When I am approached by a new brand, I am always interested to learn about how it came into existence. Who is behind the brand? What is the gap in the market that they are trying to fill? What was it that they were after that couldn't find elswhere? And of course, what is so special about their product?
Dote London was set up by Sheena Abbot - Davies, a Mum of three boys with no previous experience in any sector of the business. (Now I'm thinking how brave and how did she have the time?!)
When Sheena couldn't find affordable luxury nighties and pyjamas that she wanted to buy, she decided she could do better herself and that's how Dote was born. The range is designed for relaxing at home and the designs are simple, with many being based on vintage samples or inspired by classic cinema. They reference a glamourous past, where sleepwear exuded grown up elegance and sophistication.
Designed with family in mind, Dote is for women who have children and who want to maintain a little mystique and glamour but who don't want to be in anything too revealing.
Using a selection of silks, cotton, cashmere, wool and jersey in different colours and prints, Sheena has created a covetable range of pieces. From talking to her it is clear that she left no stone unturned when searching for the right fabrics, the right dyes, the right designs and the right places for her pieces to be made. The fabrics are carefully chosen for softness and quality and natural fabrics promote temperature regulation and comfort whilst sleeping. Sheena has eagle like eyes for attention to detail and has tried and tested things herself many times over, so that they are just right.
Dote already has a celebrity following in Kate Moss, India Hicks and Jackie Dixon and they have been featured in Grazia and Stella Magazine.
On being invited to an event where nightwear and loungewear were key, I was ever so slightly nervous. The words "January" "pale winter skin" and "HELP" sprang to mind. However I was reassured that I wouldn't be required to wear shorts, so that was a start at least. On reflection we concluded that having to make an effort to get ourselves ship shape in January wasn't such a bad thing after all.
There are lots of beautiful pieces in the collection - some are more of a special purchase perhaps for an anniversary or a birthday, others are more of an everyday kind of purchase - all are lovely!
Here is Zahra from Lyla loves Fashion looking gorgeous in these fantastic silk twill tuxedo style pyjamas (£236). I love the colour of them on her. These are very glamourous but in a subtle and understated way.
This is Lorna from Style Isle wearing the Garbo dress
(£125) and the Geisha silk kimono (£220). I could tell from the way that she moved that she used to be a model. Isn't she beautiful? There's no denying that this outfit exudes full on glamour.
Rachel from Lady M Presents is wearing the Talitha print cotton silk nightie (£115). These printed silk cottons make a global reference and subtle touches of Arabia, India and the Far East will be creeping into the collection.
Here I am clearly looking for something that I have lost along the way! This silk kimono is really beautiful to wear. It is unlike anything I have worn before! It also comes in a jersey fabric in charcoal, taupe and grey and costs £75. I have no idea what the postman would make of me answering the door in this little number, as opposed to my usual "scruffyness."
Here I am wearing the beautiful silk Garbo nightie in grey (featured in Grazia as a dress) together with the hand knit boyfriend cardi in a wool and cashmere mix (£175). I loved the combination of the lighter silk and heavier wool and would have quite happily stayed that way for the rest of the day, had I not had to get the train home.
Victoria from Feathers and Frills wore the same hand knit boyfriend cardi, together with the Tuxedo twill jammies (£295) in white. I think that Victoria looks very Helena Christensen like, especially with the camera nearby! This is a great outfit for relaxing at home, reading the Sunday papers.
I'm not sure that the bed was too happy about us all sitting on it!
There are also some lovely top and short sets in liberty prints, elegant jersey modal nighties from £65 and long sleeved column nighties from £55. There is a growing range of sleep related accessories from lavender soaps to pure silk pillowcases. Along with being available on-line, the pieces can also be purchased from the Dorchester hotel - so do take a look next time you are passing!