Donna Ida is an inspirational women. She’s as effervescent as a glass of champagne, whip-smart, incredibly driven, and kind. She is also a denim genius. This woman will change the way you wear jeans.
Stymied by the difficulty of finding the perfect pair of jeans, she opened her first eponymous Donna Ida denim boutique in 2006. Another followed (in Belgravia) and you can also shop – and access her legendary denim clinic – online. For a glimpse into the life of the world’s best jeans brain, follow Donna on Twitter @donnaida and @iamtheidagirl; and Instagram @donnaida and @donnaidadenim. Here she shares her style uniform with us. Jeans might just be a feature…
How would you describe your style?
My style is underpinned by a good pair of jeans, usually worn with a classic blouse or beautiful cashmere jumper and a statement heel – or an amazing jacket to add a hint of glamour. I find modern life is so fast-paced and your clothes should reflect that, so I wear pieces which are easy to wear and can take me from a buying trip to a meeting and then onto an evening event.
If I am going to a special occasion I prefer a floor length gown and towering heels – the higher the better.
Do you really wear jeans every. single. day? How many pairs do you own?!
Not as many as you’d think! I have around twenty pairs, but I am quite good at editing them down at the end of each season. I have about ten pairs that I love and wear all the time.
For seasonless style I’m in love with J Brand Leathers, the fit is amazing and I find myself wearing them a lot in winter. In summer, I like Frame Denim’s Le Garcon boyfriend jeans as they are so comfortable. I love the retro fit of the IDA range: my favourites are Mabel the Ankle Crop in Bright Vintage and Rizzo the Ankle Skinny as the high-waisted styles really cinch in at the waist.
Rizzo the Ankle Skinny, £160, IDA
What’s the secret to finding a truly flattering pair of jeans? Is there a style which suits (nearly) everyone?
The best place to start is with a denim specialist as they will be able to assess your figure really quickly and point you in the right direction. All jeans are essentially the same, with five pockets and two legs, but the secret is in the individual fit and the fabrication. A good brand to try that seems to flatter most people would be J Brand – but there are many different styles to try. Our Denim Clinic in a boutique or online is a great place to start as we will recommend styles for you.
What jeans shape is in for SS15? How will you be styling it?
The big denim style making a comeback is the flare, so look out for pairs from IDA, J Brand, Mother Denim and Frame Denim. Wear them high-waisted with a shirt tucked in with a belt and finish off with platform heels to embrace the 70s vibe. The other jeans style is the low waist, which is returning with a true 7 inch rise, to be worn low and slouchy for the season ahead.
Donna wearing the IDA Mrs Thatcher blouse (£195; perfect with this season’s flares)
Tell us a little about your IDA collection: what inspired it and what should we be buying now?
IDA was inspired by a gap in the market for high-waisted denim and two years later the original styles are now part of our core collection, including Jeanie the Cigarette and Ivy the Skinny. This season I’ve added new heights to the collection to offer a wider selection for every body shape including low and mid-rise styles. The new styles include Honor the low rise skinny, Gypsy the mid-rise relaxed classic and Downtown Dazzler, the slouchy skinny. We’re launching a campaign to find out which is the most popular, between low-waisted and high-waisted jeans so I am looking forward to finding out the results.
Are you #TeamHigh #TeamLow? Have your say here.
What do you wear when you’re off duty, hanging out with [husband] Bobby Dazzler and those heavenly pooches of yours [Romeo and Juilo]?
Jeans! My off duty uniform is a pair of cool boyfriend jeans and a relaxed tee with a pair of flats (or Ugg boots if you catch me walking them each morning at 5am!).
Which are you favourite designer labels?
I like a designer accessory so anything from Chanel/Saint Laurent.
Do you have go-to brands for specific pieces?
For quality cashmere in classic shapes I love New York brand Minnie Rose and 360 Sweater for fun colours. Joie make the best silk blouses with vintage inspired prints. Tees: you can’t go wrong with Splendid for basics or Simeon Farrar or Rotten Roach for a cheeky slogan print.
What’s your ‘night out’ uniform? Is there something which makes you feel instantly dressed up?
Heels. I have a few pairs of Miu Miu sandals that make me feel really special whenever I wear them.
What about bags: are you faithful to a few or do you rotate regularly?
I rotate constantly and sometimes I might even wait a couple of seasons before I debut a new one. My favourite at the moment is the Chanel Boy bag.
Chanel Boy Bag
And shoes: are you a flats girl or a heel devotee?
I used to be a diehard heels girl and would run around in platforms constantly, but the sports luxe trend has changed all that. I now wear trainers from Isabel Marant or sporty flats which always look great with jeans.
Etoile Bart leather trainers, £260, Isabel Marant at Matches
The last 3 things you bought…
Michael Kors clogs to wear with denim flares. He did the best ones for the season!
Chanel espadrilles to team with every pair of skinnies and boyfriends I own from Donna Ida.
The J Brand Ellis from Donna Ida, which is an amazing slim/straight shape that ticks all the right boxes for the season.
What’s the most treasured item in your wardrobe?
My two (!) wedding dresses.
And what will you be investing in next?
A Goyard wash bag for travelling,
What are you beauty must-haves?
QMS Sport Active Cream, £60; Bliss fatgirlslim, £29,50