The Magic Is In The Fabric
New Zealand Fashion Designer Paula Ryan's catch phrase, The Magic Is In The Fabric, has to be right up there with the best when it comes to catchy-catch phrases. And the reason it resonates – well, because in my opinion it’s true.
When it comes to buying fashion, there are many things that polarize the fashionista. Of course there are times when we all want something cheap and cheerful, but when we want an investment piece, something to last, something that’s going to transcend faddy trends and still look good, then key factors are the cut of the garment, and - yes- absolutely, the fabric. In the words of Paula Ryan herself “There is actually a parallel in wine making – there are beautiful wines and crap wines. LIFE IS TOO SHORT to drink the later.” No truer words have been spoken - find me a woman over 25 who has suffered a cask wine hangover who would disagree.
The Luxurious Italian Fabric
So what is this wondrous stuff that Paula speaks of? Well, it’s a fabric collection that she has spent 20 years developing. Emphasising that she only looked to Italy because she was unable to source the product in New Zealand, her beautiful MicroModal is created from an Italian yarn. This is derived, believe it or not, from the Beech Tree, and unlike cotton, and other natural based yarns that can have imperfections, this yarn is completely smooth. Spun with Lycra for stretch, this fibre is already uber soft and fine, and when knitted into the fabric forms a light, soft silky material. Not only will this fabric adjust to the body’s temperature but it is also shrink resistant –and pill free – a big whoop from those of us who are prone to laundering disasters.
Paula Ryan Split Neck Binding Short Sleeve Top $325, Paula Ryan Soft Fold Cap Sleeve Top $325, Paula Ryan Panelled Half Sleeve Top $325, Paula Ryan Shaped Hem Jacket $530
Microjersey is another of Paula Ryan’s core fabrics. Again made in Italy, but this time from Meryl/elastane yarn and under a very specific patent, Paula Ryan’s microjersey is a peach of a product. It’s super advanced in the field of moisture wicking – i.e. its ability to draw moisture away from the body, rather than absorb it. Which, lets face it, makes it highly desirable with a long hot summer ahead. Again super soft and pill free, it can be created in different weights to suit the fall of a variety of garments.
Paula Ryan Mesh Insert Top $325, Paula Ryan Fluffy Sleeve Modal Top $290, Paula Ryan Off Shoulder 3/4 Sleeve Top $230
Even Paula Ryan’s homegrown fabrics are far from ordinary. When it comes to her merino she uses pure pedigree sheep from the extremes of New Zealand’s Southern Alps – beautiful sheep, beautiful fabric. The draping qualities, the lack of scratchiness, the softness – I could wax lyrical on this one…but the biggie is that her merino is rated 3 out of 4 for pill-free qualities (and a 4 is actually unachievable).
Paula Ryan Tech Insert Panel Dress $565, Paula Ryan Stripe Spliced Dress $550, Paula Ryan Square Cap Sleeve Dress $590, Paula Ryan Raglan A Line Dress $490
It’s clear that these fabrics each provide the perfect raw material for easy-wear, easy-care garments. But not just in the sense that the clothes feels good when worn, but also from the perspective that they are durable, they are light, and they are pieces that even the most determined scrumpler simply cannot make look bad. When it comes to travel-wear they tick all the boxes, and for timeless, trans-seasonal style Paula Ryan has perfected her art. She creates pieces that can be whipped out, whipped on, and leave you catwalk ready in a shake.
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Please note links to all the products featured in this article are in the text below the images. The prices displayed are accurate for the date this blog was posted and may be changed after this date.
Written By Nicky Adams