colour palette – mainly dark shades of black, charcoal, bitter chocolate and grey, but with some zinging blues and pinks too, and strange, ‘off’ shades of burgundy, aubergine and greige. The clothes are meant to stay in your wardrobe for a long time, not to be disposable, and in that way stand outside of fashion.
The firm also has strong ethical credentials, supporting charities, requiring a strong code of conduct from suppliers and supporting small businesses, especially in Peru, where one of the founders hails from.
I have always wanted a garment from Wall, which I value because they are intellectually pleasing as well as beautiful, but been too broke to justify one. This year, however, instead of browsing longingly through their online pages, I’ve actually made a purchase, of this little black dress (50 quid in the sale, reduced from 99). I decided on a pima cotton garment, as this requires no dry cleaning or special care, just a cool wash in the machine.
As you will notice, the dress in the top picture is not black, though the one I’ve bought actually is – they just didn’t show it in black in a full-length photo. And although I like it in both the red and soft turquoise colourways in which it also comes, I feel generally that a girl gets more use out of a black dress over time. If it looks good on me, I may well order it in another colour.
Note how kindly constructed this garment is: long sleeves, v-neck, knee-length, and that very tasty little curved gather at the front to skim softly over your tum when you have a fat day. I am seriously hoping that this garment will remain as a staple in my wardrobe for the next 20 or 30 years, as suitable for dinner as for a day around town, for sitting in the garden, or lunch with friends, topped with a little cardi, or a pashmina, or a leather jacket according to need.
My first garment from Wall but – I seriously hope – not my last.