“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...” ― Susan Polis Schutz
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Fashion. Fun. Freedom: why it’s all about feelings.
It was Giorgio Armani who once said that “jeans represent fashion democracy” and, besides making the case for denim’s broad social appeal, there is a larger point to be made here about individuality, empowerment and freedom.
The fact that the fashion industry is worth £28 billion to the UK economy, is in no small part because it’s transformative. Fashion is mood-altering, is a force for change and is not exclusively about clothes. From the wearable art on display as headwear at Royal Ascot to the gender blurring colour spectacular of London Pride, the capacity of fashion to express a mood, sentiment or personality is the attitude behind the aesthetic. I love it!
I think most artists like to challenge convention and I’m certainly someone who likes to look at the world differently and express that through my design. Fashion has the capacity to push boundaries, break with convention and elicit progress through constructive disruption. As Alexander McQueen said: “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.
Well, as the spirit of summer reaches its dizzy peak and London enjoys the energy and colour which comes from it, I can’t help but be inspired in the studio. Freedom, the absence of rules and the power of art to empower are in the very DNA of what I do.
Attending a concert of Paloma Faith at Hampton Court palace was as moving and powerful as my visit to Picasso: Love, Fame, Tragedy was thought-provoking and liberating. Art, Fashion and feelings will always be a creative trio and the spirit and style of an artist such as Paloma Faith continues to inspire me. What better way could there be to set off an Epidemic of Kindness than to wear whatever you like with bravery, boldness and honesty? Those who know the intuitive and architecture-inspired dimension behind my designs will be amused that I’m such a fan of Paloma’s ‘The Architect’ tour!
None of my scarf designs have ever emerged from a plan. Designed free-hand, each one, besides being a unique mono-print, is the result of intuition and experimentation. If you’ve been watching my recent Instagram Stories you’ll have seen me in my playful mode, watching my scarves blow in the summer breeze at Ham House, Richmond.
Fashion doesn’t have rules; uniforms do.
The collaboration between Richard Quinn and Liberty is another great example from London this summer, where creativity, collaboration and colour will always blend. "I like taking things that shouldn’t usually be put together and then really upping the saturation,” says Quinn. Don’t we all!
As a textile artist, this really resonates with me and I hope lots of people have the chance to pop by because it will certainly make you feel happy.
And that’s just it. Feelings are at the heart of fashion. As Audrey Hepburn said: “When I wear a silk scarf I never feel so definitely like a woman, a beautiful woman”.
So, I urge you all to wear what makes you feel happy, wear what makes you feel empowered and beautiful and wear it your way…
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