There is something about Lady Melissa Percy that reminds me of a young Katherine Hepburn. Aside from both being tall and slim, they don’t share actual physical traits as much as the ability to look glamorous and feminine in casual, sporty clothes. What both women of course do share is a love of the outdoors, sports and the similarities could continue beyond that.
Glamour to me has always been an affair of substance over style and it’s clear Lady Percy, Missy to her friends, embodies that wholeheartedly.
She first appeared on my radar when I received a kind email from her publicist asking me to tea at The Plaza in late February. Alas, I wasn’t in NYC or you know I would have jumped in a cab and made my way uptown to my all-time favorite tea spot in the world. Tea at The Plaza, with a fashion designer born in England, where she is known as the Hogwarts Heiress, now residing between NYC and languid Georgia, one who is a cool, strong woman to boot — Yes, Please! But it wasn’t in the stars and so I began to look at Lady Percy’s work, her designs for Mistamina, the company she founded three years ago.
I was struck by how down to earth her clothing is, how the items are meant for a beautiful woman clearly, who wants to feel in control of her life, and look feminine while outdoors. I started dreaming of horses galloping across Georgia fields and dogs on a run in Central Park, and thus, I was hooked. Now I can’t wait to own a piece of her clothing! Because I buy brands based on the emotions they create in me, and how wearing them inspires me to be someone better, who does better.
And I know Mistamina will fit. In every possible way.
Her latest capsule collection features a sweater, with shoulder and elbow patch details, in colors that range from olive green to red and even a super pretty pink. See the header above.
The website for the collection also features an “Adventures in Mistamina” blog, with yummy recipes and portraits of “Action Girl of the month” — active women who still manage to look good while being outdoors.
Following is a short email interview I conducted with Lady Percy, until the time when we do get to sit down properly to have tea at The Plaza together. Soon.
How did you decide to become a fashion designer? I know it happened in Thailand, but what was the actual spark?
Percy: I have always been interested in fashion... Growing up I experimented with different looks, I definitely got it wrong a few times but I feel that I have found my own style now which is a comfort!
What do you remember most vividly as your first favourite piece of clothing?
Percy: Most of my clothing was from Gap growing up. They made the sort of clothes I wanted to wear, that looked good but were also practical. I remember I had a long sleeved grey GAP USA t-shirt which I lived in... as you can see from the picture above of me out fishing at our home in Alnwick, Northumberland.
Your latest capsule collection comprises of a sweater, in a combination of colors. Can you talk a bit about why this particular piece of clothing and what it means in your own life? How do you wear it and where?
Percy: Growing up, my sister, Mum and I would either buy boys clothes (which were of course too big for us) or alternatively have clothes made for us which was very expensive. I felt there was a real need for women’s outdoor clothing and one day I put pen to paper and just started drawing up my ideas. This eventually lead to me starting Mistamina, so that I could put my ideas into practice. This has evolved into a practical, fresh, cool take on country clothes for women. The jumper [sweater] in particular I designed because I wanted something which would keep me warm, as there is nothing worse when you are cold outside!
Who is your ideal customer?
Percy: I would say that Mistamina is very accessible, it isn’t aimed for just one particular age group or customer, it’s for anyone who wants a practical, fun outdoor look. We have a range of great colours and are known for our patch detailing, which is a timeless look in the field. The pieces are created for people who enjoy spending time outdoors in the country, however they look equally good in the city on a brunch date or walking around the shops.
And if you could dress a movie star, present or past, who would that be? And why?
Percy: I think Michelle Rodriguez or Cara Delevigne would look awesome in Mistamina, they’ve got that cool, tomboy edge to them.
How would you describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?
Percy: That’s a tricky one… I would say that I am happiest outdoors -– either by the sea or the mountains. I also love to cook and be active!
For all info and purchases check out the Mistamina website.