Sometimes with dresses I experience love at first sight. I have felt that way so many time about dresses from Palava. Their range really speaks to me, not only are the designs beautiful, but the cotton is also organically produced and they are ethically made.
I’ve been wanting to buy a Palava dress for a really long time, but have always put it off because I just couldn’t decide which one to get. I’m so glad I finally decided to get the Beatrice dress and I went for the Chelsea Flower Garden print. The dress arrived in beautiful packaging, with its own little picture book which explains the story behind the print. Everything about it is adorable and as well as appealing to my love of pretty dresses it also makes me feel all nostalgic for the books of my childhood. The border of each dress tells a story and there’s something so lovely and adorable about knowing what the illustrations mean.
Palava is a small family business with an interesting history. The family’s shop Strickland and Holt has been selling various things since 1854. In the 70s the parents of Palava owner Bryony, came in to save the business. They also formed a company which produced bedding using their own designs and those of local artists. They branched out into clothing and the company was a big success. Sadly they had to close in 2000 after a fall in the popularity of prints and the further decline of British manufacture.
10 years later their daughter Bryony restarted the business, using her own illustrations. And so the beautiful dresses with the matching story books were born. The dresses come in both women’s and girls sizes.
The company is run with ethical values at it’s core. From the organic cotton to the European and British manufacture, Bryony ensures that everyone is fairly paid and that the company leaves no negative impact on the world. This is important to me as a consumer and I am happy to pay a little bit extra for that.
Back to my lovely dress, I couldn’t be happier with it. The cotton is super soft and the print is so beautiful and vibrant. The dress has a light cotton lining and is perfect for hot weather. I haven’t put mine through the wash yet, but the dresses are designed to wash well and be hard wearing, so that they can be enjoyed for years. As someone who wears their favourite dresses year after year, this is really important to me.
I went for my usual size 14 in this. I checked the detailed size guide on the website, to make sure it would fit. I really liked the cut of this dress which allowed plenty of room in the bust, while being quite fitted at the waist. The dress fastens with a side zip, like most 50s dresses and I find that really helps to achieve the perfect fit.
I’ve worn mine with a pair of shoes from Hotter, a vintage Enid Collins bag and a flower garland.
The quality is absolutely stunning and everything you’d expect from a dress in this price range. The dress costs £145.95 and for the quality fabric, beautiful design and construction and ethical values you definitely get what you pay for. I would like to invest in more Palava dresses in the future as I know I with love and wear them forever. Here are a few more of my favourite designs from the website.
Find the full range on the Palava website.
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