How fabulous that one of my earlier interviewees for Style Agenda, the wonderful actress Joanne Froggatt, has won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Golden Globes for her role in Downton Abbey. Congratulations from us all, Joanne! See my interview here.
Jayne Cady is Winser London’s Design Director and has run the division since I launched the business 18 months ago. Inspired by her glamorous grandmother, Hollywood icons of the ‘40s and ‘50s and a childhood ambition to be a womenswear buyer, Jayne worked as Product Director with me when I was Global Chair and CEO of Aquascutum. London to Jayne is the heartland of modern style and she draws inspiration from watching chic ladies walking up and down many London haunts. She lives in Dulwich with her actor husband and has two grown-up daughters. We develop the Winser London collection gradually each season, maintaining a stylish, modern heart while adding seasonal freshness and complexion-flattering colour. I asked Jayne about the new Spring/Summer 2015 collection to give you an advance insight into what is to come in the ensuing weeks…
Jayne, this will be your second year of collections for Winser London. How have you developed the look and feel of the brand each season?
My starting point is always quality materials; considered, flattering design and the desire to enhance women’s confidence in their own personal style. This is the essence of Winser London and is the reason I am passionate about each collection. We launched with quality cashmere, merino, silk and a fabulous luxury jersey called Ponte de Roma. We have worked with each of these fabrics, maintaining best-sellers each season, while introducing new silhouettes and colours. For Spring 2015 I have introduced texture in cotton stretch, inspired by Audrey Hepburn. We have had huge success with our cotton poplin pieces – they are very flattering and comfortable and perfectly lightweight for the warmer months. A stunning English tweed for Spring comes in a ‘throw-on’ coat with a matching three quarter-sleeved dress – a touch of glamour that can be pared down or dressed up. We have also built on our Milano merino knitwear story with fine knitwear in new colours, including a delicate nude, as worn by Yasmin Le Bon in the shoot.
I have worked with luxury cashmere for many years now – at Pringle of Scotland, Aquascutum and in my days at Marks & Spencer. Please explain from a design perspective what is it that makes excellent quality cashmere so different to high street versions?
At Winser London we work with the best manufacturers in the world. They have the experience and knowledge to source from the highest quality suppliers of cashmere and have mastered knitting methods to maximise the performance of the yarn to create luxe, cosy knitwear. Winser London’s cashmere pieces don’t just look fabulous, they feel delicious, are practical and wear well – what more could any woman want?
Winser London has become well-known for its luxurious and exclusive fabrics – particularly with our Miracle Collection. This is a capsule mix of dresses, skirts, leggings and trousers in the amazing Ponte de Roma fabric, which has subtle stretch and makes the wearer look and feel fabulous. What made you develop this fabric for Winser London and what do you love about working with it?
When considering designing key pieces for the Winser London working wardrobe, I developed a fabric that would offer comfort, and most importantly would last all day and look as good at the end of our busy days as when we dressed. The days of restricting tailored office suits have long gone and working women today look for a sleek silhouette that looks modern yet elegant, even in the Boardroom. Our Ponte de Roma is a quality compact, double-knit jersey that has natural stretch and, when cut well, is extremely flattering. This is the key to our Miracle Collection, which has become a best-selling range and is loved by the stylists and fashion editors of the world.
Silk has always been a favourite of mine as it makes me feel seriously glamorous - it reminds me of Lauren Bacall and Greta Garbo. What makes Winser London silk so special?
Silk is the ultimately glamorous fabric, I agree. The silk we use has a subtle stretch, which ensures it doesn’t crease (great for travel, therefore) and is extremely comfortable to wear. Our original launch styles have become real favourites of many of our customers.
Colour is important in a Spring season. What new colours are you introducing this season?
This Spring I have introduced new colours such as Cambridge Blue and Chelsea Pink. As our Winser Blue has become so popular, we plan to build on our blues each season – it’s very flattering to all complexions.
Please share your care tips for various Winser London fabrics.
My grandmother always told me to “respect your clothes” and I have obediently done so all my life. If you spill something on your cashmere cardigan, ensure you wash it as soon as you can in the washing machine on a gentle wool setting – then wrap carefully in a towel to remove excess water and dry it flat. Moths love cashmere, so please don’t give them a chance! I also wash my light-coloured silks in the washing machine on 30 degrees and then hang to dry. Dark colours really need dry cleaning to maintain their deep colour. Our quality Ponte de Roma performs well when washed at 30 degrees in the machine too. Winser London offers a very easy-to-maintain wardrobe, with only a few pieces that require dry cleaning.
What is your personal style? Which are your favourite pieces this season and how will you wear them?
My style is drawn from a mix of inspirational style icons: Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn from the Hollywood days - alongside Caroline Issa (who loves an extreme, exaggerated look), Daphne Guinness (chic eccentricity) and Ines de la Fressange (whose slightly masculine look creates a cool modern, simple silhouette). I’m a separates girl and this Spring I am looking forward to pairing my favourite Pull-On Tapered Leg Trousers in satin-backed crepe with a neat little jumper – the new Merino Ribbed Polo Neck or V Neck are both fabulous. They both come in various colours, so offer something for everyone. Top-to-toe in one colour flatters everyone. I’ll wear them with five strings of pearls and some Roger Vivier pumps for elegant simplicity.