Saturday, 17 November 2012

30 years of Bernstock and Speirs

Say hello to milliners Thelma Speirs and Paul Bernstock. I love it when a small independent fashion label has staying power, and this duo are celebrating 30 years of Bernstock and Speirs with a brilliant, not-to-be-missed exhibition of their fabulous hat archive.

Popped along for a preview the other day and got to have a quick chat with fashion VIP and winner of this year's Style Begins At Forty Best Grown-up DJ Award, the marvellous Thelma Speirs.

TNMA: How do you feel about being 30? When you started out did you think you'd make it this far?

TS: Well, obviously I don't look my age....we didn't really plan anything, to be honest. I just knew I didn't want a proper job, so that was a motivation to keep going.

TNMA: Which is your favourite hat?

TS: The Topless Hat was our first international big hit,  Kylie Minogue wore it on the cover of her first album and it captured how we were to proceed. Sporty, slightly odd, we don't really do fancy. Our aesthetic is a mixture of utility and frivolity.

Orignal eighties topless hat (left).

TNMA:  Any career highlights or unlikely moments?

TS: We met Tilda Swinton  at the Eurostar terminal, on our way back from the Paris Collections. She just came up to us, we were carrying some storyboards and hats and so I asked her is she wanted a Bunny Cap. She just wore it and let us take her photo.

We need to talk about Tilda.

Oh and that's me, naked in Ponystep magazine. It was my suggestion. Full muff and everything. (Bravo Thelma!)

Nudity rocks, but accessorize.

Of course, I couldn't leave without asking for her obligatory tips on looking good whatever your age. Here's what the 52-year-old designer recommends:

1. Don't wear too much make-up.
2. Don't have Botox.
3. Do yoga. It's really good, posture is important as you get older. You can still look energetic without being a gym bunny.
4. Do your own thing. I've got my own style so I don't like to tell people what to wear.  I do think that older women can wear whatever they like, so long as they do it with aplomb.

And I'll leave you with one of my suggestions: the Veil Beanie. A 'nonchalant take on urban glamour', one of Bernstock Speirs most popular hats and a pretty neat way to disguise a wrinkly forehead:

Bernstock Speirs 30 runs from November 13 to 24 at Fred London, 17 Riding House Street, London W1.


Angela said...

So refreshing to see style reflected regardless of age!

Veshoevius said...

What a woman! Love her style and taking note of her great style tips. Great hats too!

Une Femme said...

What fun it must have been to interview her! She seems like a force of nature, and so creative.

mette said...

Could the naked picture be a marketing thing?
I don´t see any connection with that picture and the hats, nor with the style tips.
And why is she keeping her mouth wide open all the time?

That's Not My Age said...

mette - I think the naked pic is artistic expression rather than marketing - and she smiles a lot!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

She seems like a fun lady loving life and her hats are great! I would love to have just a teeny bit of her courage!

Lynn Dylan said...

Love what she had to say about fashion! xoxo Lynn

Fashionistable said...

She is wonderful. Love and want one of the veil beanie's too. Xxxx

The Style Crone said...

I LOVED this interview. What great tips and she is so full of life. And of course I love the hats.