Melanie Press Collection featured in Vogue!

December 11, 2017

Melanie Press Collection featured in Vogue!

US Vogue: by Mark Holgate, Fashion Features Director

Fashion loves a big expansive gesture, but a small one can be pretty impactful, too. A case in point: The eponymous label launched in 2016 by Melanie Press out of her tiny store in northern London’s leafy Primrose Hill, with its dollhouse streets and park on the doorstep, a park forever mythologized by David Bailey’s moody 1964 portrait of boho icon Marianne Faithfull. An alum of Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren, Press set up shop in 2007, slap bang opposite the Triyoga studios (where locals like Gwyneth Paltrow, unsurprisingly, and Kate Moss, surprisingly, were habitués). She arrived just as the neighborhood hit its High Sienna period, when no element of Sienna Miller’s wardrobe—the hippy vests, the diaphanous vintage dresses, the scrunched, sun-weathered lace blouses—went undiscussed or undocumented.

Some of that look and spirit pervade the new collection Press is about to release, offering up a whiff of those decade-ago days which are starting to feel relevant all over again. “There’s a very specific way that London women now dress,” she says. “They take a jacket—a bomber, a blazer, a biker, it doesn’t matter—and then wear it with an underwear-inspired dress and some sneakers. Some of this look was easy to find for my shop, but the things that were feminine and effortless . . . they were missing.” Here’s some of what Press has created to fill that void: a soft blouse inspired by an old YSL one she owns and a shirred skirt that can double as a dress, both in a snow leopard pattern; a tea dress dappled with a minute daisy motif, what she calls a “non-print print,” it’s so discreet; and a pin-tucked, lace-trimmed blouse, the kind of thing you’d give your right kidney to find one early Friday morning at Portobello Market. Forget about the ’90s: It’s time to be obsessed with the noughties. Wear those Ugg boots with pride!

Melanie Press's vintage-inspired blouse
Melanie Press’s vintage-inspired blousePhoto: Paul Romans

Truth be told, the Press collection underscores a whole other phenomenon that’s going on right now: women busy designing for women, strictly focused on their real needs and desires. In that respect, Press joins the likes of everyone from Johanna Ortiz to Emilia Wickstead, Rosie Assoulin to Galvan London. She herself has been known to bring in half-finished samples to get reactions from those who shop with her, acting as impromptu focus groups. What sets Press’s label apart is the way it takes an obsession with bygone detailing, picked up not only from working with fellow obsessives Lauren and Jacobs, but also from her vintage-collecting mother, and makes it practical: The pieces come with pockets into which you can slip an iPhone, they can be easily laundered, and they employ a lot of bias cutting so that, according to Press, with only two different sizes she can cover everyone from a size zero to a size eight. Already, newer Primrose Hill types are picking up on the collection. “I’m cringing at the name dropping,” Press says, laughing, but Ruth Negga, Rachel Weisz, and Helena Bonham Carter are all converts. Small is clearly no impediment to success.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Journal

Introducing Eco-friendly outerwear brand OOF
Introducing Eco-friendly outerwear brand OOF

October 22, 2020

View full article →

Our corduroy designs in Anna Murphy's Times feature this week
Our corduroy designs in Anna Murphy's Times feature this week

September 24, 2020

Cool in corduroy? The moment has come The geography teacher’s favourite has lost its jumbo, three-piece suite effect and gone sleek, says Anna Murphy, Fashion Director The Times

View full article →

The new jacket - it's a waistcoat. By Anna Murphy, Fashion Director, The Times. August 26 2020
The new jacket - it's a waistcoat. By Anna Murphy, Fashion Director, The Times. August 26 2020

August 26, 2020

Similarly up there are the iterations from the boutique British brand Press Primrose Hill, which are made by Lardini, a traditional family tailoring firm in Italy that works for numerous big luxury names. The quality is superlative. Choose from black wool or velvet (£475 and £425, pressprimrosehill.com) or pale pink needlecord or grey houndstooth wool (£325 and £475 respectively).

View full article →

Receive 10% Off Now

Subscribe To Newsletter Code To Receive Automatic 10% Discount At Checkout With Code D22