My muse is not your run of the mill inspiratrice: not a 90’s pop star, Kate Middleton, or even Cleopatra, but the 16th Century queen who tore apart the heart of her king, the religion of her nation. Bewitching and beguiling, inspiring great poets, such as Thomas Wyatt, to swathes of courtiers, who pledged chevalier-style fealty, reenacting their ideals of courtly love: some tragically as it transpired, to death. More well-travelled than her peers: raised in Burgundy and France, when she arrived at the English court, her European trained eye brought wit, style and panache with powerful consequences. Glamour in the true sense of the word, replete with the added acerbic edge of magic, mystery and fear. There are multiple reasons why she is my muse: my bookshelves lined with biographies and historical tomes to further my Tudor education’s ‘Tudorials’. However one way I can show my sartorial appreciation is in the wearing of French Hood-inspired headgear, which I have done for many months.
Asked before the shows, whether purple was the new black (well done for AW12, but this is SS13), my stylist’s gut reaction to the collective consciousness which is the shows, replied that I felt head dresses will be at the vanguard of any trends. Framing the face, they add definition, without being complicated, glamour without being overdone, easy. Style is powerful, it relates who we are and how we see ourselves. Some see it as facile, however the language of sartorialism is a language well learnt. From Anne Boleyn in her black velvets, pearl lined French Hoods and fur trims, to her daughter Elizabeth 1st who created an iconography of ‘Gloriana’ style, with rich robes, whitened skin and high clean forehead. Clothes create a language of visible identity, power and prowess: something seen in recent history in people as diverse as Margaret Thatcher, Lady Gaga and even Gwyneth Paltrow in her wardrobe of body-hugging whites.
So far, half way through the caravan cavalcade of international shows, yes we have seen a lot of 90’s inspired trends, a number of Balenciaga references, but, yes, one theme I have seen both on the heads of guests over London Fashion Week, as well as in the shows, are some very beautiful pieces of head attire.
My lady, my muse, my queen would be delighted – I know I am – as I order my new piece for the next season, thrilled at the vast array of choice. Style not fashion being my mantra, I do take pleasure in seeing my taste gathering appreciation and pace…