Nighty Night


"A woman may and does wear pyjamas to quite formal dinners in her own house, to other people's dinners in town and country if you know them well and the more iconoclastic members of the female sex even wear them to the theatre."
"Pyjamas – When are they worn?" Vogue 1 June 1931

The quote above is a little contributing justification towards the purchase of this set of pyjamas that I cannot and will not shorten to PJs because quite simply these are a different beast to the fleecy, Sanrio character-ridden, slubby, couch potato attire that I refer to as PJs.  Vogue 1931 doesn't get the last say though because I seem to have a LOT to chat about this particular Saturday purchase. 

My visits to Alfie's Antiques Market in Marylebone normally makes me balk at the prices of collectibles and in particular vintage clothing always involves some fairly 'heavyweight' pricing because the vendor can normally reel off a whole backstory proving the piece's provenance.  I don't resent this at all given that my own taste in vintage has gotten a bit more selective over the years anyway and London can cause some justified price hiking (rents, bills blah blah…).  Still, I do normally hold back in nodding at the backstory of a vintage piece and actually handing over my debit card.  This time round, I blame the fact that the guy at Tin Tin Collectibles described these wide-legged silk pyajama pants and matching short-sleeved shirt as 'cocktail pyjamas' from the 1930s-40s.  My ears were pricked by the term and suddenly I was handing over my debit card…

I'll spend some time trying to deduce what went on in the thought process behind this random transaction…



The instant swaying factor I suppose were these unusual colours which struck me as I passed by Tin Tin Collectibles, and as well as being non-nighty shades (the usual ivory, pastels etc…), also reminded me of Richard Nicoll S/S 10, a collection that I distinctly remember…


(Backstage photography by Patrick Lindblom for Dazed Digital)

Upon closer inspection, the treatment of this particular fabric is also something I've never seen before where the striped fabric has been created by contrasting a matte, grosgrain-esque lilac silk with a more even weft/warp dusky pink silk.


There's also a neatness to the handstitched pockets which I hardly ever see…


But back to the mere notion of cocktail pyjamas.  It's ever so easy to retrogade and think "Oh how LOVELY it would be to return to a time when women would lounge about in pyjamas hosting cocktail parties and swanning about declaring everything to be 'Too darling!'"  Sadly that alone can't justify the ¬£150 pricetag on this set.  However the historics of the 30s pyjama venturing outside the house are fascinating.  An article published in 1931 and re-typed here goes through the hours of the day, describes the different styles of pyjamas that should be worn with a distinction to be made "between hostess pajamas that stay at home and the tea pajama that gads." – I'm hoping mine is the type that gads.  It also cites the trend as originating in "smart European resorts" which leads onto the blog La Mode Pyjama, tracking pictorial evidence of MANY types of pyjamas 'sur la plage' – I particularly like the instances where we can see colour, shedding a different light onto the juicy sun-drenched ensembles that also recall some of the 70s by way of 40s collections from S/S 11.  Hollywood also has much to answer for promulgating the trend with designer Adrian putting striped pyjamas meant as formalwear on Greta Garbo in the film The Single Standard.  Above all, I'm sort of fascinated by the development of the pyjama throughout the 20s-30s from risque eveningwear for women in a bohemian environment to standardised loungewear and its association with the normal confines of 'resort wear'. 


Kageyama Pyjama-Officiel

Plagepj1 Plagepj2

Fast forward to the present and of course the pyjama meant for outdoors wear set has done its turn, most memorably in Dolce & Gabbana's S/S 08 collection and of course other palazzo/pyjama hybrids have cropped up in plenty of instances.  Still, stripping all of the history, the developments and its relevance to high-end designers, the number one motivation factor for the pyjama purchase was the instant love and knowing that there were far more possibilities for wearing them out that go beyond a bohemian house rager or a jaunt to the theatre. 

After trying them on a few times, I can also say there's a SWOOSH factor of the fine silk brushing up against leg that is most satisfying.

Bah… all this talk and it just comes down to pure L.O.V.E… I'm wasting all this time typing which is cutting into my actual 'lounging' time wearing them.  Nighty-night… and err… don't eat too much cheese before bed…  

(Worn with vintage denim shirt, Prada jumper, Miu Miu pink shoes and G.H.O.S.T. necklace)

(Trying them on with Brook & Lyn's surrounded necklace…)

(Worn with Eudon Choi pale pink trench and Pierre Hardy x Louise Goldin ankle boots)



>> I've still yet to fully digest and express my feelings of L.O.V.E. (spell it out and it means something a bit more…) for Prada's S/S 11 show but for the sake of this particular post, all I can say for now is…

Miucca Prada gave us a heap load of that energy giving fruit, my beloved banana – in green and yellow form (was she in fact illustrating a plantain?)…


We have the vit-C heavy citrus fruits at Stella McCartney S/S 11…

(Both photographs by Morgan O'Donovan for Dazed Digital)

Then we have more 5-a-day contributions from Been by D'heygere designed by Antwerp alum Stephanie D'heygere, a label discovery which Alex Loves also Loves.  Pineapples, banana skins, water melon AND sharlyn melon get wacked onto a simple but effective line of cycling shhorts and leggings with neon accents.  Why not go the whole hog and explore other skins… the durian?  Jackfruit?  Dragon fruit?  Rambutan?  A natural next step me thinks for D'heygere to promote further fruit consumption…



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