Glamour and casual clothing styles are typically distinct from one another in the fashion world. However, designer Nicola West defies the norms with her fashion label, W35T, which she launched in 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa. Her casual chic clothing line features hand-painted wrap dresses, and slip dresses that flatter every body shape. W35T designs comfortable and elegant womenswear that appeals to confident, sexy, and fun-loving women.
We all know the saying, “Out with the old, in with the new”, whether it refers to tossing out aged household items such as pots and pans or outdated clothing you think you will never wear again. However, W35T revives styles from its archives to offer a refreshing twist to familiar garments, while conserving some of its nostalgia. From modifying long-sleeve, knee-length wrap dresses into sleeveless pieces with side slits to combining leopard and tiger prints with a splash of pink, W35T’s new collection offers an effortless gateway into glamorous territory for today’s woman.
Inspired by her imagination and the untamed street life of Cape Town, Nicola incorporates the land’s cityscape into the design of her clothing, which are crafted from viscose fabrics, a semi-synthetic type of rayon made from wood pulp. Then, they are cut and sewn by hand to create bespoke prints for contemporary wear. Since each dress is handmade, subtle differences occur in the colors and patterns, which makes each piece unique to the individual. Below, we’ve curated an edit of three of our must-have dress from the new collection.
Feather Print Wrap Dress
Shop the Feather Print Wrap Dress
The captivating Wrap Dress features blue and rose-red feather designs starting at the shoulder down to the hem. Its plunge neckline, peekaboo leg slit, and thin straps evokes a daring and sophisticated look that will turn heads wherever you go. This stunning wrap dress is cinched at the waist, which helps accentuate a woman’s curves. The styling options for this dress are limitless; it is a versatile outfit that can be worn to different occasions such as a date, on vacation or to a spring wedding. Made with comfort in mind, the fabric is lightweight to ensure that it will not stick to your body – an ideal dress to wear in the summer heat.
Yes Halter Dress
Shop the Yes Halter Dress
The Yes Halter Dress luxuriously drapes across the body. Its halter-strap neckline gives the dress a flirty feel that is perfect for a night on the town or dinner parties with friends. The white dress is splattered with black paint, resembling the pattern on the exterior of a cow. This high-low style dress features a full-circle hem, which is a classic style that originates from the 18th-century Victorian era, often observed in formal gowns and evening dresses. The garment is pre-washed before it’s shaped for a soft finish. Since this striking dress does all the talking, you can easily pair it with a neutral-toned strappy heel, and you’re good to go.
Animal Print Slip Dress
If you’re willing to take a walk on the wild side, then this tiger and leopard hybrid print dress is exactly for you. The bold pattern, with splashes of pink for a pop of color, takes a simple slip dress and elevates it to an eye-catching number. The midi-length dress is perfect to wear at sophisticated gatherings when a short dress seems too casual and a long dress is too formal. It features a square neckline with a subtle V-shape that loosely drapes the collarbone area, while the thin camisole straps add elegance to the dress.
Words by Christine Okoro