I’m obsessed with Isabel Marant. I blame my mother- having been reared on a sartorial staple diet of homemade sandals (which leached orange tanning agents into your soles), jaunty tie-dyes and appliqued everything, it’s nigh on impossible to resist the hand stitching and folkish detailing on much of the Marant offering. The price point doesn’t matter a whit- H&M, Etoile or Isabel, I’m Ready to Wear. And so it would seem are my offspring. It’s a family affair.
My first Marant was a relatively non-descript light grey cotton shirt from the French mail order catalogue La Redoute; it didn’t look like much…until you put it on. And it probably cost about €50. It was the late nineties and a dear French friend who is all-knowing in these affairs (and whose mother ‘discovered’ Marant when she was a student) insisted, so I complied. I was still wearing it, and loving it, at least a full decade later.
For a recent (and highly significant) birthday, I splurged on a not so little black number- ¾ sleeves, keyhole neckline, cinched waist, meticulously hand-embroidered in India. For that same birthday, I was given a gorgeous brass and enamel necklace that sings of the Nearer East and is my new go-to piece whenever the top half needs an instant lift. My youngest daughter‘s gotten in on the act; she’s nicked a somewhat beleaguered four year old linen mix tee from my drawer that should be three sizes too big but looks like a million bucks on her because the fabric drapes so beautifully – according to the online lookbook, it’s the same shape (and approximate weight) that features prominently in the new H&M collection.
My eldest daughter meanwhile made her own birthday pilgrimage to the flagship shop in St Germain this summer, emerging after lengthy deliberations with an exquisite little cardie (thanks to her boyfriend) that she’ll no doubt cherish for years- baby’s first investment piece. Needless to say, we’ll all be at the IMAGE sneak preview of the H&M collection on November 13th in force. I fancy the black and white silky blouse and the girls are prepared to fight to the death for a biker jacket to share between them.