November 08 2011
Hello, my name is Avril and I am a Boden addict, and I will thus call down ridicule upon my head from the too-cool-for-school brigade. But I stand by it – for special occasions, high days and holidays I may love Net-a-Porter, Matchesfashion.com and Farfetch.com, but Boden is part of the background to my daily life, for those times when I have to admit that wearing old, retired designer stuff for weekends and working-from-home days just doesn’t cut it, and I really must buy something new but casual.
I gloss over the yummy-mummy quirky prints and T-shirts, however soft and good value, and there are seasons where nothing does it for me, but most times there is something – not always the most obvious – that hits the nail on the head and lasts, too. Boden got to the A-line, sub-knee denim skirt before Stella McCartney made it hot; last winter it was a black cardi-coat in sturdy Milano knit with a jet-jewelled neckline that went over every evening ensemble, and still does. Summer’s quietly elegant, limited-edition navy dress is a go-anywhere hit.
Now it’s the turn of the satiny, silky (37 per cent and no creasing) skinny shirt (pictured, £75) in bold black, grey and fluo yellow leopard print. It has just the right amount of edge for this winter’s faintly tough, almost androgynous mood without being over-aggressive, is versatile and attracts much curiosity. When I wore it with a light silk, grey pleated skirt at a dinner for the great and good, a complete stranger asked me if it was Diane von Furstenberg; when I teamed it with a pair of waxed black skinny jeans, a fashionista who should have known better attributed it to Givenchy. I’d be happy either way – the only snag is that the yellow tweed skirt to go with it (ordered a size smaller than usual and in long, to achieve the season’s slender, elongated look) is so over-subscribed it will take weeks to arrive. But I think Johnnie’s design team is doing a great job.