Sunday Life… Everyday luxury
Once in a while a designer comes along who just “gets it”. Easy sophistication that comes from a deep understanding of what makes pieces work: the right volumes, color palette, fabric choice, a restless attention to detail, and the ability to translate beauty and femininity through understatement. Pei Chen is just this. And her brand, Sunday Life is our pick of the month.
There is something about Sunday Life which I find tantalisingly intentional, a femininity that is both discrete, and self-assured. Sunday Life is what I would call, intellectual modern luxury. The creatrice, Pei Chen tells me, “I’m intrigued about how a dress can change, even just by the simple action of sitting down, what creases will be formed and where.” It’s this kind of whimsical musing that evoke her favorite day of the week, “Sunday has another rhythm, it’s a day for inspiration, when one has the luxury of time.”
Hence that name, Sunday Life.
Pei originally arrived in Paris 12 ans ago as a fashion and culture correspondent from China. Through life’s unpredictable path she ended up attending the prestigious Paris fashion school École de la chambre syndicale de la Couture Parisienne and went on to work for the luxury fashion houses Emanuel Ungaro and Ted Lapidus. This rich mixture of cultures and experiences give Pei the finesse to present a new representation of femininity, fashion and luxury.
She tells me an anecdote from fashion school that continues to influence her today:
A teacher asks “What is luxury?” before I thought I loved luxury, that I knew luxury, I had some beautiful pieces. But the teacher said “Luxury is not about the price, it’s about time taken to create something,” this made me think about things differently.
Accessible prices, hand-cut and created pieces in consciously sourced fabrics from Italy and France, created through a sustainable, fair production, the pieces are a clever mix of playful yet sober. Take the tasseled dress as daywear, by using understated Asian volumes to evoke a sort of girl-like femininity -more solemn than cute. This piece attempted by anyone else would be brash. Or the vest in a fabric featuring a 3D effect visible only in certain lights and angles, modern, interactive, yet because of the traditional cut -classic.
Her clothes embody a deep understanding of new luxury. I love that, as a conscious consumer looking for the perfect piece, I can turn to this designer knowing that her values and emphasis on quality match mine.
“My objective is to do something inspired, and to give this inspiration to those who wear it. I think that when we wear pretty clothes it can change your whole mood for the day,” says Pei.
Perhaps, I feel a special affinity with this designer as a foreigner living the Paris for over ten years: a feeling of observing from the inside and a heightened awareness of my surroundings.
I have a unique appreciation of my lifestyle, my adopted city, and admiration the mythical Parisian women, self-assured, sensual and living every day with a muted exuberance. Pei is a valuable new member of the Paris fashion community, largely composed of those inspired by their dream of Paris, poetic and strong.
It is exactly these qualities, that shine out at me when I look at Pei’s collection. Check it out here.