Sunday, 4 May 2008


This photograph of Vita Sackville-West, one of the Bloomsbury group is what first inspired me to start making hats.

One day I picked up a poster for a theatre production based on Vita’s life. There she was – looking mysteriously out at me and wearing the most beautiful hat. It was a brimmed cloche, very much echoing the style of the 1930’s, and I decided that’s how I wanted to look.

So I bought some fabric, got out my scissors, borrowed somebody’s sewing machine, and somehow managed to make a hat that was, if not exactly like Vita’s, then a passable approximation. 

I wore it all the time – feeling every bit as though I was somehow sharing in the bohemian lifestyle that Vita must have had - although in retrospect, my life was a lot less colourful than hers! But the late-night conversations about God, the existence of good and evil and the meaning of life, were enough to make me feel that I too shared the artistic sensibilities of the writers and painters that I so much admired. 

The hat was much talked about wherever I went. In the coffee shops and lecture theatres of my Alma Mater  it became something of a focal point. It was part of my identity, and from then on, I incorporated hats into my every-day look. 

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