You know I am a not-so-secret fan of Isabella Oliver. I think the brand does drape - and elegant fluid fabrics - just perfectly, but that's not all. Its product is sold solely online, which seems so modern given an extensive - and rather luxurious - collection. Maybe I'm just drawing a blank, but I can't think of another fashion company (excluding the grassroots ones, natch) that runs its entire business over the web.
Which leads me to my next point...
Recently, I have been predisposed to look at the site, not only as a stage for the lovely eye-candy, but also as a vehicle of commerce, because the fab PR peeps have suggested that I might want to choose a piece and tell y'all what it's like in real life. I know, I know, but don't girly-scream too loud. It will freak out your neighbours (she says, speaking completely theoretically).
Of course, you will hear about that at length - when it arrives, but let's get back to the website.
I look at a lot of sites. I'm sure you do too, but my consideration is based, in part, on my professional experience of them. They factor into my work life so I do know a thing or two about how they're supposed to function. Isabella Oliver's my lovlies, is top of the line, IMO.
For example: Sale items are clearly marked, easy to find and searchable by discount percentage. You have easy access to the chic online magazine, each product in which is linked to the actual item. But, let's cut to the chase, when you visit said item (which will take you admirably from day to night), you are treated to numerous excellent photos, a video of the garment being worn (by an admittedly very gorgeous and thin model), a sketch view of the item (revealing seam lines) and a matrix providing info about what the garment is made of, how to style it, various detailing and sizes.
Ah, about sizes... It may be gimmicky, but I really appreciate how the clothing is sized by letters. It's not like they're pulling the wool over your eyes (ha!), but it's nice to enter a world of beautiful jersey fabrics, all of which integrate so nicely together, and which use a fairly uncommon sizing system. Takes the edge of preconceptions about how number sizes and measurements interact. And it's kind of novel. (Note: If British companies size like this routinely, you have to let me know. I haven't seen this often before.)
One other thing I really enjoy about the product is that it's ageless. The adolescent, who raids her mother's closet, will look hip. The working woman - from day's meetings to a dinner date - is well-outfitted and elegant. Mums of young kids can bend and stretch in this stuff (although they should avoid children when they are eating!). My own mother, in her early 60s, would look great in many of these pieces.
I can't wait to touch the fabric and try it on. Please stay tuned.