Fashion: Cometh THE HOUR
High-quality, form-flattering clothing for women above a size 14 is hard to find, but The Hour London is filling the void
‘I was planning a summer holiday to Sicily,” says Nana Rasoeva. “And could not find anything I wanted to wear. Everything in my size was made of cheap polyester, which would make me feel uncomfortably hot and unattractive. I thought to myself: how hard can it be?”
The ‘it’ for Rasoeva was this: is it so impossible to create form-flattering clothing for women above a size 14? She believed not, sparking a path that led to her current role as founder and designer of a new luxury contemporary wear label for women. The Hour London is Rasoeva’s passion project, and since its launch in November of last year, has opened up a new conversation about what democratic fashion ought to mean.
Rasoeva’s is an interesting back story. At high school in Tbilisi, Georgia, she vacillated between science and art before settling on medicine. Progressing to become an obstetrician, an expertise that has informed her respect for female anatomy, she relocated to London and became a mum of three.
“I put on weight after my second child,” she says. “And found it extremely difficult to find well-designed clothing in bigger sizes. I wanted the kind of clothes that I used to wear when I was slimmer, but they were nowhere to be found. It got me thinking.”
Dispensing with medicine, Rasoeva studied design at the London College of Fashion before immersing herself in an intensive pattern-making course. From there, she starting sketching, enlisted the help of a highly experienced pattern cutter and set about securing the right manufacturers.
“The challenge was to find the right factory, one that would produce great-quality clothing, but in smaller quantities, with ethically sound production too. I hate the idea of buying clothes and then throwing them away. It’s better to invest in one piece and wear it many, many times.”
The Hour London is a collection of foundation pieces, each in high-quality fabrics and tailored to flatter the fuller figure. “I wanted to change the perception that plus-size clothing needs to be shapeless,” says Rasoeva. “If you make a good pattern that fits the body in the right places, and not just covers up like a tent, it can make you look more polished and feel more confident. My pieces are not cheap, but they are special. And that’s what professional women want.”
Star pieces include the satin-striped tuxedo trousers, £385.71, which come with a subtly elasticated waistband; the flip-hem skirt, £262.98, which does body contouring the right way; and, not seen here, but online at thehourlondon.com, the square-neck dress in black, £409.08, a true wardrobe staple that will flatter forever. Sizes run from 14-28, with express shipping to Ireland available. The Hour, at last, has come.