A shop-girl at Harvey Nichols, back in 1994, everything I sold to customers was way out of my price range. If I wanted something, I had to save for it, which isn’t something I’m terribly good at. (Understatement of the century). At least I had access to some great sales.
From celebrities, to eighty-year-old women, there was so much love for GHOST
Bar a much-loved pair of black trousers from Joseph, one such ‘I’m going to save for that’ item, was a dress by GHOST. With the feeling of vintage crepe, the entire collection was made from washable rayon. Back then, GHOST was cut on the bias, meaning bits we weren’t all that fond of were disguised and parts we were ok with were somehow magically highlighted. From celebrities, to eighty-year-old women, there was so much love for GHOST. With a concession on the 2nd floor of Harvey Nichols, I’d spend at least one lunchtime a week rifling through the rails, hankering after something to wear with trainers, something to wear to go out dancing in. Thank God the fabrics were breathable.
By the time I discovered GHOST, the founder, Tanya Sarne, had been at the design helm for over a decade. She left in the mid-noughties, when the brand was sold to an investor, who eventually sold it to Touker Suleyman in 2008, just as it was about to go into liquidation. A long-forgotten brand (in my opinion) walking through the doors of the fairly lacklustre Kings Road store last week, I was shocked to discover a gazillion dresses I wanted to buy.
Next up, a green floral print dress that reminded me of Holly Hobbie meets Vêtements (if you’re too young to know Holly, please Google just for LOLS)
I grabbed several and cantered to the changing rooms, like a giddy horse. The first dress, pale blue with white flowers, felt so easy to wear I knew there was no way I’d be leaving the shop without it (especially when I noted the amount of voom in the arm-puff). Then, I tried a longer-length yellow dress, that, even though I loved the print, didn’t quite work. Next up, a green floral print dress that reminded me of Holly Hobbie meets Vêtements (if you’re too young to know Holly, please Google just for LOLS). I also tried a white linen dress, which I loved, but knew it would drive me bonkers being so see-thru (who needs to wear an under slip on holiday?) I tried on an oversized, pink dress that without white trainers could look a bit prim (am thinking Cabbage Patch doll). And last but not least, when I tried on the floral tea dress you see here, I could’ve snogged the shop staff. It’s official: I’ve finally something length appropriate to replace my dress of dreams.
I bought four dresses. Yup…
Do you Kate Moss’s first collection for TopShop back in 2007? I lived in it, especially a tea dress, mini, with a fairly deep-cut neckline was my go-to party dress that year. Long gone, just like all the fun I had wearing it, I still wonder if I should have ever let it go. Answer: yes, it was really short! Longer in length, and not cut quite so low, just over a decade on, at the GHOST store in Chelseas, I found myself staring at the dress I’ve been looking for. It was coming home too, in fact, I won’t lie, I bought four dresses. Yup. Four. Who does that? Like the frantic shopper I am, by the time the shop staff were switching sizes (I bought two size smalls, and two medium – that’s the problem, you do need to try these dresses on) I’d figured out who did the PR and messaged her as she was getting off a plane.
Thank you GHOST for making a comeback to my wardrobe
Thank you, kind Tove, for letting me have a press discount. And thank you GHOST for making a comeback to my wardrobe. I don’t usually feel nostalgic for times gone by, but there’s something reassuring about discovering a brand you once loved in your early twenties that still works in your mid-forties. As for Touker Suleyman, come on, sort out the store, start appealing to a younger woman. A bit like the wearer, there’s life in the old girl yet.