The collection is here!

Can you imagine it? My first collection is here! After a few years of preparation, a year in the making, a lot of crying when things went wrong (and truly, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong), a lot of self-doubt and a host of other emotions, but finally, the brand is up and running.

At first, I had a launch week for my email subscribers before I formally opened the shop. It was so nerve wracking and exciting, to send out the first email announcing the collection being live. An hour later, I had the first order. You can’t imagine the happiness and excitement I felt. I did a little dance. I called my whole family 🙂 I was the happiest person in the world- a customer wanted a piece of my vision. I wasn’t so thrilled, professionally since the day I’d won my first trial (against an experienced prosecutor). I remember walking out of court on a cloud nine. I had this feeling again.

Since then I sold more dresses but the thrill remains the same. I am also nervous, too. I want my customers to be happy with their dresses, to look good in them and I hope they like the quality both of fabric and the execution.

I would like to see more women wearing elegant, chic clothes. I get so excited when I see women who look after herself and takes care of her appearance. It’s so inspiring to see a woman who respects herself and demands to same from others. It’s so incredibly powerful.

I hope I’ve succeeded in creating collection of timeless, well cut dresses. Not another fast fashion item, not the latest trend but a modern classic to wear for years to come.

SHOP SASCHA & THE BOYS

It’s almost here!

The Signature Collection launches in just a couple of days. I’m so excited! Before it launches,  I wanted to tell you something. 

First of all, I’m so very honoured you are with me on his journey. From a lawyer to a brand owner, it’s been a long and emotional one. Being a fashion designer was my childhood dream. But being a powerful lawyer was so much a part of my identity, that I was afraid to make a switch. 

Being a lawyer taught me so much, too. Being able to stand my ground. Decision making. But most of all- confidence in myself. It’s a pretty powerful feeling. I wanted to translate this feeling into my designs. I waned you to you feel the same unapologetic, unashamed, uncompromising confidence in your style, in your elegance and sophistication. 

The collection launches at the beginning of this week. Everything is ready. The only thing I’m waiting for are he last photos for the shop. 

Photos? Don’t you already have them?-you might be thinking, and you would be right. I do . But something had changed. 

After we took photos in Paris featuring samples made from bamboo silk, I  decided to change the fabric. I love bamboo silk. It’s a beautiful fabric, it flows, it moves with every step. It looks expensive- and it is quite expensive, too. I realised that I couldn’t make my dresses in this fabric and have the price I wanted, too. 

And  I wanted something different. Something more sculptural. And cheaper, too so I could pass on the saving to you. 

I found a beautiful, OECO-TEX Standard 100 certified cotton. The rest, as they say is history. 

But I needed to have another photoshoot to accurate reflect what you are getting. 

Now, if you love dresses from bamboo fabric you saw previously and you prefer it over cotton, I will soon open pre-orders. You will be able to choose from black white or champagne. 

The shop officially won’t open for another week. The stock is very limited so I wanted my subscribers to have excluding access to a pre-sale page.  You can still subscribe on this site.

I’m so excited and scared too. I wanted the collection to be perfect- sophisticated, elegant and timeless. Sometime you can wear over and over again without worrying about the next big trend. I hope I’ve achieved it.

Understated style

UNDERSTATED CHIC

I’m drowning in flowers and not in a good way. I went to our high street looking for barely there, tan sandals and distracted by clothes, I’m browsing racks and racks of dresses. I’m looking at a red dress  printed with small flowers and I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere before. In fact- I have. In a shop next door. It had a slightly different cut but it was made from the same fabric. In yet another shop, I see a variation of the same dress, in blue. I feel like all I’ve seen in the past few seasons are buttoned down, flowery dresses. Jeanne Damas made them famous a few years ago with her brane Rouje. I wanted one too because who doesn’t want to dress like a French woman? (I never bought one).

I don’t want a flowery dress any more. I want something with a strong, sculptural shape. No frills, patterns or flowers.  I want a chic, understated look. I want something that makes me feel powerful.

Strange thing with an understated style- it’s so restraint and discreet, it doesn’t immediately command every eyeball on the street and yet despite – or maybe because of this, it exudes self-confidence and class. Once you see it, you can’t look away. 

Which brands to chose for this look? I’m forever in awe of The Row. The twins make the sort of clothes I wish I made first. Yet their prices put their clothes out of reach for me. Toteme is another brand I love but I’m not totally on board with their use of polyester so I don’t shop there often. This year they rolled out a silk dress, quite distinctive looking dress and I’m seriously consider getting it. Other than that? I can’t stop wearing my Sava dress. I wore it for the office with tuxedo blazer for a slightly androgynous look. With Josephs cashmere on a chilly evening. Paired with Bottega Vanetta pouch and The Row sandals. I felt great. Chic. Sophisticated. Different.

A line simple dress

Sava dress & barely there sandals

As I write it, the rains outside lashes almost horizontally and it’s +10 degrees. It’s a middle of June and when the rest of Europe sweats in a heatwave, here on the Atlantic coast the weather is more extreme. I’m looking forlornly at my dress, hanging on the door. It’s Sava, an A-line dress from my first collection. You can tell I’m obsessed with it- its simple yet sophisticated. Its length makes my ankles look elegantly slim. I cannot wait to wear it.

I’ve prepared it for my husband’s birthday which came and went yet the rain hasn’t stopped. But when it finally does… 🙂 It’s going to be Sava day in day out 🙂 There’s going to be a white version as well -for when I’m in the South of France 😉

I love simple, classic shapes when it comes to both clothes and shoes. This year’s Chanel’s thick sole sandals are utterly lost on me. I’ bought two pairs of sandals this year- tan leather Hermes Oran flip- flops and The Row’s delicate kitten heel sandals (the ones I’m wearing on this photo). I’m also on the hunt for barely there, flat, tan sandals.

I love when my foot looks almost naked. With a simple, classic dress it makes for understated glamour I always associate with Talitha Getty.

Elegant sophisticated petite clothes

IT’S HAPPENING!

I’m so very excited to show you this image from our photoshoot in Paris. Current blog template allows for just one photo (this will change in the future) but I will put a few more on my other site .

I wanted to give you a little update where I am at the moment 🙂 I’m making last productions samples! This is the very last stage before the collections goes into production. I needed to check- for the very last time- that everything fits well. I’m obsessed with how things fit. I bought too many ill fitting clothes in my life to know how annoying it is, to buy something that looks amazing on a model only to find, when they arrive, that there are too many inches in a wrong direction, the shoulder doesn’t sit right, there’s too much across the back… Often, I tried to convince myself that it will be ok, no one will notice but ultimately, all of these clothes always went back. I know a too well that an inch in a wrong place or direction can take an item from sharp to frumpy. I’m scared of frumpy. It’s a final stop in Not So Chic Land.

I also changed the fabric- again. I tried two different ones until I came across The One. Third time lucky. Dress you see on the photo is the first prototype and it’s made of bamboo silk, a very beautiful, silky fabric. But ultimately decided I wanted something more stiff, a fabric that would hold a voluminous shape as well as A line. I found it- and it ticks all the boxes.

So whilst we are working on a PREFECT fit and very soon, the production, there are so many other things to do.  Choosing luxe boxes and tissue paper and organising pack shots are the more sexy bits. Having a website done and all the surrounding technical issues, shop plug ins, organising a fulfilment centre and so on, whilst exciting because they take me closer to the final result- in itself are incredibly boring but have to be done. 

A self imposed deadline of 1st of May is not going to happen for sure but 18th? I think we are looking at a launch day 🙂 

Meanwhile, I’m working on a newsletter and teamed up yet again with my Parisian photographer to bring super cool things to my newsletter subscribers. I promise you will love it so subscribe and let’s stay in touch 🙂

Tender is the night

Here’s to a summer on the French Riviera

“Nicole Diver, her brown back hanging from her pearls, was looking through a recipe book for chicken Maryland. She was about twenty-four, Rosemary guessed- her face could have been described in terms of conventional prettiness, but the effect was that it had been made first on the heroic scale with strong structure and marking, as if the features and vividness of brow and coloring, everything we associate with temperament and character had been moulded with Rodinesque intention, and then chiseled away in the direction of prettiness to a point where a single slip would have irreparably diminish its force and quality. With the mouth the sculptor had taken desperate chances- it was the cupid’s bow of a magazine cover, yet it shared the distinction of the rest. “Are you here for a long time?” Nicole asked. Her voice was low, almost harsh.” F. Scott. Fitzgerald “Tender is the night”

Sascha & The Boys

The Sascha-signature collection

I look at my 20-something year old with kindness. days spent in a rigid , pencil skirt suits and heels. Evenings- a promise of a glamorous night about to unfold, casual rose champagne and Manolo heels. A world as disjointed as my wardrobe, where night and day never met. In fact, they could come from entirely different planets. The Efficient and The Glamorous, orbiting in two different galaxies.

Somehow, somewhere, these two words merged. I’m no going to pretend it was seamless- it was not. Having a business and dressing the part- it was a struggle at first. I loathed going back to wearing a rigid, pencil skirt suit. Yet, on the days I wore silk blouses and denim, clients referred to my (only) male employee as ‘the boss”. Clearly, the smart casual angle was not working.

I realised that the answer was in a dress- a powerful dress that takes me from desk to dinner, from meeting to cocktails- all this without even adding high heels. In fact, I felt that heels were obsolete, reminiscent of a word where power women had to wear them for fear of not being taken seriously. I loath heels in work surroundings. I want to stomp the ground hard, reliant on my inner power or glide seamlessly- neither of which I achieve do in 10cm stilettos.

And so, The Sascha Signature Collection was born. Designed to be worn from desk to dinner, elegant, sophisticated, made to slim down your waist and ankles, and be worn with flats- super powerful, sophisticated wardrobe staple. I’m s excited to introduce “The Sascha-Signature Collection”. I hope she’ll change your life in the best way possible.

What to wear in Paris

WHAT TO WEAR IN PARIS

Paris…is there more beautiful beautiful city in the world? There is something about it, maybe a blend of old word elegance and sophistication with youthful energy, that feeds my soul. Paris makes me happy and feels like home. 

The first time I went for longer than a weekend (nearly three weeks), I took with me my entire wardrobe! You can imagine the seize of my suitcase! Nowadays, not only my wardrobe has shrunk to perhaps less than 10% of what I used own but the items I take with me are very different, too. 

I no longer take different “outfits”. I want to look and feel effortless. Paris for me is not about comfortable sneakers, raincoat, travel umbrela and all these items, which come up when you google “what to pack for Paris”. I’m done running from one spot to another, come rain come shine, eager to see all the tourist spots. These days Paris for me is a slow, lazy breakfast, a coffee in a pavement caffe, a walk along the river bank, an exhibition, a cocktail in one of the rooftop bars and a dinner in Montmartre. 

If I go in late Spring I take a black dress or two, which I wear in the day and in the evening, low heel pumps, some jewellery and very few make up products. A little bit of bronzer for that “weekend the South of France” glow and a smudge of lipstick is enough.  And a good handbag of course. I’ve had my Chanel for over ten years now (and when I bought it, it was already vintage) and it still looks great. My Chanel pumps are also few years old and worn in- I don’t save them special ocassions. I like my old things- they have a history and I feel that they look effortless. 

PS. Next week you will be able to sign up for newsletter and if you sig up, download the drawing, too! Alas, technology has defeated me this weekend and I will have to ask for help in this department 🙂 

Paris photo shoot

A PHOTO SHOOT IN PARIS

It was a  it of a marathon for me, the last 4 weeks. France- England- France- Guadeloupe- France-London. I think I know by now every square inch of Paris Montparnasse station and of course both Eurostar terminals. Getting a train between London and Paris feels a bit like getting a metro. 

I wanted to tell you about our Paris photo shot we did this month. Looking back everything went fine but it wasn’t plain sailing at first.  Must have been Mars retrograde. A photographer who agreed to work with me just stopped answering my emails. I’m quite annoyed with myself because this was a second time she did it and I should have pulled out the first time it happened (if you wandering why I still wanted to work with her, the reason is simple- she is really, really good). But I held on booking anything until I knew she was available.

The second time around it was kind of  “now or never” situation. We agreed on a date, a make up artist was was coming form London, the location and Eurostar tickets were paid for. Everything was ready to go and she just stopped replying. I spent a miserable weekend. The shot was planned for  Wednesday. On Saturday, I had no model and no photographer.  

You read it right. A model pulled out on me, too. It’s very difficult to find a short woman (I was looking for someone up to 160cm tall) and women I found were commercial models. Very, very beautiful but often curvier than my seize 36 samples.  So I resorted to contacting influencers… Guys, I know now why they often get such a bad rep…I mean, you are mind conversation with someone to discuss organisation details and they just stop replying. Nothing. Nada. At first I thought that maybe I offended this person? But no, I’m super respectful, offered to pay an advance and to pay expenses in advance too… did take it personally at first but then I realised that this person just wasn’t professional and it was nothing to do with me. 

After indulging  a little in a pity party I got really annoyed with myself. Why did I allow other people to “highjack” my photoshoot? I thought- NO,  it’s MY shot and it’s going ahead no matter what. 

I plucked up the courage and I emailed a photographer from Paris whose work I long admired on Instagram. I expected her to be busy but as my shot was planned the day after Paris Fashion Week had ended, she was free to do it. 

As for a model, I decided I would stand in front of the camera myself. It was not ideal because I wanted to build a brand detached from my face but it kind of made sense at the end. I’m short and the samples fit me, and all the shoes that go with my dresses fit me, too (obv since they belonged to me). The con was that instead of working with the photographer (you will so much when you are not in the middle of action),  you have to get comfortable in front of the camera lens. And of course, there is a visual factor. Maybe a couple of year ago it wouldn’t have been a problem for me, but I feel that last year added at least 5 more years to my face. As I said, not ideal. 

But that was it, I was going to make it to happen no matter what. On Tuesday evening, after a long  day at court and a mad dash to London Eurostar terminal,  I arrived at our Paris flat I booked for the shoot. 

If ever the was a definition of a lucky person, I’d say the owner of this apartment counts as one. Four bedrooms, a large living room, dining room and two bathrooms- not too shabby. It was a dream place- high ceilings, parquet floors, balconies, marble fireplaces…

On the day of the shoot I was so nervous that instead of preparing dresses and props, I was on Instagram, unable to do anything constructive. At the end, I pulled myself together in time to get stuff done before Aga, my make up artist arrived. I worked with her before and I knew she was going to make me look all cheekbones and tousled hair. I had recently cut my hair to a short bob so I bought some extensions which Aga made into a messy bun. 

I was so nervous- I guess it’s different to shoot for the blog when I know I have a super nice audience than for a promotional material. I mean, these photos have to have to sell the collection. No pressure then. 

Hana, the photographer turned out to be so nice and charismatic and she managed to put me at ease in 10 minutes flat. We immediately agreed on a concept and got it done, with Aga making sure my make up stayed put. I loved it, our little crew just getting stuff done on the streets of Paris. 

The day went by in a flash. Before The French joined me for dinner and champagne, (notat all romantic, a take away Mexican and a bottle of champagne at home),  I strolled through the neighbourhood of of chic 7th Arrondissement, just round the corner from my old friend, the Eiffel Tower. We stayed here a few times on holidays and even the bistro where took some of the photos,  was a familiar one- Trish and I went through a few bottles of Puligny- Montrachet there one summer 🙂 

And just like this, it was time to pack out bags and go to the airport. We were traveling to French Antilles for a birthday party. Rum, white sand beaches straight from Bounty commercial and balmy nights- a perfect antidotum to recent weeks…

Minimalist chic

SIMPLICITY, ALWAYS

I was watching “Three colours, blue”by Krzyszof Kieslowski (I’ve been learning French since I moved countries for the love of my life) when I saw a scene which stopped my in my tracks, metaphorically speaking. Juliette Binoche sits in a cafe, pouring hot espresso over vanilla ice cream. She wears very little make up and a black, simple crew neck jumper. The image is simply striking. Later on, a neighbour wonders why does she live on her own “You aren’t the type to be dumped’ she muses.

And then I had “aha” moment. It wasn’t about a jumper, or the famous French no make up and “I lost my hairbrush three years ago” hair. It was her confidence and quiet self-possession which was so incredibly alluring. Her black jumper and minimal make up accentuated her personality by allowing it to take center stage.

I love when clothes do that. When they make me feel chic and stylish, and most important- confident. I couldn’t find any image from the movie so this one of Daria Werbowy for Celine is as close as it gets. She looks so strikingly simple yet sophisticated and confident. Everything I want to be when I grow up 😉