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  • Inside the wardrobe of

    Priya Downes

    We’ve seen some incredible closets in our time. But the sheer level of thought and detail brought to Priya Downes’ walk-in – all master-minded lovingly by her husband – is a thing to behold. From jewellery display cases to curated spotlights and a boot tree that will bring tears to your eyes, you’ll have a whole new vision for your spare room after scrolling through this truly perfect wardrobe.   

     

    Edited by Petro Words by Brooke Le Poer Trench
    Photographs by Eva K Salvi

    After years working in luxury fashion, there was one thing that Priya could not seem to get her hands on: a comfortable, affordable, beautifully designed bra. In fact, the same applied to underwear in general. Then a fortuitous encounter led her to Sophie Morgenthaler, Nudea’s co-founder and creative director, who just happened to be a great talent in the world of lingerie design. Her experience working at some of the biggest and most prestigious brands, including Victoria’s Secret and Myla, combined with Priya’s luxury-fashion business prowess, has allowed them to create something truly unique: a modern-essentials, digital-first brand that allows women to fall in love with shopping for underwear again. 

    “I have my Burberry years to thank for all my outerwear; all those years queuing early and stocking up at sample sales paid off. I walked away with a collection to last me a lifetime. Classics such as the trench, but also great quilts, coats, and puffers. I love my blue overcoat, which I have worn to death, but the quality is just made to last. I like the modern, boxy cut and colour, and that it looks just as good over a casual outfit as it does draped over my shoulders when I want to look smarter.”

    “My husband Jason thought of every little detail when he designed my walk-in closet. Every single item has a considered spot. There are boot hangers for long boots, pull-out drawers for short boots, and so on, although I think I’m most proud of the show display and custom-fitted lights”

    “I only worked at Chanel for a short time when I was living in New York, but it made a huge impression on me. I was a strategy analyst in Wholesale Fashion, and I really did feel so privileged working there every day. The same care and attention to detail that goes into the products was given to everything including the office décor; it was very dreamy.”

    “My brand, Nudea, is a fit-centric, online underwear collection that is modernising the way women shop for intimates, from measurement to try-on. We aim to get you the perfect bra for your size and shape. Customers can expect modern, beautiful, contemporary pieces that are engineered for fit as well as having a sophisticated aesthetic with pretty fabrics and trims.”

    “I firmly believe that a pair of shoes can transform any outfit. They can take you from day to night in an instant. When I used to commute to London from Marlow, I would always have a pair of heels ready to go in my handbag. That way, when I had a dinner, a quick shoe change and I was ready to go! My faves are the Amina Muaddi heels – not only are they elegant, they are also comfortable to wear.”

    “A self-taught builder/engineer, my husband has spent years working on our house and other development projects. He’s also obsessed with finding bespoke solutions for everything. When he looked at my shoe collection, he realised that boots had no place on my shoe rack. He took the time to measure them all and then made a calculated decision on the best height to hang boot trees.”

    “My style has definitely evolved over the years and now I like to add a bit of edge to a serious outfit. I love this pretty tulle Needle & Thread skirt, but I dress it down with Balenciaga boots and a Frankie Shop T-shirt. This is pretty much my approach to most outfits: I pair something pretty and feminine with something a bit unexpected.”

    “Handbags can be a great investment, and that’s certainly true of these Birkins. I bought a few at auction, some of which I have rarely used. I might sell them one day, but it’s great to know that, in the meantime, they will hold their value. Likewise, a classic quilted-flap Chanel handbag. You just can’t go wrong with either of these luxury brands.”

    “Denim is a staple for me! I even go double denim from time to time. I live in AG jeans – being on the petite side, I find their designs work well for me. My go-to is the high-rise cropped which I have in a few washes. Jeans are so personal, and while I do see friends looking fabulous in other brands and feel tempted to switch, I always fall back to these old favourites.”

    Nudea was born out of my own frustrations shopping for underwear. Coming from a background in luxury fashion, I have a huge appreciation for quality, design and craftsmanship, which I seek in my own purchases. But when it came to bra shopping, it seemed my only choices were either basic, uninspiring high-street options or an overtly fussy, expensive piece of lingerie. There was no brand offering a decent everyday bra that was fitted, comfortable and affordable but still looked beautiful – and delivered through an online experience that didn’t have a confusing fit guide.”

    “I haven’t historically been much of a jewellery person and have always been quite fussy about what I wear. Mostly, accessories would be understated when I did wear them. But, more recently, I have started to go bolder and now I really enjoy wearing statement earrings, rings and necklaces.”

    “My favourite pair of sunglasses is the Saint Laurent Heart in tortoiseshell. On the rack they look a little ridiculous and oversized, but I just love them. I’m terrible with losing glasses and umbrellas, but this is the one pair I have guarded with my life because I am so attached to them.”

    “Chanel bags are classic pieces that never go out of style and work with everything. I bought most of my collection when I was working at Chanel in New York, so they bring back such fond memories of my time there. The little patent black handbag, with orange and white intersecting CC’s, always comes on vacation with me – it’s the perfect size to hold a phone and lipstick and can be worn across your shoulder or as a clutch. It’s so versatile, I’ve worn it in clubs in Ibiza and to polo matches in Paris.”

    “I love carrying beautiful totes. These two are great as beach bags because they are open and easy to throw everything into for a day lounging by the pool or on the beach with a good book. For everyday wear, I prefer something with a zip or pocket – it’s just more practical.”

    “I love Paris Texas – they make great boots that don’t cost the earth – and I love the fit and colour of this over-the-knee design, which makes a statement without being too bright or outlandish. They work with jeans tucked in or a mid-length skirt.”

    “Before I had my jewellery in display drawers, I was constantly getting chains tangled or would find earrings buried at the bottom of drawers. Now, it’s so easy to spot what I need to grab and go. My everyday jewellery is a pair of small pearl or gold studs, handed down to me by my mum, but I also love Johanna Ortiz gold earrings that are standout enough for evening. Another thing I rarely take off: my personalised ‘PD’ Roxanne First necklace.”

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