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  1. Luxury
March 24, 2016updated 29 Mar 2016 5:23pm

Delam launch: On pretty girls and prettier cashmere

By Alessandro Tome

Alessandro Tomé ditches Café de Paris for the launch of Delam’s good-looking garments.

What does a young man like me do on a Wednesday night, you may wonder. Or more likely probably not! And not so young either. At some point in life it might have been Café de Paris or l’Equipe. But no longer. I am one of the ones that wised up. Others are still there, or in whatever reincarnations of such nightclubs as are currently happening, their knees hurting and their hearing, not to mention their eyesight, fading in commensurate proportion to the growing size of – you guessed it – their wallet.

I wised up because I got lucky. I found Angel Wife and managed to make her stick around this long. And she is dragging me to see lots of pretty girls and prettier things too. How cool an Angel Wife is that, you say. And you would be right.

She took me to the opening of what is rapidly becoming the best little undiscovered shop for the most wonderful cashmere, Delam. It was full of pretty girls, tick – and pretty things, tick. Very pretty. Neither in my size, sadly. But all I can say is that even with fading eyesight, these garments would make any girl look ravishingly pretty. Apart from anything else, I can’t imagine how more on-trend you could be if you tried. Every piece is made of prime quality cashmere wool sourced from the best Italian factories, hand-dyed in centuries-old tradition, mostly by women in southern Persia, in the manner of the legendary Gabbeh carpets, before being sent back and knitted in Italy once again. And to top it all, and what makes all these pieces absolutely unique, is that no two are ever the same.

Why you ask, with all the Italian blablabla you just gave us, can’t they get them all to look the same? Because the dyes used are completely natural, extracted from plants and roots from southern Persia, ranging from the perennial saffron to chamomile and turmeric or even rhubarb flowers, not to mention madder or the walnut leaves. As they dry in the sun, the colour is absorbed unevenly into the wool, creating unique shades within the colour itself. The result is this array of beautifully designed pieces that seem to be a block of colours but in reality are a myriad of subtleties, which in turn give the wearer a complex, deep, ever-changing garment to rival the best that nature can do.

Birds of paradise, eat your heart out! Flock to Delam before the sheep and even the old wised-up guys, and before it sells out – until the next collection that is. But I don’t know if the stunning bronzes will ever be the same again! I very much hope that by then Delam will have either outsized women pieces or a collection for the smaller man collection that I might be able to squeeze myself into if the fitness regime goes according to plan!

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