Easy spring dresses uplift stay-at-home style
We may be homebound, but we can still rely on the mood-lifting power of a relaxed springtime dress to transport us to sunnier climes. Stay-at-home loungewear gets a summery upgrade by these female founding duos.
‘Buy well and buy less’ underpins this London-based brand’s ethos of creating only what’s needed: elegant, versatile, seasonless essentials that can be mixed and matched with existing items in your wardrobe. Asceno co-founders Poppy Sexton-Wainwright and Lauren Leask launched their brand six years ago, based on a pair of chic silk pyjamas that were much more special than simply something to sleep in. ‘Early on in our friendship we knew we wanted to create a clothing brand that was paired back and relaxed,’ says Sexton-Wainwright. Enlisting strategic consultant, Rayna Barasch, now Asceno’s third partner, the line has expanded to include more styles that meet their brief of beautiful, understated pieces ideal for evenings in or trips away.
‘Now that the weather is getting warmer, our linens are really popular. They are organic, easy to wear and light,’ says Sexton-Wainwright of the crisp and gently tailored organic linen PJs, trousers and dresses. Asceno is also focused on responsible production and is ‘moving as fast as we can along the path to a fully sustainable future,’ says Sexton-Wainwright. ‘We produce in family run factories in Porto, Portugal and Shanghai, China, making only small production runs of our seasonal items to reduce excess and waste. We are launching organic and responsibly produced bamboo silk this June.’
Australian sisters Ilona Hamer and Peta Heinsen are the masterminds behind Matteau; word play on the matt texture of fabric and ‘eau’, meaning water. Their line of refined, minimal resortwear is based around a core, timeless offering that includes their tiered low back sundress, cropped cocoon blouse and full gathered linen skirt. ‘We had something really particular in mind and that’s the only way we wanted to do it,’ says Hamer of the two years they spent developing the line. The sisters combined their talents – Ilona is a successful fashion stylist based in New York and Peta’s background is in marketing – to manifest in immaculacy cut and considered pieces with a realistically wearable approach. ‘They work for so many women of different shapes and sizes, and we love to be able to give them the styles that work for them in updated colours and prints each season,’ says Hamer. ‘It’s so special to be able to work with family every day.’
London-based Camille Perry and Holly Wright pooled their 15 years of industry experience in fashion buying and designing respectively and founded Tove Studio in the summer of 2019. Specialising in breezy summer dresses (the full skirted Maren slip dress and ruched Ceres dress are best sellers), the duo also offers paired back silk blouses and trousers. Perry says, ‘The craftsmanship in the collection is important to us. We want our pieces to be impeccably made using fabrics that are luxurious, but also sustainable. Our collections are mainly comprised of silks and organic cottons - both fabrics that feel incredible to wear, will last a lifetime and at the end of this time will degrade naturally.’ With an emphasis on high quality fabrics, Perry explains, ‘We source our fabrics from all over the world, from Italian mills through to those in Asia. We produce in both Europe and Asia with highly skilled teams that we have worked closely with throughout our careers.’ §