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Ghost in the Closet – Talking Longevity with Tanya Sarne


Tanya Sarne, the founder and Creative Director at Ghost still finds it hard to believe that 20 years have passed since setting up shop in 1984. The years seem to have flown by, picking up many devotees along the way.

“I am very proud of Ghost,” says Tanya Sarne. “It is ultra-feminine fashion which stands the test of time. I do my very best to make sure it fits and flatters all shapes and ages. My biggest reward has been when women have thanked me for changing their lives. Before finding Ghost, they claim to have felt self-conscious, awkward and uncomfortable. The fact that some women have found their femininity and confidence with the help of Ghost makes it all worthwhile.”

Ghost success lies in the fact that it’s created by women for women. Its understanding of the female silhouette and the fact it can take you from relaxed chilled-out holiday to dressy-up wedding. “I appreciate women’s bodies,” explains Tanya, “the fact that there are no hard lines. I understand the importance of how fabrics feel against the skin. My aim is to give women confidence in their femininity.” 

With each collection new elements are introduced while maintaining Ghosts trademark style. The labels signature fluid shapes combined with fabrics that are easy to look after results in timeless pieces that are practical and yet extremely elegant. Fabrics such as vintage crepe, georgette, satin and velvet all receive the Ghost production process which gives the garments their unique feel.

Building up such a successful business takes a great deal of enthusiasm, passion and time. Ghost spent its first decade solely concentrating on its collections, showing in London and eventually New York to build on its international contacts. Consultancies and collaborations arrived via Viyella Coats and Marks & Spencer’s, a good move for both – finances and exposure. Ghost then opened its very first retail outlet in London in 1995, and can now boast eleven stores to its name, in the UK and the USA.

With the turn of the millennium Ghost has blossomed into a fully fledged brand. Latest introductions have included; fragrance lines for men and women, Ghost Opticals, an exclusive jeanswear line and a new knitwear range that went in-store this month. “I find it hard to believe that it is 20 years since I founded Ghost and stumbled on a unique manufacturing process which still fascinates me and which I still go on trying to perfect,” says Tanya. “The relentless pressure, challenge and satisfaction of this business hasn’t changed either, and the years seem to fly by.”

Tanya has decided to celebrate Ghosts anniversary with a Fashion Week show over in New York. She decided that the Big Apple is the place to party, with a long history of support from 7th on Sixth and a strong American customer base, Ghost will be presenting their Spring/Summer 2005 collection over there. London won’t be left out in the cold, however, as Ghost plan to hold a special event on the actual day of the anniversary in the capital during mid-October.

Meanwhile, the Ghost autumn/winter ranges have hit the rails, so you can check out their very latest – shirt dresses, skinny denims, pretty empire-line frocks and slinky evening dresses all in subtle muted shades. Where: Ghost London, 36, Ledbury Road London W11, or at 13-14, Hinde Street, (behind Selfridges) London W1. Also at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Liberty.

Ghost a-w 2004/05  Ghost a-w 2004/05  Ghost a-w 2004/05

What those who wear Ghost say:

“I love Ghost dresses for the summer; they’re very feminine and really good for special occasions,” Gillian Carter.

“It’s very comfortable, very flattering, beautiful fabrics, beautiful colours, it goes with everything,” Michelle Hicks.

Back in 1984 Tanya told a PR friend of her new venture – a fashion label called Ghost. She responded with “What a dreadful name, you haven’t got a ghost of a chance.” Twenty years on and one has to wonder what her response would be now?

Ghost a-w 2004/05  Ghost a-w 2004/05  Ghost a-w 2004/05

The Ghost New York presentation is due to take place in the Plaza Tent, Bryant Park on September 14th with a glitzy party later that night at Indochine.

(All catwalk photographs courtesy of Ghost.)

Jo Iles




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