How to wear pattern and print is something I’ve been playing around with recently (HERE and HERE). While there are patterns that make perfect sense: paisley, leopard print, camo, all kinds of stripes; I find others set my Frump Alarm off. Show me a blooming, great floral print and I’ll show you a woman filled with chintzy dread.
Attending a conference in Edinburgh recently, the two crease-proof outfits in my suitcase cross-pollinated to good effect. So, the vintage-inspired, floral pyjama top (I’d intended to wear with black pants), joined forces with the posh track pants (I’d planned to wear with a silk blouse). Result. Frump-free florals with a sporty twist.
Independent label The Age of Reason has opted for a bunch of floral sportiness, too. And employed gorgeous, grey-haired model Pam Lucas to showcase it. Founder Ali Mapletoft designs silk bomber jackets, pants and scarves, for women of all ages; all made in the UK. With the punky illustrations and anti-sweatshop ethos, there’s little chance of the Frump Alarm sounding, here. I had a quick chat with Ali from The Age of Reason about working with Pam Lucas:
TNMA: Love the photos of Pam Lucas – is this the first time you have worked with an older model? And what influenced your decision?
AM: ‘My initial reaction to the first question was “What do you mean, she’s not that old!” And if you met Pam you’d see what I mean. She really isn’t. At 68 she’s a dynamic, creative, wonderful, powerful woman with energy.
We haven’t used many models, at all, at Age of Reason – I’ve been very careful about not attaching too many faces to my brand, because faces carry so much meaning. But it feels right with Pam. I’m not looking for a particular age, I’m looking for an energy that reflects the inclusive, feminine power I want to foster in my label. Seasoned women who know themselves are just as interesting as young girls who are bursting into womanhood. Change is exciting; and we all change’.
TNMA: How was working with Pam? What does she bring to your label?
AM: ‘I was drawn to Pam because she has that extra something extra. She’s the woman you can’t stop staring at in a public place – you feel like you know her already, or you’d like to. It’s not just about looks. Even the way she moves is fluid and interesting; I put that down to years of yoga.
I really liked her spirit and the fact that she has strong beliefs. She’s an avid anti-fracking campaigner and she kept her “Say No To Fracking” bracelet on throughout the shoot. We’ve not photoshopped these images at all – she is, as she is, in the campaign.’
Being from Blackpool – one of the places where fracking has been given the go-ahead, I’m in full agreement with Pam Lucas on this. In these turbulent times, we must stand up for what we believe in.
How do you wear prints?