Hopefully you remember that back in July, just before the schools broke up, I went down to see the new Autumn collection from Hope Fashion and spend a day with the team shooting their ‘real women’ campaign. There was no point in me telling you about the clothes then because they weren’t available online. You can now see photos of the day on their website and they have just released the Autumn collection so it’s time for me to show you how the range is developing.
As I’ve already told you, the ‘real women’ day was a bit like one of the parties that Hope run. We arrived, Nayna talked us through the new styles and then we were free to launch into the clothes and experiment with them.
Hope have listened to feedback and worked hard on the range. In addition to new styles, there are new tops at an entry price point, some of which Nayna is showing above. The foundation range has been expanded and there is a wider selection of outerwear.
The team had set up an impromptu catwalk and took photos of our outfits as we tried them. As you can imagine, it was all a bit chaotic with lots of excited women bustling around in various states of undress. Here are a couple of the outfits I tried:
In the end, I spent so long interviewing Nayna that we ran out of time for any more photos so Hope have kindly let me borrow a few of my favourite pieces again so that I can show them to you in more detail.
New Autumn collection from Hope Fashion
I’m starting with the new foundation roll neck in silver grey which is a really flattering colour. As you know, the Hope concept starts with the foundation pieces which are made from a specially developed breathable fabric that keeps you cool in the Summer and warm in the Winter.
One of the things I really like about this top is that the neck is ruched and so there is no fiddling about with the fold to get it to sit right as there can be with a polo neck. I’m also wearing the narrow stretch trousers which have become a staple piece in my wardrobe since Hope gave me a pair to review last Autumn.
On the top I’ve added the boiled wool blanket poncho. As a fan of texture but not pattern, I love boiled wool for the warm, sumptuous effect it has in Winter.
As you can see, the poncho has sleeves so you don’t lose the use of your arms. This means that as well as wearing it as outerwear, you could wear in an office or at home as a chic extra layer.
The structured fabric hangs really well at the back – you could wear this in both an urban and a country setting.
We had a funny moment when this horse stopped to watch and refused to walk on. She obviously had an eye for style and was fancying the poncho for the chilly mornings we’ve been having.
The jumper is described as eau de nil on the website but I can’t see any green in it so I would call it a baby blue. It is incredibly soft with 10% cashmere and it hangs beautifully because it has been knitted in one piece, there are no seams. The neckline has been created to fall away from the neck so there is no risk of overheating or irritation.
The waistcoat comes with a kilt pin to fasten it which annoyingly you can’t see here (Mr MC obviously didn’t realise it was a feature of the outfit). I can also imagine wearing this over a crisp white shirt or a fitted breton for a more tailored look.
I’ve tried to capture the way that it swings as you walk in these shots. I love the generous dipped hem at the back which gives a flattering rear view.
We’re pausing now for my equivalent of a commercial break whilst I duck behind a hedge to change into the next outfit. This is one of the reasons that we don’t often shoot in the lanes near our house – but they’re especially beautiful at this time of year…
…you have to imagine me now, trying to wriggle out of the trousers without dropping the rest of Hope’s clothes in a cowpat. That would have been a difficult one to explain when I sent them back.
Ta dah! I made the change into the long sleeve foundation dress without alarming any unsuspecting farmers in the process. This is another well designed piece. It isn’t underwear but it is constructed to hold you in.
Lots of you wanted to know what I was wearing when I interviewed Nayna. It was the foundation dress and…
… this longline waistcoat which comes in both a light grey as shown here and a darker grey. This outfit makes me think of the sort of elegantly understated women you see being interviewed in Sunday supplements. They’re often architects or designers.
It has dramatic raw cut edges which add to the sharpness of the look.
I think you can see that Hope really have moved the range on this season. Although it is based on the same principles of revealing the parts of your body you love and disguising the ones you don’t, the collection as a whole is more structured and less flowy.
As always, Hope are happy to send orders overseas and, as a small company, can quote individually to give you the best price for each destination, simply contact [email protected].
I will always be grateful to Hope because they were one of the first brands to notice Midlifechic and take us seriously as a group of women that they wanted to design for. I still think they’re the nicest bunch of women in retail you could ever wish to work with. The best way for me to give you a feel for them is to show you this video, I warn you, it’s quite an emotional story for a brand but please do watch it.
We are still trying to organise a Hope/Midlifechic reader event. The difficulty is that there are only a few people at Hope to work on it and there’s only one of me – so time keeps running away with us.
This is the last of the partnerships I’ve been running with specific retailers. I’d like to thank the brands that have shown so much interest in Midlifechic and its readers. In addition to Hope, they include Uniqlo, Hush and Marks & Spencer. I’m grateful to them all for sending the clothes that have enabled me to give you such detailed reviews. I’m also grateful to you all for the thoughtful comments you’ve added to each post. You’ve started lots of interesting discussions amongst the brands involved. As I keep saying, between us we will change the high street for women over 40.