Saturday, October 8, 2011
Viva Biba at House of Fraser
Peter Pan collars are having a moment right now. Their demure rounded shape have been gracing blouses and dresses of late, often in contrasting colours or lace.
I like Biba's luxe take on the trend with the beaded collar on this cashmere and wool-mix dress. It's subtly striped knit reminds me of Sonia Rykiel – chic yet fun.
Biba, of course, was the iconic fashion store of the 1960s and 1970s. Founded by Barbara Hulanicki, it was championed by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Marianne Faithfull and Twiggy, to name but a few.
A high-end relaunch in 2006 – with designer Bella Freud at the helm – failed to reproduce Biba's original success, so House of Fraser decided to take the label on and return it to its high-street roots. It resurrected Biba last year, putting its iconic, glamorous heritage firmly back on the fashion map.
'The original Biba changed the face of fashion – it was affordable, sexy and easy,' says House of Fraser's director of womenswear and accessories, Stephanie Chen. 'The new Biba has been the most successful launch in House of Fraser's history - it's done way, way better than we'd expected.'
That success must be down to good quality design and affordable prices. Take this dress, for example. It's a modest £75 in the sale, down from £125 (we are talking cashmere, wool and beading here).
I say have fun with those stripes. Team the dress with the polka-dot tights from Next, add a touch of colour with a clutch bag (this snakeskin one is £110 from Reiss) and you'll capture the attitude that makes Biba as strong a brand today as it was in its heyday.