October 21 2010
Christina Strutt designs clothes that are just the right side of fancy dress. Her tiny fashion label, Cabbages & Roses, turns out pieces that work as an everyday wardrobe – really they do – but they also make you feel as if you are in a film. Perhaps A Room With a View, or maybe Alice in Wonderland.
Having invested in a tartan coat last winter (think golfing plaid meets Victorian schoolboy) and sailor-stripe tops during the summer, I cast an eye over Strutt’s autumn/winter 2010 collection with anticipation this August. And there it was, my new best friend. Called Susie (pictured), the fire engine-red tunic is made from a kind of flannel that’s almost felt. The fabric is so thick that it holds the triangular lines of the dress beautifully (anyone remember Bod?). And, mysteriously, it’s rather slimming.
Buying is a pleasurable palaver. Although some Cabbages & Roses clothes are available in Jigsaw stores, it’s a bit hit and miss as to what you might find in any particular shop. I registered my interest in Susie on the Cabbages & Roses website, and received an e-mail saying that as nearly all garments are made in such small batches, I’d have to join the waiting list and stand by for a phone call.
Two weeks ago the call came and I popped to the Cabbages & Roses shop in Langton Street, Chelsea, which is filled to the brim with vintage china, painted furniture and Christina Strutt’s fleamarket finds. I had half a mind to buy some plates with transfer prints of reindeer (£6 for a small plate, £20 for a large one) while I was there, but stuck with the mission and came away with the new frock. Like all Cabbages & Roses clothes, Susie has character, and huge charm. Most alluring of all, Susie only set me back £150 – and 10 per cent of proceeds of sales are donated to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres.