A couple of months ago, I came across the Habibe London website, contacted Habibe and she made me a couple of fabulous tops. In the process, I went across to her studio and was blown away by some of the lovely garments she sells. It being the party season, I decided that my friends might like – yet another opportunity – to SHOP, SHOP, SHOP and arranged an ‘At Home with Habibe’ event for last week.
Despite a flurry of absences and last minute cancellations, it all went rather well (er, my words in a recent email were more along the lines of: ‘getting people across was a nightmare and in the four days before, four people cancelled…). However, enough people turned up and bought to make the evening worth a few hours of Habibe’s time … not sure I’ll be doing it again any time soon!
Personally, I found it hugely rewarding as I forced my friends (thank you so much, to all of you who threw yourselves into the fray) – ranging from a size 6 to a 22, height 5ft to 6ft, with an assortment of bust/hip differentiation – to try lots of different shapes and styles. Invaluable research for my +Black project to see Habibe’s designs on the different body shapes and heights and, oh gods, probably means I will be doing it again as one of my ambitions is to provide clothes that suit ‘every’ woman.
Great fun too, to see all the individual responses to the clothes. It’s so interesting how we all bend clothes to our own aesthetic, isn’t it? And how fabric choices are so critical in garments working or not. Some people like a slimmer fit and, for every piece of clothing, would fit it to the body which is not Habibe’s aesthetic at all and doesn’t work well for less conventional shapes. Some found the asymmetry of her designs odd, others – me included – loved it.
There is nothing like actually trying things on either. One friend always loves high, face framing, snuggly collars and was amazed when a cut away neckline looked so fab on her. Some items looked unexciting on the hanger and yet, good on everyone – a particular dress with an interestingly cut skirt was a good example of that. A lovely pleated linen top in petrol blue – beautiful on the hanger – didn’t work on anyone but in fine wool, in black – fantastic on everyone. Many designs looked amazing from the back – Habibe seems to focus on that, as she does on the fabrics too, many of which were so lovely to touch.
Her designs are, generally, cut to flatter and fit with ease. The plus sizes and less standard shapes had – for once – a lot of choices. There are many slimmer people too who love the architectural, asymmetric look of Habibe’s designs which they often pair with something close fitting. As a design aesthetic, I suspect your eye either likes this or not and if it does, you keep coming back to it.
Overall, it was a very productive evening for all of us, as well as being as brilliant as it always is to meet up, laugh, drink and have fun with friends. Lots to ponder over the festive season and into the New Year.
Do check out Habibe’s designs for yourself. Be Merry.