December 05 2012
Bespoke pyjamas might seem an indulgence too far – after all, there isn’t much close fitting involved and styles don’t vary a great deal – but the
decoration on them is another matter. Monogrammed silk varieties are the perfect
nighttime luxury for many, a subtle hint of personalisation that, if worked by one of Britain’s most venerable embroiderers, has a story of its own. Better
still, one clever designer now offers this service online so that the client’s
only effort is in choosing the design.
Olivia von Halle was a style forecaster who, while working in Shanghai, had silk pyjamas made in traditional 1920s style, for relaxing at home after a hard day’s work. Deciding that she could not be the only person who appreciated their ease and glamour, she returned to London and last year launched her range just as pyjama style became part of high fashion, though her classic design will make perfect at-home wear long after the current trend has faded.
The single-breasted jacket is cut loose but curved to flatter the female form and teams with comfortable drawstring trousers or shorts. Made in China, in plain or delicately printed top-quality silk satin, there is fine contrast piping on edges, cuffs, turn-ups and trousers, and some styles have pockets. The cost is £330.
The bespoke embroidery service is in conjunction with Hand and Lock, which has been plying its craft skills since 1767 and bears the Queen’s warrant – it was involved in the
wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Initials that match the piping
are the obvious choice and cost from £8.70 per letter – art-deco styles (from
£17.90) and elaborate script, which entails removing the pocket and is
therefore £40 per letter, are also popular – but Hand and Lock can create any
design, including dates and family crests, which can be placed anywhere on the
garment and worked in any thread including metallics. Estimates and designs are
approved online – once agreed the service takes an average three
weeks, though for simple items a week is usual, so there is still time before