What Women Wear: London Design Festival 2019. The colour edit
Part Two from London Design Festival is a case of colour and comfy shoes all round. Mei Chen (pictured above), aged 60, is a freelance journalist from Singapore who has lived in London most of her life. She buys all her clothes from charity shops and has a ‘no more than £5 rule’. The brilliant blue floral dress Mei’s wearing is from Oxfam, ‘I never spend much on clothes,’ she says,’ I love finding a bargain. Today I’m wearing a turban because my hair is messy. People think it’s all about glamour, but it’s actually all about control!’ Frugal, environmentally-friendly and a sense of fun. Hooray for Mei.
The first installment from London Design Festival focussed on shades of neutral but overall the vibe was more mixed: cool, uncluttered and at times quite colourful. Most of the women I spoke to had opted for pared-down outfits with the occasional wild card piece. Clothes and accessories from charity shops, flea markets and car boot sales were whooped up with the odd designer buy, splash of colour or pair of sustainable sneakers. In her vintage, lilac jumpsuit and charcoal tweed jacket, interiors journalist Ciara Elliott (above) could be classed as more of a neutral-lover but she co-ordinated beautifully with the striking Camille Walala rugs. As well as freelancing, Ciara organises pre-owned fashion sales across the country, check out Fashion Re:Boot.
Showing at the festival for the first time, Joanne Coe (below) is the founder of furniture company Living Room. Admitting that she had rushed into John Lewis for a new outfit to wear, Jo’s saffron yellow Boden trousers, Breton top and accessories are brilliantly ‘on brand’. After working as a commercial buyer and product developer for 20 years, and travelling the world for Habitat and Made.com, Joanne had an epiphany, ‘I launched Living Room in 2017 out of a desire to create furniture of quality and provenance, with a British mid-century mood’ she explains. ‘It’s my personal passion. All the fabrics are made in the UK and everything is British made or EU-sourced.’
It was a busy day whizzing around the Truman Brewery, so thank you to all the women who stopped to talk to me and be photographed for That’s Not My Age. Last but not least, colour champion Katrina Burroughs is an interiors editor and writer for The Sunday Times Home and How To Spend It . ‘I love colour, it’s my favourite subject to write about. I’ll often wear all of my favourite colours at the same time – it might not work but who cares?!’
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Photographs: Claire Pepper.