Va Va Voooom!

Iona by Ritchie

Photograph of Iona by Ritchie Foster at Meet Me At The Albany

Meet My Style! Want to keep warm and still look fabulous? Ask Iona how she does it…this lady knows how to rock a multi-textured look that turns many a head.

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The ‘Swagger Stick’

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Hugh: Great style is inbred. It sticks with you. Because of my days in the army, it’s in me. You won’t ever see me in jeans. Or brown shoes – only sergeants wore brown shoes.

In each camp there was a full length mirror and you couldn’t leave until you’d been checked over. There were different uniforms: the standard one was No. 2 Dress – it was bog standard khaki. No. 1 Dress was the same, but blue, and you’d have variations. In my regiment we had a double yellow stripe going down the trouser leg and chain-mail on our shoulders. We had to wear black velvet on our buttons and badges. This was because the colonel of the regiment was the Tzar’s cousin (Tzar Nicholas II) and we were to wear it until the Tzar’s murder was avenged.

Inner style exists…yes! In the old days as a soldier you couldn’t walk with your hands in your pockets, so soldiers had a ‘swagger stick’ which was a black ebony cane, carried under the armpit, to stop that from happening. You’re on show all the time. By looking at your uniform the public could tell who you were. Our parade dress was a ‘slashed peak’ – a peaked hat which comes down to your eyebrows. You had to look up to avoid tripping and you had to keep your head up – it gave you the image of being taller!

It affected how I felt.

In your ‘Blues’ uniform you held your shoulders back. Other regiments could see who you were. Your bearing was more erect. Everything was to maximise your impact…to the detriment of the other regiment… because of rivalry!

Hugh was interviewed by Roxanna at Meet Me At The Albany

Photo Zoë Gilmour

Mapping the Design Process

IMG_5591Sue: We decided to make things to sell. There was no definite plan in place, except we agreed that ‘nothing is wrong’.  We can adapt and change things until they work.

If something doesn’t sell then we’ll alter it, for example to a plain scarf we’ll add tassels, knitted flowers or leaves, or buttons.

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We respond to materials, evolving as we go along.  So a small scarf might become a purse, and decorated toilet roll covers have been bought to be used as baby hats!  I’m so happy that Malika bought this hat (see main photo), because it was the very first one I knitted.

Sue was in conversation with Zoë Gilmour at Meet Me at The Albany 

Photography Zoë Gilmour and Weiyee Cheung

I’m a Church Woman and there’s a dress code

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Style is doing something different, something special. I love bags – I’m the bag lady! I don’t follow fashion so much, I dress for warmth and comfort: not too tight, not too long. I’m a Church Woman and there’s a dress code: modest, not too much cleavage, no sleeveless, no mini skirt, no slits in skirts. I like orange and red…colour is important. Most of my dresses have a little red in them. The colour red makes me feel good.  And flowers – dresses with flowers on them. My features come from my grandmother on my father’s side. She lived in Jamaica – she was possibly from Cuba. I have a picture of her and I think I look a little like her. Interview by Chantelle Hewitt. Sketch by Sarah Bhandari (Volunteers at Meet Me At The Albany)