In recent years Boden has struggled to shake off its yummy mummy, middle-class, country-weekend image, but several items from its once-a-season, limited edition Icons range – a modern take on the much maligned but actually rather useful category of occasionwear – are rather special.
Under womenswear design director Mariam Boutorabi, the fourth Icons collection is a tight, 22-piece capsule with each item in strictly limited amounts – a way to achieve exclusivity for an online/mail-order brand. It is primarily evening-orientated, though the more adventurous will easily fit items into a daywear wardrobe.
Not all of the collection hits the top notes, but pieces that shine include the boldly striped black and ochre crepe de Chine shirt (£170) with a pleated collar, ruffle and black velvet bow that would look great under a tuxedo; the softly vintage-inspired, deep-green velvet and viscose unstructured suit (£320) that also works as separates; and the black velvet, finely embroidered coat (£350). Items from the collection will be kept back to (briefly) form the centrepiece of a new Boden project – its first standalone store, just off Chelsea’s King’s Road, which opens on November 9. The Icons arrive online exactly a month before.