Towards the end of the 19th century, the London-based Rational Dress Society set out to reform women's fashion by doing away with the constricting and deforming garments typical to the Victorian era.
"They fought against prescriptions in fashion," says Society for Rational Dress founder and designer Corinne Grassini in explaining why she chose them as the namesake for her line. "They didn't want to feel uncomfortable in the name of fashion." While choices in clothing are far from lacking now, Grassini still feels that women's fashion is subject to cultural prescriptions, dictated by the trend machine rather than by what is really right for the individual female figure. Like the Rational Dress Society, Grassini wants women to feel comfortable, confident and un-restricted in their clothing.
The line has been refined to feature shapes both flattering and feminine in very fluid and drapey forms. Honing in and expanding on comfort is the paramount idea in the collection. The design process, distinguished from more classical clothing design, is a kind of craftsmanship based in ease. The result is an understated collection- simple but unique, part of a larger story but also easily stand-alone or paired with basics.
Architecture, a continuing inspiration to Grassini, also plays a part in informing the aesthetic. As she points out: "An architect, like a clothing designer, designs a space that a person is going to move around in. It is our job to make that space comforting, inviting and inspiring."