Sunday, March 11, 2012

Moda Operandi - get me that dress off the catwalk!

I love fashion and the fact that there are always new trends and changing aesthetics. I enjoy shopping for the weather I am in, picking up an item now and wearing it tomorrow.

However, sometimes I wouldn't mind planning ahead and if I had the chance to start sorting out my wardrobe months before - and just after I received all that inspiration from the catwalks - I wouldn't say no. How am I supposed to remember in 6 months' time, which look I loved most? Well, if it's top-end designer pieces you are after, help is on its way!

If you have been following me for a while, you might have noticed me swooning over items gone on sale on Moda Operandi. 

Now, Moda Operandi isn't your average online store. Sure, it's a virtual designer boutique, where you might see Loewe next to Marni, Hermes next to Fendi and currently Mary Katrantzou next to Proenza Schouler. However, it's neither a Net-a-Porter (current season, higher end), nor a Cocosa (cut-down prices, mid-end) and it certainly isn't a Yoox (past seasons, mid-end, bargain price). It is something much more special and insiders speak of a shopping revolution.

Moda Operandi is your way of getting your hands on that dress you saw glide down the catwalk at one of the big fashion shows only a few days ago. Really.

How does it normally work?

Up until very recently, unless you were one of the select few invited to attend a trunk show, where you could select the pieces you wanted to pre-order, you basically had two choices. You either asked for your name to be added onto a waiting list and then hoped that this piece would actually be produced by the designer. Or you might have waited until the collection would be stocked (about 6 months later), again hoping that your dream dress/skirt/jacket... made it into production. With designers not necessarily being able to predict which piece they might sell how many times, they might not have produced the riskier or higher-valued items at all - or in very low numbers - thus reducing your chance to own that specific item on your wish list.

What's the Moda Operandi difference?

Moda Operandi shoot the collections (and you might have noticed the lovely and unfussy photograpy) at runway shows and showrooms and then they basically invite you to an online trunk show. These run for 3 to 7 days and during that time you can pre-order any item on offer. We are talking only a few weeks after the piece debuted on the catwalk and months before it actually goes on sale. When you place your pre-order, you will be asked to put down a 50% of the purchase price. The designer then produces your pieces, delivers to Moda Operandi and they will ship these after notifying you and taking the other 50% of the purchase price.

How fab is that?! You can pre-order, know what you will get and splitting the cost into two installments could also mean that an item is much more attainable. I know that putting down a few hundred now and a few hundred in 6 months would be easier to cope with than having the whole amount charged in one go.

The website itself is rather beautiful: clean and unfussy, well laid out, clear and providing you with all the information needed, such as the expected dispatch date, deposit to put down and which trunk shows are due to come up in the next few days. On top of that, you get some lovely editorial content, behind the scene shoots and videos as well as a personal shopper at your disposal.

So if you're craving high-end fashion in time for the new season, give it a go!

all images Moda Operandi

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