LUNCH WITH DAWN: BOB BY DAWN O’PORTER DRESSES AND BOOKS
I’ve been a #fangirl of Dawn O’Porter for yonks. I actually wrote her a slightly cringe email when I was about eighteen after watching her Channel 4 series where she got naked on a bus, went lesbian, had ‘a baby’, and tried to find her ‘dream man’ as a young energetic 20-something. Now she is having an actual baby and has found an actual dream man. But at the time she was answering every twenty-something’s woes and she asked a lot of questions that everyone wanted to know the answers to. She was brave, fearless, hilarious (and still is).
I tried to dig it out the other day but my old inbox deleted it, or it must have self-combusted out of sheer embarrassment. If I could find it, I know it would have said something along the lines of “I LOVE YOUR SHOWS! YOUR AMAZING! HELP ME.” God knows if I actually did send it to Dawn’s correct email address, or if I did, I definitely understand why I didn’t get a reply. But I distinctly remember being really inspired into writing after reading lots of her stuff. I think you always remember that moment of YUP: THIS PERSON HAS MADE ME FEEL EXCITED ABOUT A CAREER.
In a world of bitchy Daily Mail articles, Photoshopped boobs and feeling a bit uninspired at University, I enjoyed watching her brash honesty, happy imperfections and outgoing personality on TV. I listened to her podcast, read her blog posts (which go in to real honesty about how she felt living in LA the first time round) and her columns in Stylist. I bought her book Diaries of an Internet Lover. Yes I probably sound like the equivalent of a crazy One Direction fan, but on a serious note, it was rare to find someone who I genuinely felt was doing something really positive for women. I didn’t care about Lady Gaga, or Girls Aloud, or Victoria Beckham (although there’s nothing wrong with them), basically I found Dawn’s life way more interesting.
Over the years, I’ve come to discover more women like Dawn, the ones who aren’t afraid to say things how they are, who don’t bullshit around the obvious. The ones on Twitter like Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent, Cherry Healey, Lena Dunham and others, who don’t care about saying ‘vagina’ or ‘feminism’ until they’ve made their point. But I distinctly remember thinking that Dawn did the whole honesty thing way before it was ‘cool’. She really did just say it how it was. And thank god she did – it was so so refreshing for the people reading it.
Since the TV show, Dawn’s career has exploded.
She launched BOB by Dawn O’Porter, her very own ready-to-wear womenswear collection. This launch follows her TV show This Old Thing and brought out a modern day Trinny & Susannah book (with a vintage twist) to go with it. The show was good – but oh my god, her fashion range. It’s really beautiful. Looks like it belongs in a boutique shop on Stoke Newington Church Street. I went along to the bloggers breakfast at House of St Barnabus a few weeks back to go see the collection IRL. And honestly, it’s beautiful and very very…. Dawn.
- The dresses are named after her mates. There’s the Elvin (as in Jo Elvin, editor of Glamour UK), The Gem (Cairney), the Flack (Caroline), the Lou (best mate) the Buzz (her PA) and the Jane (her sis).
- The material is brilliant quality and flattering too. The Lou is slimming as it is a LBD but as Dawn says “you can still eat a hearty meal before you go out out and still dance and feel good in it”. Also this one is amazing because it’s made out of more casual t-shirt type material meaning you can happily wear it in the daytime but the buttons make it quite dressed up too. These dresses are for girls who like to look good but also HAVE FUN TOO.
- Two of the Jane skirts are inspired by Dawn’s books Paper Aeroplanes and Goose. AND ONE HAS A TAMPON ON IT.
- They are limited edition. As in, there aren’t many of them being made. Because who wants to look the same as everyone else?
I’m so chuffed for Dawn to have her own clothing line, and to be the face of vintage dressing. It has also been announced TODAY that she has signed with book publisher Harper Collins for a two-book deal for adult novels.. AMAZING.
Especially after this article she wrote, and this one, that resonated with SO MANY of us, about feeling like a failure at certain points in your life and having to pick yourself back up again….well, she’s done exactly that, and I for one am DARN PROUD of her.
How I Grew Up Online
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic