“Melanie Press has helped create the vibrant, colourful, quirkily bohemian Primrose Hill look that has become famous around the world. What sets her label apart is the way it takes an obsession with bygone detailing and makes it practical.”
Mark Holgate, fashion features director, Vogue (US)
London-based designer Melanie Press has forged an era and neighbourhood-defining womenswear aesthetic with a cult following. It is relaxed, nostalgic but absolutely modern. It is the style of free-spirited weekends in the country & also worn in the city year-round: confident and pretty, with a purity of function.
The Melanie Press Collection is the look of the urban village of Primrose Hill, NW3. “It’s about the inspiration and the way my clients live – mindfulness with rock and roll.”
The core of the collection comes from the designer’s love of vintage – her label has its roots in a formative career spent sourcing and deconstructing inspirational vintage pieces for research and development at Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. Press knows the industry inside and out: she graduated from Central St Martins with her peers Stella McCartney and Phoebe Philo and worked as a New York-based designer throughout the 90s – “when all eyes in fashion were on the city” – before going on to be Creative Director of Whistles & Karen Millen.
Melanie Press launched her multi-brand boutique, Press of Primrose Hill, in 2004, and her own label in 2016. The majority of the collection is made in India, where Press has close contact with her small group of artisanal manufacturers to ensure everything is produced ethically as well as exquisitely. Select items of shirting and knitwear are produced in Italy, according to the necessary expertise.
Conceived to wear with everything from heels to sneakers and denim, Melanie Press creates a capsule wardrobe that is totally modern – almost everything can be rinse-washed while you travel, and left to steam in the shower; pockets are cut to accommodate a phone. All of the designs are comfort-focused, with stretch elements, and the most flattering fit details: the bust is lifted with elastic ruching, creating an elongated leg silhouette and flatter stomach.
The style of the Melanie Press Collection harks back to the romance of the 1970s, when Loulou de la Falaise dressed entirely in vintage, and YSL inspired a whole generation of women to rethink their wardrobes. Press also takes inspiration from the pioneering American sportswear designer Claire McCardell, who changed the way women dressed, perhaps more than anyone in fashion, in the 20th century.
Uniquely in modern womenswear, the Melanie Press Collection is aspirational, functional and free spirited. It is every day contemporary luxury redefined by one of the fashion industry’s most talented designers as well as one of London’s most storied postcodes.