Local Treasures: Mohair

Sorry I’ve not posted in a few days, I’ve been a bit under the weather (sympathy most welcome) but having felt better today, I thought I’d do something a bit special. On the run up to Christmas I’m going to feature a select few boutiques in Dundee that have caught my attention lately. 
I’m always on the lookout for individual pieces to add to my basic wardrobe and give each look a personal touch that has a story, or says something about me. My favourites include the slouchy red leather bag that Mr Man bought me in Australia, the cracked, vintage opal ring that was my great aunt’s and the wooden elephant given to us by my Sri Lankan uncle that sits in our living room. Most recently, I have my eye on a vintage 20s style clutch bag that I saw at my Mum’s the other week…
So, I’ll be featuring these special, unique boutiques that each sell individual, limited pieces that will mean shopping for gifts, clothes and interiors will be that little bit more special. I think it’s so important to support our local independent retailers who work hard to source special pieces for us. I think we need to encourage more investment shopping rather than mass purchases, and really spend our money wisely. The other advantage of shopping at independent boutiques is that you really do receive a first class service. You are the customer, what you need is what is most important. You won’t have to be a nuisance to teenage girls who think gossiping over a heap of slogan g-strings about the boys in One DIrection is more imporant than your shopping needs. You pay for a more personal service, which actually, is priceless. Anyway.  First up, we have Mohair.
Mohair is a warm and welcoming boutique on the corner of King Street and Fort Street. It’s far enough away from the main streets to allow a nice stroll (say, from Visocchi’s or Toast for coffee before going to The Ship for a quick half) but not so far that you won’t want to go.
The shop itself is spacious without being intimidating; the stock is displayed neatly and cleanly, without over crowding. There are beautiful touches in the decor such as the full length, heavy looking mirror in the centre of the shop floor and the vintage suitcases in the window. When I arrived to meet Mhairi, the founder of Mohair, she was instantly friendly and smiley, talking avidly about the labels she stocks and her plans to include more interiors in the future. She and her family are originally from the West Coast, but love the East Coast so much that Mhairi ditched her banking job to open Mohair and relocate in an attempt to live her retail dream. (Thank heavens, because Mohair – the name of which is a play on Mhairi’s own name – is a great addition to Broughty Ferry, which is really bustling with activity again). Dressed casually in slate grey, Mhairi was understated but superbly stylish and really is a great representative of the Mohair style.
Mohair stocks a little bit of everything: clothing by Cocoa Cashmere, Fee G and Nancy Mac (among others), cosy woollens, cute soaps, luxe-boho jewellery as well as fragrance and candles by uber-chic Miller Harris. (If you haven’t heard of Miller Harris, think Jo Malone). 
Above: Miller Harris

Above: Fee G

I fell in love with some stunning pieces in the Mohair AW collection that instantly made me think of Stella McCartney’s sheer polka dots, while other pieces (a quilted, almost metallic coat) oozed the sophistication of Chanel. There are also fantastic bags and purses which are made from eel skin. They are so unique and yet so utterly on trend that they would make gorgeous Christmas gifts – whether for yummy mummies, trendy sisters or even glamorous grannies! There is a necklace that I’m dying to go back for (my vow of non-shopping won’t last long) and a bracelet that is perfect for my boyfriend’s sister. Hopefully she’ll read this, so I won’t say if I’ll buy it or not…

 Above: the next best thing to Chanel. I. Want. 

Above: One of many styles of eel skin bags.

What I love most about Mohair is that there really is something for everyone. Any age, any style, any background, from tourists on a budget to local celebrities (Lorraine Kelly is a huge fan). The prices range from £5 to £500, so everyone can treat either themselves or someone else to a taste of Mohair this Christmas. What’s better than opening a special, non-generic gift at Christmas time?

Scroll down to read my interview with Mhairi. Once you’ve finished, I would recommend a trip to Mohair.

The Daydreamer Interview: Mhairi McDermott of Mohair
TDD: What is the ethos of Mohair – does it have a certain style or personality? 
Mohair: It’s probably all about good quality, luxury items that stand the test of time. We also like designers that support their producers in a positive way, and we are interested in supporting designers in and around Dundee – we want people to remember what’s available right on their door step.
TDD: How do you choose stock for Mohair?  
Mohair: By constantly reviewing what’s new in fashion and follow Vogue, Tatler, Harper’s Baazar, etc. We visit the shows in London twice a year and hope to go further a field – the States are beckoning! Mohair stock will constantly evolve as our tastes change and as new designers appear. We hope our customers continue to enjoy the pieces we bring them.
TDD: What are the future plans for Mohair? You love the store, Anthropology…. perhaps there will be another Mohair in the future? 
Mohair: Definitely, we’d love to build a mini empire but want to perfect our shop in the Ferry firstly.  We’re in the process of building our web site too and hope to offer on-line shopping from that sometime next year.
TDD: Describe your own style. 
Mohair: Classic, individual; I love understated glamour but also like a touch of bling.
TDD: Do you have a favourite designer? 
Mohair: There are loads of designers out there but Stella McCartney is a favourite and I like Alice Temperley at the moment too.
TDD: And a style icon?
Mohair: No one person in particular as I love too many different looks.  My favourite decades would probably include the 50s, I love flat pumps with skinny bottoms.  Also, I love the 70s, so wide leg trousers, chiffon / silky loose blouses, heels, hats – oh and big shades and big bags!
TDD: Any fashion/style tips or secrets?  
Mohair: You really can wear anything if you wear it confidently!

Visit the Mohair Facebook page here.
Take a look at Beautiful Dundee, where Jennie recently posted something similar.

1 Comment

  1. Alex 10th December 2011 / 19:01

    Lovely. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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