When it launches this September, Wear The House won’t just be the most covetable collection of vintage-inspired loungewear and soft furnishings Dubai ever did see. It will also be a victory for every little girl who never felt as if she belonged.
“I was always the girl that stood out at school because I dressed differently,” Dubai-based founder of Wear The House Jennifer Black recalls. “I expressed myself through the way I looked from quite a young age, which didn't really do me any favours with other kids, as no-one seemed to understand my love of dressing up. I continued styling myself through school, and at home in my spare time I would deconstruct my clothes and put them together again the way I loved.”
It wasn’t until she started London College of Fashion and Central St Martins that her eclecticism and love of quirky colour combos found a true home. “I felt that finally I was in the creative place that I had always wanted to be and my creativity was embraced.”
Jennifer’s fashion career began embroidering dresses for designer Tristan Webber and designing for AllSaints before starting her own collection of pyjamas and cushions inspired by her love of vintage and travel, plus a collaboration with fellow local interiors brand Mishmashi on a handmade Queen Pouf Chair. Describing the launch capsule, Jennifer explains, “There are a total of five pyjama sets, in two different styles - a high neck and traditional V-neck cut - with matching trousers and silk eye masks. The pyjamas are based on a vintage blouse, so have a big-volume sleeve and removable silk-covered shoulder pads.” She continues, “The three cushions are all different in their own way made with 100 per cent silk prints, 100 per cent cotton velvet and embroidered details finished with a black tassel cotton trim.” Pyjama sets with eye masks start from Dhs1,700, and cushions range from Dhs630 to Dhs720.
Needless to say, when it comes to styling her own home, we can expect an equally eclectic offering. “My house is a real eclectic mix of vintage, contemporary and inherited pieces," the Grazia Style Awards nominee for Emerging Talent reveals. “One of my favourite things to do is buy vintage furniture and bring it back to life. I bought a vintage chair from the UK, had lacquered pale blue and added a beautiful vintage floral tapestry seat. I also treasure my Great Aunty’s silver cutlery drawer, and paintings and embroideries that my grandparents have given me. I even have a 200 year-old embroidered apron gifted by my grandmother that I have framed in Plexiglas. It looks like something that should belong in the V&A. The contemporary brands that I love are Italian brand Seletti and Jonathan Adler. I’m also obsessed with Liberty of London and The Odd Piece is my go-to interior shop in Dubai for investment pieces and special purchases.”
Jennifer’s advice for Grazia girls wanting to add a shot of character into our homes? “Start with one of our Wear The House cushions to add colour and detail to any room instantly,” Jennifer suggests. And any ways to avoid making expensive mistakes when it comes to spending on big homeware purchases? Asking for a friend. “Tear out inspo images from magazines and Pinterest and gather together a mood you want to create in your room,” she suggests, “then hang it on the wall and live with it for a bit to make sure you are happy, then invest in good pieces that will last forever.”
- Available at wearthehouse.com from September 2019
Photos: Loesje Kessels