iStyle: Blonde Ambition

Exclusivity without the expense - Blonde + Ginger is one to add to your shopping list, says Emma Akbareian

The seemingly-ubiquitous “Who wore it best” feature – pitting one star against another in a frocked-upn stand-off – is no doubt the bane of every celebrity wardrobe circa right now. It’s a problem for us hoi polloi, too: who hasn’t been to a party and witnessed a sea of Topshop dresses, the women sporting them maintaining a safe distance from one another? The solution? Haute couture, hand-made and entirely unique. Well, it’s an option if you’re a Rockefeller. But for the rest of us, a new label that focuses its efforts on a limited production run at an affordable cost is a more realistic way to avoid dress-related déjà vu.

When she founded Blonde + Ginger, Elizabeth Carrick used her expertise as a former senior buyer for Debenhams to take her career in a new direction, recognising an opportunity for a premium contemporary wear brand with a sense of exclusivity. Just 150 pieces of each style are produced, meaning the chances of meeting a mirror image while out and about are extremely slender. In addition to limited-edition runs, the brand also emphasises quality. “It is so important to me that I build this label on a reputation of great fit and quality as well as the fashion style,” Carrick says. For this, she’s opted for 100 per cent British manufacturing with fabric sourced from independent mills across the UK. The devil is in the detail after all, and every item comes bearing a hand-sketched drawing complete with the edition number of the garment.

The focus of the first collection is on dresses with easy-to-wear day frocks alongside more eveningwear-appropriate gold brocade and a slinky black strapless number. Contrast collars, leather inserts and crepe detailing are just some of the design features that give this collection its contemporary edge. These pieces don’t come cheap – sitting at the premium end of the high street – but with the classic appeal of these designs, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth.