July 15 2011
Lucia van der Post
I’ve raved about Eric Bompard’s cashmere before and I’m going to rave again now – but not only about his cashmere; this time it’s to acknowledge that he has expanded into the world of accessories. He teams his cashmere designs with some of the prettiest of silk shirts, he offers scarves, jackets and coats made of goatskin and lots, lots more.
First, though, I want to recommend his summer cashmere. It’s the perfect answer to the rigours of the English summer. I’ve often thought that dressing for winter in the UK is a doddle; it’s finding ways of surviving the great set-piece events of the British summer – Ascot, Henley, the garden parties, the weddings, the evenings at the country-house opera – that are sartorially the most challenging. Enter cashmere. One of the most glamorously dressed Glyndebourne visitors I ever saw was a girl in a diaphanous long floral evening dress, immaculately partnered with a light, flowing, long scarlet cardigan.
Finding the perfect summer cashmere isn’t easy but Eric Bompard has stepped up to the plate beautifully. He’s prettied up the collection to make it seem light and yet provide the warmth we often need. Take his Retro strass twin-set. It’s in a delicious pale rose pink with a little delicate black beading and it’s made from 70 per cent cashmere lightened with 30 per cent silk, finished off with beautifully matching pale pink buttons. The tank top sells for £130, the cardigan (left in first picture) for £260. Team the twin-set with some creamy palazzo pants or a long flowing skirt and it would make a perfect party outfit to see one through the chilliest of summer evenings.
There’s another pale pink number – an ultra-fine V-necked sweater edged with rose (right in first picture, £210), another perfect partner to any number of trousers or skirts. His Claudine collar cardigan (£145) comes in black or grey, and what lifts it out of the ordinary is the collar – it makes it demure, dressy, ladylike, turning it from everyday wear into something that could go almost anywhere. His crystal-blue studded horse T-shirt (second picture) is so much more than a T-shirt – made from 70 per cent cashmere and 30 per cent silk (£150), it is pretty enough to go to places other T-shirts shouldn’t venture.
He has added drama in the shape of a great big bow to a low-necked cardigan (£195 for the cardigan; the bow is £22) – team it with black palazzo pants and you’ve got something stunning. But look out, too, for the pieces to wear with the cashmere – the pure silk T-shirts and the long-sleeved silk shirts (£70 for the tees, £85 for the shirts ) – perfect additions to the summer wardrobe. And check out the fine little belts – the look of the season – which come in lots of colours and are just £22.
Finally, there’s quite a lot for men, too – I love best the navy-blue sailor’s crew neck sweater (third picture, £210) which comes in 100 per cent cashmere (also in red or white) which has a tweak of interest in the three brass buttons on one shoulder – perfect for English seaside holidays.