Finery

  • Photography  Jack Johnstone
  • Styling  Patricia Villirillo
  • Words  Anna Sanders
The duality of fashion, it’s immediacy, it’s timelessness, has never felt more apparent than of late. Fast fashion as an industry is thriving, yet contested: in the same month, it emerged Syrian refugees were illegally involved in factories that supply British brands; ASOS reported annual sales had risen 26% to £1.4 billion; and Business of Fashion dissected the ‘See now, Buy now’ movement as one with potential to reinvigorate fashion’s creative process, a concept led by Burberry which sees catwalk collections instantly shoppable, appealing to a direct consumer market as well as trade.

There is an impatience to wait, and in an age of instant gratification, why should we? And though convenience may be a luxury, it comes at the expense of others: time, care, respect. We have forgotten those subtleties of patience, of preciousness when it comes to our clothing. To look forward to an important purchase, to invest in an item with more than money. There is a false economy in throw-away fashion; catwalk trends, once beautiful in their exquisite detail and consideration, feel flat once mocked up in thin material and hurried stitch. The romance, the love that fashion can inspire is watered down in the process of copying, in the dumbing down of detail; a once great idea that falls apart in the wash. Clothes are worn an average of seven times before they are thrown away – because of poor quality, for the next obsession, because we now think them ugly. But to invest, to fall in love with pieces you wear over the years, with different looks and for different occasions, there is a beauty in that.

Eschewing seasons for enduring design, Finery produce pieces that are iterations of trusty wardrobe staples: tailored trousers and wrap dresses, pencil skirts and winter coats. Current narratives are written into clothes – you’ll find ruffles and statement sleeves, cut away fabrics and dark florals; but these are carefully designed pieces, ones that will still feel relevant where others may feel dated. Born from a fatigue of fast fashion, Finery began creating for the conscious consumer and this intricate balance between beauty and practically has been crucial to Finery’s success.

We spoke with the Finery team about their unique brand positioning, slow fashion, and season-less clothes following the launch of the new collection – styled by our Fashion Director Patricia Villirillo, and shot on Polaroid for PYLOT below.

 

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Finery has gone from strength to strength since its launch last year – how do you feel your individual handwriting, strong branding, and considered customer journey has been instrumental to this success?
Finery has always been about having a voice and the confidence to express it – there’s a focus on sophisticated styling, with just the right amount of outrageous attitude and we think this makes us stand out from the crowd.

Do you view your collections as self-contained, seasonal collections, or do you design with a longer shelf life in mind – one where seasons should be mixed and matched, and items loved and worn years later?
Our clothes are made to be cherished for a long time and it’s not about following trends, it’s about being unique. We do design each season as a collection but we like to encourage our customers to build on each season and have the confidence to put together their unique outfits.

 

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Who do you feel the Finery woman is?
The Finery woman isn’t a slave to the trends, she is design conscious and appreciates attention to detail and fabric quality. She is looking to stand out from the crowd while maintaining a sophisticated style.

There’s something distinct in your collections – sitting somewhere between high street and high end; is producing affordable, elegant looks important to your ethos, and why?
We have always believed that good design should be priced for real life and accessible to everyone, therefore we want to bring the ethos of a design to the high street.

In rejecting fast fashion, how you feel your collections embrace a more sustainable approach? Do you strive for an approach that reduces pressures on women to follow trends, and subsequently our environmental impact from disposable fashion?
We definitely embrace slow fashion and believe that people are more considered in their purchases and hope to encourage people to move away from disposable fashion. As we mentioned we don’t want our customer to feel they need to follow trends and they should embrace their own unique sense of style.

 

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You have filled a gap in the market for curated, gimmick-free fashion; what motivated this decision, and what has been the feedback from customers and press?
We have had such great support from the press since we launched which we are extremely grateful for! Our customers are also extremely loyal and very chatty!

What does the future hold for Finery?
We are always looking to move things on and make the product better – we have learned so much since we launched and the product is constantly improving and we hope to keep building on this.

 

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See more at finerylondon.com, jackrjohnstone.com, patriciavillirillo.tumblr.com, mariebruce.com