Norwegian Design: Pia Tjelta byTiMo

What feels like the most beautiful dress in the world arrived in the post yesterday ...

I have bought items from By Ti Mo in the past, and am generally rather sceptical when celebrities collaborate with brands, but Norwegian actress Pia Tjelta's designs are simply stunning.

This photo is of the shorter version, the Nº 12 The Vega Dress (note the model is very tall, and one shorter women it would come to above the knee), whilst I bought the floor length white cotton and lace Nº 11 The Helena Dress.

A quick note on sizing and the details. Firstly I bought the large, which is roughly equivalent to a UK 14 as I needed room in the front torso area, and although many UK and almost every French brand don't normally have enough room for me there, like most Scandinavian fashions this dress does. Also they were very helpful about sizing via email, so if in doubt, just drop them a line. Secondly I forgot that Scandinavians are the tallest people ... I'm 5'9" and even in four inch wedges the hem drags on the ground; since I prefer sandals in the summer, I'm going to have it taken up (which because of the design will be done from the waist not the hem). This is worth baring in mind; the model is very tall, so if you're under 5'6" the shorter version is likely to hit just above the knee.

The quality is extremely high; I've been complaining how bad the quality of Alexander McQueen has become and am extremely fussy, but this is the level one would find is pretty high end boutiques at much higher prices. The long dress is 4500 NOK (roughly £390) and the short one is 4020 NOK (roughly £350); those are the prices mass-produced diffusion lines such as Isabel Marant Etoile charge, and in comparison these are a bargain. And there was not a single stray thread that needed to be trimmed!

One issue to be aware of is that the Helena is fastened by little shell buttons and loops running down the back and into the skirt. I'm pretty good at reaching my back, and don't need help applying suntan lotion there, but ... I needed a hand to button these, so if you don't have a friendly neighbour or you're not Lady Mary with a Mrs Bates, this might be an issue for you. It's not as see-through as it seems from the photographs, but I'll be wearing a flesh coloured slip anyway.

Many designers, notably Osman, have moved on to Japanese prints this season. Luckily for my bank balance last summer's Pia Tjelta byTiMo Nº 2 The Elsa Dress is sold out ...

But for those looking for a simpler, more understate lace number, the white Nº 10 The Lydia Dress (2940 NOK) and the black Nº 1420010 The Isa Dress (40% off to 2940 NOK) fit the bill.

The dress I am currently eyeing is the long black velvet Nº 1420015 The Inga Dress, currently 40% off to 4140 NOK ...

When it comes to the main By Ti Mo line, the only UK stockist I know of is Pure Marie; here. I bought this linen jacket in their very good sale (down to £50 and next day delivery!), which has gorgeous detailing including lines of buttons at the cuffs and one at the small of the back.

BTW Pure Marie are currently doing a flash sale on the lovely Danish brand Becksondergaard; half price with code BECKS50. I have their subtle leopard scarf and a stars on navy one or I would have gone for this bird navy scarf.

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