London Fashion Week – De La Vali

Annie get your gun because we’ve just entered the Wild West!

De La Vali’s latest collection for London Fashion Week opened with the instantly recognizable theme tune of ‘The Good, the Bad and The Ugly’ immediately settling the audience into cowboy central.

The sultry and dangerous collection created by Jana Sascha Haveman and Laura Castro amalgamates the brand’s iconic silk styles with Outlaw America. Jana and Laura are inspired by old school music and films and this collection’s vision is from ‘Even Cowgirls Get the Blues’ starring Uma Thurman. One of the seminal pieces from the collection was a matching shirt, trouser, and jacket combination with the film title printed all over it in scarlet which just emanated power. Another key aspect was green silk with red rose print which blurred the lines between cowgirl and modern femme-fatale wedding guest. My favourite look was a blush pink, silk, maxi skirt with a white, frilled corset – it is something I wish I could wear every day because it was so effortless and cool. The western theme of the collection was accentuated by the introduction of ruby red or white fringed cowboy boots, cinched-in waists, and diamanté cowboy hats to provide an elevated and eccentric touch.

On their website the girls describe their brand as “drawing influence from the free-spirited and bohemian essence of Ibiza, the collections are bold and empowering, yet feminine and sensual. De La Vali clothing exudes a unique and captivating style which is impossible to ignore and instantly recognizable”; I completely agree.

Jana and Laura met as children, thanks to their parents, in Ibiza. Both share a Dutch heritage and immediately hit it off with their interest in all things vintage. With no official training in fashion, it was their trip to India that inspired their first collection. The pair were fascinated by the dazzling array of coloured silks with exquisite prints and patterns and discovered that bringing their designs to life was so accessible in India. They received a “crash course in understanding their branding” early on and it is still just the two of them that create the collections from their own sketches with no outside help. India was also where they manufactured their first few products which they then distributed into boutiques in Ibiza. Before long the whole island was wearing the girls’ designs and they would find themselves “bumping into their dresses” on a regular basis. They are the perfect pieces to take from beach to bar. Before they knew it, Vogue was on the phone asking if Kate Moss could use their designs for an upcoming editorial and subsequently launched the brand in the UK.

Dutch-born, living in Ibiza, working in London, the girls confess that it makes them sometimes feel like nomads which is an energy that they channelled into their recent collection; a sense of an eclectic wanderer with a fierce attitude. Oh, and a touch of Dolly Parton.

The collection explored bright metallics in silver and red which appeared to be a heightened exploration of De La Vali’s eye-catching prints and their iconic mandarin collars also made an appearance. However, the style has progressed into the exploration of bright jewel-like tones of aquamarine to blush pink which just made you want to reach out and stroke the dresses.

A pertinent question was put to the designers after the show in the Q&A; “Who is the De La Vali girl?” to which the reply was “anyone”. It is a brand that aspires to be “ageless”, suitable for all shapes and sizes and wants you to embrace the world with confidence and unashamed self-belief. The brand name came from a woman the girls met whilst in New York who would walk around bare-foot with her pet fox over her shoulder. Jaime Winstone who hosted the talk, and is also a huge De La Vali fan, stated that she had always found she could wear the designs at any stage in life; “from parties to pregnancy”. She emphasized that the clothes make you “feel like you are part of a sassy girl gang” which ties in nicely to the fact that De La Vali fans are affectionately known as Vixens.

The brand’s next show is taking place in Amsterdam on 6th March as Jana and Laura are hoping to expand the brand into the Netherlands to honour their familial tie. The next collection is titled “divine drama” and is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s films and old school Hollywood glamour vibes which is sure to be epic.

Images by Sarah Cameron or found on De La Vali website:

https://delavali.com

Quotes from De La Vali interview after the show 16th February 180 The Strand

 

Sarah Cameron

Author and Social Media Correspondent

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