How we found a #DressForDee

A few weeks ago we got a message from designer and blogger Kate Bonhote. She asked if we could help find a dress that her friend could borrow for a little-known event - the BAFTAs. Kate, founder of the sustainable fashion blog Monsters In Your Closet, was keen to prove to her friend Dee Ryder, producer of the documentary McQueen and BAFTA nominee, that you don’t have to buy something new for a one off occasion - even a red carpet event.

Well, we do like a mission - and with just two weeks until the event, Nu. HQ went into overdrive.

Many of you will have seen our social media campaign to find a #DressForDee - and the response we received was simply amazing. So many of our wonderful Nu followers shared and responded to the posts, sending outfit options and suggesting contacts who might be able to help. We’ like to thank everyone of you who shared our call-out and got in touch to help.

We attracted quite a bit of attention - so much so that the Guilty Feminist herself Deborah Frances-White got in touch asking if she could help. Our hearts may have skipped a few beats at this point…

Dee with McQueen colleagues Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui

Dee with McQueen colleagues Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui

Despite being in Australia throughout the campaign and event itself, Deborah offered to lend Dee an exquisite dress, ‘Isabella’ by Australian designer Bianca Spender. The designer’s entire ethos is centred on sustainable business practices - accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, the brand’s garments are made from natural fibres wherever possible and 50% of materials come from deadstock, helping to reduce waste within the manufacturing process itself.

Deborah put us in touch with her husband and Nu founder Ash was beyond excited to collect the dress from Tom and deliver it to Kate and Dee.


When we heard back from Kate, things only got better. Having heard about the campaign, the documentary’s costume designer Dinie van Den Heuvel had made Dee a bespoke outfit using off cuts and left over organic fabrics from her own sustainable fashion label Infantium Victoria. Dee absolutely loved Deborah’s dress too - and luckily, being a BAFTA nominee means you get multiple red carpet invites…

Here’s Dee at the BAFTA awards.

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Dee wore Deborah’s dress to the Nespresso BAFTA nomination party at Kensington Palace on February 9th, the day before the awards ceremony. Rubbing shoulders with celebrities left, right and centre, Dee and Kate had a night to remember - and say that they still haven’t come down from Cloud 9.

Dee in Deborah Frances-White’s dress at Kensington Palace

Dee in Deborah Frances-White’s dress at Kensington Palace

When we first started this campaign, Dee said: “I really appreciate your help. Being transgender and dressing for a big event adds extra challenges, I feel really supported by everyone.  Thank you!”

We can only re-iterate Dee’s words and add our own thanks for the Nu community’s support and good wishes throughout this campaign. Nu is made up of inspirational individuals and it’s testament to our combined strength that we are changing the way people are dressing, even at the highest-end of the fashion spectrum.

A special thanks to the Nu HQ’s (not so secret) idol Deborah Frances-White, who made more than a few peoples’ weeks when she offered to help.

Here’s to the next campaign!

Julia O'DriscollComment