For the mother of the bride, seeing a son or daughter getting married is one of life’s most emotional moments. There’s a whole mix of feelings and memories – it only seemed yesterday when you were struggling to change their nappy! Now, you’re the watching them create a new life and family of their own.
30 years of gorgeousness
Big moments require something special to make you feel your best. Out of Xile has risen to the occasion for over 30 years with its unique style, proudly made in England, combining beautiful fabrics, bespoke colour dyeing and fabulous, flattering cuts.
Of course, you don’t have to be mother of the bride to wear their designs. Maybe you ARE the bride? Congratulations! Maybe you’re off on a cruise, going to a graduation ceremony, attending a memorial service. There are many special occasions that require Just The Right Thing.
Out of Xile is one of our favourites for just the right thing. There’s just nothing that this family firm of designers doesn’t know about fabric, colour, cut and the female form. They don’t follow fashion, they set their own trend, based on us, their customer. For example, we like a dress with shape but we don’t want it sticking to our bodies. We like a bit of weight and swing in the skirt, which needs to be a good length. We like the fabrics to look gorgeous and yet feel comfortable with a bit of stretch. We’re often not keen on our knees and upper arms, so a bit of coverage there is required. We like a bit of quirkiness and individuality. It’s nice to know that there’s a limited production run, so when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Mario, his brother Mark and his partner Lara are the design team, having taken over from the founder Cathy Hewlett. Between them they have a wealth of talent and they’re staying faithful to her vision and production methods.
Diary of a dress
It all starts in Deal, Kent where the design and pattern work is done. Out of Xile take note of colour trends but always have neutrals on their palette, which are a perennial favourite. They might start with 15 colours and whittle those down to 7, which is a manageable number. At Colmers Hill, we’re stocking the marine blue, ocean green, seashell pink, deep sea blue this season.
Made in England: Skilled Machinists Working on the new Out of Xile collection
The garments are made up by skilled machinists in London and Nottingham. Then they make their way to Harlow, Essex for the all-important colour dyeing. Every fabric is tested by the square metre, to see what happens when it’s dyed. Out of Xile buy fabric from Europe and they prefer to dye it themselves, which requires a lot of number-crunching and expertise. All fabrics take dye slightly differently and the machines have to be carefully balanced with the same quantity of garments and fabric types, to make sure the dye takes evenly. It’s all highly technical but when you see the finished garment, it’s impressive. The colours look rich, unusual and are harmonious with different skin tones and hair colours, including those with a hint of grey
Different fabrics ready to be cut and machined before they are dyed to make new Out of Xile collection
Next comes the finishing stage. Who knew that garment pressing is done by men? Yes, men! They kept that quiet. To be fair, it’s a very hot, demanding job and they iron, iron, iron from 8am to 5pm every day. Respect from those of us with an ironing basket, which grows every day, looking like a terrible art installation ….
Pressing the Out of Xile garments
Back to the garments. At this point, your beautiful jacket will have its final touches, such as buttons, silk flowers which are the features which make it extra special. Then everything gets wrapped and sent to the warehouse, awaiting delivery. Out of Xile has been picking up new customers in Europe, where small boutiques have always thrived. They’re also starting to supply the States, an exciting opportunity for a British label. It’s always an exciting moment at Colmers Hill, when the box arrives and we see the new range.
Garments organised for delivery to fashion boutiques like Colmers Hill Fashion at Symondsbury Manor Yard
Out of Xile at Colmers Hill Fashion
Out of Xile are proud of what they do and they’re not interested in following the fashion herd. They like working with small boutiques like us at Colmers Hill Fashion, which we like and so do you, our customers. If you haven’t already seen our Out of Xile Spring/Summer range, check it out here. Also, ask us about Autumn/Winter if you’re planning ahead for a special occasion. Do we hear wedding bells?!