A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with navabi at their A/W shoot, looking after their social media and casting my beady fashion blogger eye over the new collection. And today, September 10th, is the day that collection launches!
navabi is such an important piece of the plus size fashion jigsaw, in that it offers super high-quality clothes from a huge range of brands, often at a justifiably higher price point than other retailers. Trousers from other retailers feel like they could rip if I bend down to tie my shoelace to enthusiastically, but the pair I have from navabi could withstand 1000 lunges. It’s just better, and that’s not something plus size women are really used to. I first tried them when looking for an outfit for George’s wedding, and the House of Magpie dress I wore via navabi was just princess-perfect. Their own range is no different- and it goes up to a size 30.
This A/W navabi collection is full of super great quality pieces in rich, gorgeous colours, made from fabrics that look and feel expensive (I’m thinking of some trousers with a metallic print, a thick mohair-feeling coat, heavily-beaded jackets). They’re all wearable and chic, but stand out. The collection was modelled by Laura Catterall and Clementine Desseaux, who are both straight-up model gorgeous, but I tried on several pieces myself (a good 3 sizes bigger than the models, at least) and was wowed. They felt luxurious and stylish while still being perfect for everyday. Laura and Clementine’s hair and makeup were kept super natural: barely-there makeup so Clementine’s freckles could shine through, textural hair without being too voluminous at the root, gently flyaway. Beautiful.
I asked Christine, the wonderful, warm, friendly woman who had designed the clothes, what her thinking and inspiration was behind the collection. Here’s what she said: “The navabi woman is a free-spirit – she knows about fashion but is not a slave to it. She wants to bring her own character to the collection … the collection is aspirational, premium. It is fashion that depends on curves. navabi style is founded on cut, drape, sensuality and the all important ‘maverick touch’ – there is always something unexpected, for example a flash of contrast colour on a lining of a coat or jacket, a stretch lurex skinny trouser that is ideally worn during the day. The collection is inspired by the outside world; the contrasts that I find, the things that I stumble across – by cityscapes, by lush evergreen woodlands, by autumn leaves, by trees laden with winter berries. My favourite shapes are the egg shape funnel neck coat, the animal ‘blanket ‘ coat, the cocoon ‘mohair’ jacket, the swing check coat, the wide leg trouser suit, the culotte, the crop parallel pant, the asymmetric draped jersey dress.” As a side note: Christine is a super interesting and accomplished woman, who’s doing really interesting academic research on fashion.
My favourite pieces from the collection? A stunning beet-coloured shirt, a heavy and heavily-beaded jacket (both of which are launching a little later than the first drop), and both the Important Coats (one red check, one black and white). I’m an absolute coat fiend, and had a really hard time deciding which of the two was my favourite, having tried on both. In the end, the black and white won me over, as shown below on both model Laura and non-model me, with its ’90s Helmut Lang vibes and great pockets. I’ve already made it mine.
But yes, the coat is my absolute favourite. It’s so luxurious- wool, mohair, alpaca and cotton, and it really feels it. It’s warm and soft and 10000% nicer than pretty much every winter coat I’ve ever had. I’m into wearing it with a belt over it for a cute, casual look.