When Design Director Judith Balcazar hit her 40s, she discovered she was no longer a part of the target market, but part of the ignored – so WALL London was born.
“When I arrived back in London in my 40s after living in Peru for a few years, I was delighted to finally trawl through the wonderful variety of fashion shops. However, the experience turned out to be rather unsatisfying. In the few years I had been away, although my weight had remained not too far from my 20s at 67kg and somewhere between sizes 12-14, absolutely nothing fitted me. The bust darts seemed to be around my neck, sleeve openings were tiny, necks choked me and fabrics seemed to have become universally synthetic. I didn’t want to pay £900 for a jacket but nor did I want a £79.99 one that looked just exactly what it was, a £79.99 jacket. Somehow in a few short years I had gone from being the target market into the ignored market. This was also partly to do with the fact I was not interested in wearing a suit. Had I been a solicitor or worked in the corporate world I would have been fine as there were still a lot of great formal suits around. Ditto with mum clothes – clothing you can crawl around with children and chuck in the washing machine was also aplenty. But my body shape did not fit the Boden mum shape either. I was looking for interesting, chic clothing I could go to meetings, lunches, or travel in. I wanted youthful but not young looks, cut to fit my time of life body shape. There was very, very little available.
I was not the only one thinking this way. When Intelligent Life magazine did a survey of women to find out what they wanted from fashion – this is what they had to say. “Women are sick of low quality, overpriced, and poorly made, ill-fitting clothes that don’t last. They are fed up both with too much choice, and its twin: too little they want to choose. They enjoy looking at the beauty and high-art escapism of couture, but when it comes to what they actually buy, they are more exercised by quality and cut than bells and whistles: they want their clothes to fit properly and not fall apart. They are not fooled by the fads and fancies of the current season, the bogus now-ness of fashion.”
So WALL was born. We are aware that women in the 21st century have worked hard to maintain their figures, and want to wear clothing that shows off the best aspects of their shape. We work with adapting contemporary styles so that they flatter and fit. The WALL design team looks at body issues that influence our customers. We do not have tiny armholes, or darts that appear under your neck and nowhere near your actual bust line, no miniscule neck openings or a trouser rise that is only 4“ high. Our clothing is modern and contemporary but we have put a lot of thought into the small details of fit that make a difference.”
As we get older we struggle to fit into garments aimed at younger people and therefore need clothes that are designed for a wider range of shapes and sizes and that are cut to flatter an older figure.
“It could be that clothes do not fit well because the quality of the fabric in inadequate. Cheap fabrics may look just fine when you try them on in an air conditioned changing room and they are in a moment of crisp newness. However, once you have spent a few hours wearing them and the synthetic fibres start to strain with heat and sweat, the fabrics quickly start to look awful. They crumple and ruche and lose their shape, so that the crisp new dress you sat down in for dinner looks more like boiled lettuce when you stand up a couple of hours later. It was revealed this year that the reason the Queen always looks so fresh no matter how long her engagements is down to the fabrics used to make her clothing. We work with a grown up fit, a youthful look and beautiful fabrics.”
Check out our new Autumn/Winter 2013 collection for clothing designed with your fit in mind – made from exquisite Pima cotton, Italian Merino wool, baby alpaca and silk-angora.