Now that it is celebrating its 20th anniversary, it's hard to imagine that Ghost was set up, as the brainchild of ex-model Tanya Same, with just ? 11,000. Today the west London-based company has a multi-million pound turnover, hundreds of stockists, four of its own boutiques scattered on both sides of the Atlantic, plus homewear, eyewear and several fragrances. Same has received much recognition from the British fashion establishment for the achievements of her company, which has been nominated for, and won, numerous industry awards.

Ghost has also designed successful capsule collections for the British retail giant Marks & Spencer. The key to the company's success is practicality. The label specialises in clothing made from a textile that, despite having the appearance of vintage crepe, can be flung into a washing machine and worn without iron¬ing.

At Ghost's inception, sole owner and creative director Same adopted an ingenious new fashion fabric - a viscose, initially stiff and grey that, when dyed, shrinks and takes on a delicate antique appearance. To allow for the huge shrinkage, garments have to be cut to outsized patterns. The process is time-consuming and not always predictable. Finished Ghost pieces are unstructured, soft, feminine and gently bohemian; perennial Ghost looks, such as bias-cut dresses, narrow or floppy trousers and embroidered vests or tunics are cut to flatter curvaceous or boyish bodies alike.

After a brief decampment to New York, Tanya Same continues to show the Ghost collections during London Fashion Week. Not content to rest as one of the UK's most commercially successful labels, a new specialist knitwear collection, a first men's fragrance, and a jeans range are taking the label forward into the next 20 years.

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