Adventures in Mistamina
"Wherever I am, whether on the street, fishing on a river, out shooting, out hunting...there is inspiration"
Late last year a new clothing brand burst onto the rural scene. Nothing new there you might think, but this was a brand with a difference. The founder and designer is a keen lover and advocate of country sports and wanted to create a range of clothing that not only reflected that love but was also practical enough to actually be used in the fields and streams of Britain. In short, Mistamina’s founder, Lady Melissa Percy, created a collection of feminine clothing that she had always wanted to wear in the great outdoors, but had, like us, never previously been able to find.
Given Lady Melissa (known to family and friends as Missy)’s family background – she is the younger daughter of the Duke of Northumberland – it’s no surprise that there has already been a lot of interest in Mistamina and the debut collection. However, as always at The Finer Horse, we wanted to go behind the scenes and find out what makes the brand, and its founder, ‘tick’, as well as bringing you our top picks from the current collection.
Those of us who were brought up in the British countryside are often aware of how fortunate we are, and Missy is not the only one for whom it is "my happy place". As a self described "British girl whose loves are country sports", the countryside is in her blood and, although she'd pick shooting as her favourite country pursuit when pressed, she describes one of her ideal days as being out on the river with a picnic lunch and her family's dogs running about. Never missing an opportunity to road test new designs, Missy often takes advantage of friends visiting for some sport to try out new pieces for the collection, testing how comfortable and warm they are, as well as how easy they are to shoot, fish and generally move about in.
For a brand described as a "passion project" and started as the result of not being able to find feminine country sport-friendly clothing, it’s no surprise that the outdoors, be they found at the shooting peg, riverbank or on the hunting field, are a major inspiration behind the Mistamina collection. As we've seen, friends and family play a central role in inspiring and testing the clothing before it makes it to us loyal customers, whose feedback is also described as being key to giving Missy new ideas. After the success of her debut collection, we were keen to ask Missy if there were any new products in the pipeline. Our bank balance may not agree, but we were excited to learn that not only can we expect some more colours for the lovely Stanley jumper, but that a whole new collection might be in the works.
For now though, here are our top picks from the current collection. Click on the photos to take you straight to the Mistamina website page for each item.
The Frank Bomber Jacket
Our first pick is the supremely versatile (and supremely cosy) Frank bomber jacket. A best seller from the collection - it sold out almost immediately after the collection was launched last autumn - our first thought was how easy it is to style the jacket for so many different situations. Available in two deliciously different camouflage colour options, the jacket truly reflects the Mistamina ethos of creating clothing that works in both country and town. The super-soft Sherpa lining means the jacket is warm enough to take on an outdoor adventure, but the detailing of the suede-like elbow patches and pocket edging gives the jacket a fashion-conscious edge that makes it perfect for those city strolls too.
The Stanley jumper
There is nothing like a cosy jumper, especially if you’re out and about in all weathers enjoying all that the British countryside has to offer, and the Stanley jumper is our ideal. Substantial without being bulky, and effortlessly stylish, this is perfect for enjoying the great outdoors in. A truly classic style, the jumper also comes in black for those days in the city, again showing the versatility of Missy’s designs. We particularly love the suede shoulder and elbow patch detailing, borrowed from the boys but made feminine here by a flattering fit.
The Alfie Shirt
As soon as we saw this shirt we knew we had to have it. Coming in peach as well as this gorgeous jade green, this shirt is just perfect for all manner of occasions. The flattering fitted cut of this shirt really stands out against other ‘country’ shirts, and we love the little details of the signature Mistamina-red flashes at the collar and cuffs, as well as the soft yet substantial peach-like fabric. In a way the shirt mirrors the life of Missy herself, working just as well for those chilly days in the field as it does worn on the city streets. Ours has even gone to Claridge’s!