Regal, rock & roll, romantic

Tamara Gown

It’s officially spring, but I must say, it’s still really chilly at night, especially in Ibiza. You definitely need to wrap up after dark, and there is a piece of clothing from my new collection that is just perfect for this kind of weather. Part trench, part dress, slipping into the suede Tamara Gown makes you instantly feel like royalty. To me it embodies the three Rs: regal, rock and roll, romantic. Well, there are technically four Rs there but who’s counting?

There’s a really nice story behind my inspiration for this piece. I was in Los Angeles two years ago, and I went to one of my favourite places on earth – a vintage fair called A Current Affair, curated by my friend Natalie Joos of the blogs Tales of Endearment. When I first walked into the fair, I didn’t know what was happening to me; I started feeling sick, my heart was racing and I felt in a total panic. It was seagull syndrome – I just wanted to buy everything and I couldn’t choose just one thing!

If you’ve ever looked at their Instagram account, you’ll understand why this happened to me. There were just so many beautiful things – select, high-end vintage – that instantly my mind started flipping and I began conceiving tonnes of new collections in my head. But when you go to places like this for work, you really need to focus on what you’re there to do. I was looking for something to use as inspiration for my clothing line… and in the end (after going outside and taking a deep breath) I finally found her: a beautiful silk kimono from the 1920s.

You might not instantly spot the connection between a silk kimono and a leather trench as you look at the pictures of the Tamara Gown – the design has definitely come a long way over the last two years – but when you step inside and wrap it closed, you’ll spot (and feel) the similarities. That’s why we called her a gown in the end, rather than a trench coat – Tamara is so much more than just a piece you add on top when you’re cold. She is a statement that deserves to be worn on her own. A piece that makes you feel like a queen.

The rest of the name was inspired by the famous 1920s artist, Tamara Lempicka. A very strong and independent woman, she was born in Poland but spent her adult years living and working in France and America, where she would create beautiful Art Deco and Cubic paintings of wealthy society members, in addition to highly stylised, predominantly female, nudes. Quite shocking for the time, Lempicka had torrid love affairs with both men and women, firmly believing that you make your own fortune. “I live life in the margins of society, and the rules of normal society don’t apply to those who live on the fringe,” she once said.

I know my BB girls all like to flirt with fringe (in more ways than just my bags!) and break the rules every now and again… and I couldn’t think of a more inspiring woman to name this gown after. Speaking of fringing, there is a delicate gold chain fringe woven through the laser-cut floral pattern on the buttery soft Italian suede gown. Today, you can buy the Tamara Gown in four colours – a creamy Champagne, rich camel Saddle, the regal blue Avio and classic black Caviar – here on my website or if you’re in Ibiza, at BB’s Temple. I have so much love for this piece because of the way it makes you feel – I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

Oh! And there’s something I forgot to mention about that day at A Current Affair. Another magical thing happened to me when I was paying for my gorgeous kimono, I handed my credit card to the divine gay man – who was passionate about fashion – to pay and he looked at my name and said: “You’re not THE Barbara Bonner from the bags?” I tell you… I got so emotional, that someone would recognise my name from my work, that I started to cry! “Have I said something wrong?” he asked me. I assured him no, that here on the other side of the world from where I conceived my collections, he had made me feel very very happy and good indeed.