If you were to ask me my general impressions of the Swan range - I think it's a really lovely collection. You can see from my reviews below - as well as the ones I posted yesterday, that I think all the pieces I tried are pretty incredible.
Two main points I'd mention, aside from how delightful I find the Collection, is that some dresses feel too long and also, sizing is a little bit erratic so be ready to maybe mix and match if something isn't quite right. Also? Dual sizing exists in the Collection and considering this is a little bit pricier as a special Designer Collection - that feels a little disappointing. All of the fabrics are really nice and the prints have come out really well - vibrant and exciting actually. I LIKE that there is some block colour pieces, as well as some more subtle prints (like the hearts) to contrast the bright colours and heady prints.
Yesterday, as Marble Arch opened, I was surprised that there weren't many people waiting to grab the clothes. I remember when Beth's second Collection launched for Evans - items went like hotcakes, as with her first. It'll be interesting to see what happens when Clements Ribeiro's NEXT Evans Collection comes out (that's RIGHT ladies - they've signed off on another one) or even their Christmas Collection (Ha! Another piece of juicy Plus Size fashion gossip). There is more to come (in fact at least TWO more Clements Ribeiro Collections). Items in this collection are slowly, but surely selling out - I'm excited as there are lots of great pieces and women are scooping them up. Certainly - as a launch, this has been well done and I am so excited to see what happens next.
These trousers are pretty lush. They seem to be a bit of a slimmer design by comparison to the Pansy Trousers that I tried yesterday in the 22 (and LOVED). I had sizing issues with these Matchstick Trousers due to the dual sizing. The 20? Well it fit and you can see the fit of the 20 in all my pictures. I wasn't a fan of the drape or how my legs looked in this size. Now remember, I wear tights on an almost daily basis, so I know my leg shape in a fitted fabric - but for me, in the 20, these ones felt a little more fitted at the top of my thigh (you know - bulgy thigh) and then disproportionally loose at the calf. They also kind of clung in a slight "camel toe" way to my lady zone... It WAS okay in the 20, when I wore them mid hip - but still just not great on my leg shape. You'll recall from my review of the Pansy Trouser that I raved about the drape from my hip in the 22? Well - the 20 in these didn't afford me that same kind of nice shape - so I sized up. Unfortunately, sizing up to the 22/24 made the pant too big - too much fabric, too much swing, too much leg room, too much room in the "belly apron" area...
My legs fit the 22 in the Pansy Trouser so well, I just don't understand why the Matchstick pants had to be done as dual sizing. In plus women, Evans has the most amazing and fashionably eager audience... I do understand cost cutting and cost effectiveness - but this is a gorgeous, designer collaboration - effectively a delicious designer treat for fatter women... And dual sizing in this case would stop me from buying these trousers due to poor fit. I appreciate these will work for some women - but I do lament that women over a 22, who love these pants - don't get a proper size choice. And considering how well I KNOW the 22 in the Pansy trouser fit - the 22/24 sizing of this pant just emphasised to me that the dual sizing ain't really so inclusive and great. I LOVED the print of these pants more than the Pansy style pant - but I don't fit them. I do hope Evans will consider removing this dual policy. (Pretty please?).
I am in the 18/20 here and loved the feel on my skin. This is a deliciously soft cotton knit that will feel light and breathable through Spring and Summer. The buttons did up well (with very little pull) and because the knit has a wee bit of stretch in it - I know it's the right size for me. If I wanted a roomier fit - the 22/24 would have worked too. When worn open, this cardi was also really nice and looked great for shape. The length saw it sit right on the top of my hip. EVERYONE who tried this Cardi on liked it, and certainly - it's a piece that could layer really well through Winter too. I loved this. It seems so simple - but it is wonderfully done. Perfecto really. x.
Well this is just LOVELY. It is also one of the more popular dresses and is selling out online and will sell out instore. Heads Up Ladies!
I tried the 22 in this one - in fact, I tried the 22 in all of the non stretch style tailored dresses - that size always works best for my boobies. This one was amazing. The fit was perfect in the 22 and I adored the fabric - it just felt LOVELY on my skin. The tailoring is great and the natural curve of my shape was skimmed perfectly by this dress. The wrap style cleavage is fab, but for my taste - I would need either a soft coloured bra to match the dress - or a wee bit of pinning in the cleavage zone. This one has shoulder pads! Just mini - baby ones, but shoulder pads all the same. That surprised me, but it does create a strong, defined shape which offsets the v-neck well.
Lauren looked AMAZING in this dress.
This one does feel a little over length for me, but the sleeves, drape and subtle front pleats work so well, that this barely matters. Also - the print! Totally gorgeous and vibrant in real life. If you're unsure on this one, I really suggest you buy it and try it - because it's amazing and very popular... I was told - that once this one is gone instore and online - there literally is no more stock to replenish supplies!
As this felt like this is tailored, I tried the 22 - but in this one ladies - I found I had some room and the 20 would have worked better... like this:
This is lovely. You can see the colours don't really work with my colouring, but it's totally gorgeous. Like the last dress - the drape is great, as are the sleeves and subtle pleats at the front. Length is again a tad long for me. The V-Neck is slightly different on this one, with the cleavage front being much more subtle and easier coverage wise (no pinning necessary). This one might be a little hard to nail for sizing initially - but once you get the right one, cut and shape will follow. Nice.
It is hard to properly show you this due to the black curtain in the background, so let me just say - this one is pretty special. I'm in a 22 as this is a piece with strong tailoring and apart from a little extra fabric through my back, this fit like a dream (that being said, the extra little fabric at the back was no big issue). Putting this on, I was unsure about the high neckline, but like with the other girls I saw in the change room - on them it worked and on me? It works. The dress has gone for that whole 1940s feel and it is sexy and fits in all the right places. You can't see it in the pics, but under the bust there is a nice, wide fitting empire band and the skirt falls neatly from there in a structured manner that defines shape.
I found there to be a slight fabric pout at the cleavage - perhaps a little more room than I am used to, but again - I think this is BY design, in a 1940s style. I like this a lot. Also - the print is amazing and because it is a little busy - and on black fabric, for any women who like to hide little bellys or bigger hips - this will work well for you as the pattern just seems to cover those things. I might take this one up a little - but the length, with the high neckline - does feel measured out.
Love this. Love the cut, love the print, love the exposed gold zip in the back... Elegant and interesting.
So with this next one, I have used two main Blackberry photos for the post - as they give best contrast and exposure for this dress against the black background:
This dress is amazing. It is also very similar to one that Clements Ribeiro created for Adele to wear at the Grammys this year... it isn't the same dress, but the structure and style are very similar.
I bought this. How could I not? I am in the 22 and this fits like an absolute perfect dream. The description on the site states there is elastic in the waist - and if there is, I think it must give just a little stretch - because really - this is a tailored, structured piece. I loved the feel of this on my body and was surprised by how much I loved the high neckline (I usually show a wee bit of cleavage) and the length, just like with the Heart print "Betty", dress does work with that high neck (although I maintain that some of you will want to take it up...)
This is a really stunning piece and certainly - a highlight of the collection. I wasn't going to buy it and then had to go back in and get it. I am certainly a "print" girl - but for me, the tailoring on this one worked so well and the fabric choices felt dreamy and looked so subtle and pretty and feminine. I was like, I MUST OWN IT.
For me, this speaks for itself. Just a stunner.
This photo is not my best photo from this series. In fact, for this dress - I didn't seem to snap one good photo as all... but don't worry, this baby will hit an outfit post soon - because of everything I tried on - THIS WAS MY FAVOURITE and I own it now. YUP. I bought this one. I LOVE this one. I put this one on and was like - I can not leave without this. I actually tried this dress as an afterthought - I initially didn't even rate it, but I thought - I'd just try and cover everything so grabbed this... I put it on and was blown away. It sucks my photos didn't capture just how great this is.
Like with the Maxi from my last post, this dress comes with a self-tie fabric belt, as well as a black patent belt - you could use one, or combine them. The fabric is totally floaty and a little sheer - I will probably wear this with tights rather than bare legs. The shape is very 40s and the sleeves have a little puff to them. The hem, is not straight, rather a little bit hankied (but not TOO much) and the length - perfect. I love this. LOVE it. I promise to snap better shots soon to really capture how gorgeous it is too. To anyone wondering about this dress - as I said, I really didn't rate this on release. I thought it was drop waist and so didn't consider it for myself - but you can see, the belt sits at my empire line and my shape is great. My favourite of the bunch!
And so, we are DONE!!! As I said, I know Lauren of Pocket Rocket will also be posting and she tried a few different items to me - so keep an eye out. I know some people sometimes have different experiences instore - but have to say - I had a great time at Evans Marble Arch yesterday and found the staff really friendly and the change room girls - totally helpful and knowledgeable about the range. Paul, the Manager at Marble Arch, had set the store up beautifully and he could not have been friendlier. I had one girl tell me about the other Clements Ribeiro Collections due in the future and after two more staff members told me the same thing - I knew it was general news I was okay to share! All round - I bought two dresses, tried some great items, talked to some lovely people and had a beautiful day.