For some reason, the weather was extremely warm and muggy. Just a few days earlier, I had been cycling down a monstrous hill in the eye of a hurricane, my hands tingling as they became like blue paws, fingers redundant trying to do up buttons. Today though, my tweedy high waisted trousers, boots and jacket; reddened my cheeks as I dashed through London. Dash being the correct word for when one wears a panama such as the new beauty I had donned this morning. Found near the Mulberry shop in ‘The Country’, I feel like I’m in Brief Encounter when I wear it and long to wear the thing full time. As soon as I purchased it (or Charlie did – for my upcoming birthday – LFW was a special circumstance, it’s away again now), I started wondering why people stopped wearing hats as a matter of necessity.
For me I find it easier to wear hats than nail varnish. I feel more comfortable with a hat – that could have been worn by a spy – than red, shiny talons. Hats talk too. They can be loud and obnoxious, symbolic of attitudes, feathery/sparkly/wiry and flouncy, as well as terribly polite. My panama is definitely a polite hat, straightening my back as soon as its placed. Thinking of it has even made me write as I would speak in an argument with someone I felt intellectually threatened by. That said, clearly with the tweed, I could/may have looked like a 70s horse rider.
I love London Fashion Week. It’s flamboyance, inspiration and ridiculousness on the outside – strutting the cobbles, pouting with moody exuberance – is its shell. The outside is exciting and fun, but feels like a sparkly coat, or Narnia’s cupboard door. Inside – the fashion shows – are the true, beating heart of the fandango. Mesmerising and theatrical, each model wafting down the catwalk, transports to a story. Maybe the beginning, or the end, each one interpreted from what is known or imagined.
Corrie Nielsen A lady in black, with peplums jutting out from her hips; her bodice is fitted and her hair reminiscent of the nineteenth century, as well as Oriental sweeps of precise volume. The vision creates something sombre, but delicate. With Japanese imagination, Haruki Murakami’s cats in the distance and vast mountains whispering with a mixture of comfort, solice and trepidation. The lady is alone.
I love how every model’s eyes look into the distance, peering out from the middle of the context of which they were created. They’re walking to the next chapter of their book, into a bank of photographer’s lenses, who sit at the entrance of the rabbit hole, capturing the textiles of a designer’s imagination.
Michael Van Der Ham mood board
For me, London Fashion Week is a stark reminder of the power of adorning the body with creative beauty, subject to a thousand influences, born from the mind of one person. Of the wonder of imagination and of art. Whether we like the designs or not, the minutes sat on a bench, or looking at a screening of any show, will always conjure up something new. The body is a wonderful device; to see it dressed, decorated and celebrated, is exhilarating.
I’m talking about celebrating art, design and people. We are all influenced and inspired in our lives in different ways, expressing this through words or art, will never fail to strike something within me. However this love only transcends so far, and I desperately need time alone after days at events such as this. Talking to no one is as much of a necessity as the existence of the material itself. My polite hat helps me gain this in the beautiful storms of a city.