Dress and be merry

What will you be wearing on Christmas Day? Stephanie Smith finds out what Yorkshire fashionistas have in mind.

Rita Britton
Rita Britton

Rita Britton opened her renowned modernist fashion store Pollyanna in Barnsley in 1967, aged 23. Now in its fifth location, in a four-storey Georgian townhouse on Market Hill, with state-of-the-art interior and cafe, it has been hailed by the Victoria & Albert Museum as one of the leading shops in the world. Married to Geoff and with three sons, Rita will be spending Christmas Day with her family near Penistone.

Rita says: “I will be wearing this skirt – we call it the “Egg skirt”, and it folds under at the bottom, in Lady Dunmore tartan, and a Rick Owens alpaca knit and my old boots, which are also Rick Owens.

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“We have developed a passion for using British cloth and it’s all from Joshua Ellis or woven on the Isle of Lewis. (Nomad uses Harris Tweed, with cloth designs by Malcolm Campbell.)

“About 12 of us have Christmas lunch, the grandkids and all the family, but I work until Christmas Eve, so I don’t do cooking, so we walk down to the pub. It’s got to be fairly relaxed. I don’t like clothes that wear me, but I need them to feel beautiful – the skirt is lined in dark green pure silk.

“I’ve got to walk down to the pub and then weave my way back up again. We live 1,000ft up, and it might be snowing.”

Rita’s clothes are available from Pollyanna in Barnsley and on www.pollyanna.com.

Emma Pitt, 28, and her sister Lucy Pitt, 27, are both buyers at the Morgan Clare fashion store in Harrogate. Emma lives in Harrogate with her boyfriend, while Lucy is single and lives in Sawley, near Pateley Bridge. They will both be spending Christmas Day at their parents’ home at Sawley.

Emma says: “For Christmas Day, we have been getting ideas from our customers. A lot are either getting dressed up, or they want to be really cosy.

“I am wearing a Joseph red lace dress, because I want to look glamorous. Lucy is wearing a Wildfox jumper with jeans by Citizens of Humanity. She likes to be more comfortable but with a fun edge, in this animated jumper with the gingerbread man. Wildfox has got quite a lot of Christmas jumpers and some of them are glow in the dark.

“Our Christmas is very much about family. We go to church and my grandma and my uncles and aunties all come round. It’s a big family thing.”

Emma and Lucy’s clothes are available at Morgan Clare in Harrogate and on www.morganclare.co.uk.

Tim Collard and Zara Manson are the owner-designers of their fashion store Collard Manson, with three shops in Sheffield, Nottingham and Meadowhall. They married in 2002 and have two daughters, Noyla Mischa, seven, and Marlou Dasha, five. They will be spending Christmas at home in Sheffield.

Tim says: “Zara will be wearing a Collard Manson Hook and Eye coat and one of our Frill Hem dresses. The coat is dramatic but light enough to wear inside. She is wearing a Druzy stone ring and a Window Dressing The Soul (WDTS) hammered necklace. It’s a Victoriana look with Eastern accessories.

“I will be wearing Damir Doma trousers and shoes and a top by WTDS (the coat is by Thamanya).

“On Christmas Day, we leave the colour palette to our two little girls. We’ve got the in-laws coming and I do the cooking. So black says ‘don’t bother me and I won’t bother you’. (That’s Tim’s festive joke there.)

“Just as important is the soundtrack. Sufjan Stevens is the only Christmas album I can stomach – it’s a lo-fi take on Christmas songs. And we will probably have Nils Frahm – really ambient sort of music, where ambient meets classical.”

All Tim and Zara’s clothes can be found at Collard Manson stores in Sheffield, Nottingham and Meadowhall and on www.collardmanson.co.uk.

Sharon Winfield is director of Maude and Tommy, a design-led, ethical boutique in the centre of York. She will be spending Christmas Day with family in Huddersfield.

Sharon says: “The dress is a wrinkled, silk, one-sized, long-sleeved garment from Privatsachen (a lovely German brand). The good thing about this dress is that it can be used to layer an outfit (lagenlook, as it’s become known). The silk is a deep plum colour, nice and festive, and there is a lot of swish factor, which hides the possible excesses at the Christmas table. It feels very comfortable and unstructured, but looks more dressy than the usual comfy outfit. I wear this dress with boots to funk it up, but it looks very classy and elegant with heels.

“The silk jacket is also Privatsachen. I’ve chosen a contrasting colour to give the outfit a visual boost, but I’ve seen it in the same shade and it looks very elegant. It also gives me a bit of warmth without ruining the look of the dress with a cardi!

“The necklace is a horn and brass pendant from Sam Ubhi. With long hair I like to have long, dangling earrings, which I think go well with the ‘elegant boho’ look of the dress and jacket.

“Usually my sister and I start cooking the meal, but my brother-in-law always ends up rescuing us. We always have a brilliant time playing games, eating and drinking a bit too much and taking millions of photos. So a comfy but glamorous dress is a must. I can’t wait to wear this outfit again, as I feel totally at ease in it, but still dressed up.”

Sharon’s outfit can be bought at Maude and Tommy in York and on www.maudeandtommy.co.uk

Twitter: @yorkshirefashQ