The idea for a romantic, elevated pajama brand came to Tricia Rudder during lockdown when she was off her job and started watching her favorite old movies.
Rudder, a trained illustrator who worked in production and development for the fashion houses in New York, tells me: ‘I noticed that almost all the women in the classic films and period dramas have wonderful nightwear, and it looks so sharp compared to what I wore at home — sweaty clothes that were defeated and things with holes in them. And I thought of the women who dress us in the fashion industry. Where did they all buy their pajamas? ”
She decided that something was missing on the market — something out of the old world and shamelessly romantic in which a woman could dress her while she was at home or before bedtime.
And so Une Femme New York (unefemmeny.com) is born. Launched in early 2021, the label’s range features dreamy nightgowns and shorts that are directly inspired by costume dramas and classic novels; nightgowns and double pajamas falling on Alexandre Dumas The Earl of Monte Cristo (£ 530); a floral cotton jacquard mini nightgown with puff sleeves and lace inserts named after Anne Elliot, the heroine of Jane Austen Persuasion (£ 520); a corduroy lace skirt called Avonlea (£ 580) for another Anne – LM Montgomery’s beloved Green Gables orphan; and the satin crepe Louisa house dress (£ 580), inspired by the protagonist of The Duchess of Duke Street, the 1970s TV series based on the English chef, hotel owner and alleged mistress of Edward VII, Rosa Lewis.
The garments are made from organic cotton and high-quality fabrics from the New York fashion district. Coats (from £ 450) are made from old rag blankets that may be directly from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (one pair of pajamas is named Laurie, after the famous boy next to the book). The pieces will soon be kept in stock by Bergdorf Goodman and Ron Herman in Japan.
Une Femme is one of a number of brands that give a more romantic and historic feel to nightwear and loungewear. The Australian label Sleeping with Jacques (sleepingwithjacques.com), which is in stock by Net-a-Porter and worn by Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson, has a Victorian aesthetic, with extra sexuality. 280, net-a-porter.com), while the Bon Vivant robe (£ 299) is the more gentlemanly smoking jacket.
In the UK, As Net As has enjoyed success since rebooting in November last year, when Emily Campbell, daughter of founder Isabel Falkner, took over. The brand specializes in simple, loose-fitting nightgowns made in India from cotton voile and with a knitted neck and cuffs, mottled edges and lace embellishments. Campbell, a former teacher, introduced a number of new styles, including the Clover. “It was directly inspired by an Artemisia Gentileschi painting – the curtain, the sheen of the fabric and the romance of covering,” she says. “I’m totally in love with romantic times and the Renaissance.”
The label’s brand coincided with the start of the UK closing last year and sparked a wave of renewed interest in nightwear and loungewear. ‘Last May, my mom had 80 followers on Instagram. Now we have almost 8,000, ”says Campbell. ‘We tried to carry out orders ourselves, but very quickly it became clear that we needed a warehouse. In six months, my top line has grown six times. ”
She expresses the desire during the restraint to adjust the changes at the end of the day with a bedtime ritual. ‘I think our customers really enjoyed the time when they could take a bath and change into a nightgown. It changed the mood. ”
Before closing, a trend toward the romantic was already visible in a desire for a more elaborate style of ready-to-wear dress-the dress, the nappy dress, the picnic dress-with smaller brands such as the American-based LoveShackFancy and Hill House Home and London give labels to Meadows and O Pioneers reaching the “cottagecore” trend. Netflix’s hit drama in Regency BridgertonWith its colorful, sexy look of the costumes from the period, this passion for the past added even more fuel. (In August, Bridgerton production company Shondaland is teaming up with Hill House Home to release a collection of Regency-inspired dresses and accessories.)
The trend predictor Abi Butler of The Future Laboratory says that the uncertain period in which our traffic has a desire to return in time. “Young people in particular have adopted ideas like bardcore – the fusion of medieval and modern cultures and aesthetics,” she explains. “It’s a thought of nostalgia rooted in the need for comfort and escape from the realities of an uncertain future – and as with many behavioral shifts, younger consumers are expressing it through their fashion choices.”
For Campbell, it’s not just the younger generation who are expressing themselves. Her night clients range from 17-year-olds to women in their eighties. ‘I think what nightgowns, regardless of your age, can remind you of a simple period in your life. When you were surrounded by a family and you felt light and innocent, ‘she says. “When the world gets really cramped, we look back to golden times.”
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