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Sunday 24 March 2013

Street Style at the High Tea Tweed Wool House Closing Party

'It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.'
These were the opening words of Guy from Dashing Tweeds who addressed a room full of tweed clad guests at a special High Tea Tweed Party to mark the closing of the Wool House exhibition that's been organised by the Campaign For Wool, held at Somerset House for the last 12 days.
High Tea?
Well....there were yummy sandwiches...I re-discovered my love for cress...
and not just any old macaroon...typically tweed coloured macaroons in brown, beige and green.
So, who was in attendance? A room full of tweed fans!
This colourful couple co-ordinated so well. The gentleman confessed that although he was wearing a great tweed jacket, he has quite a collection at home and had wished he had opted for a different one while the lovely lady with him got her tweed jacket yesterday in a charity shop. It's lucky she did: there was a very strict dress policy....no tweed: no entry.
This is how you do tweed infused country chic in the city. Great cap.
I also had the pleasure of meeting David Evans aka Grey Fox who is on a mission to discover fashion and style for older men. He's fascinated by how they choose to dress and blogs about the subject. He also photographed me and my Harris Tweed bag. In fact you can see more photos on his blog of the party here.
I love the very different style of these jackets..but both are tweed. The lady on the right was wearing amazing tweed shorts too and had a toddler with her who was wearing a really cute tweed baby dress.
Now here's the kind of smart and happy chap I wish I could see more often. Dapper from head to toe.
A classic tweed two piece with a pleated skirt, this is the kind of Sunday best look that more women should strive for.
Here's a man who knows a thing or two about tweed and style. He's one of the proprieters of Earl of Bedlam, a South London based fashion label that create bespoke tailoring and screen prints.
95% of the room (100 people) had the usual brown themed tweeds on..but not this girl on the right! She had a fab, blue tweed jacket with gorgeous tartan lining.
This lady slipped into my photos...I'm not sure what tweed she was wearing but she had fab glasses on.
Showing that tweed is not just about smart suits, this fashionista opted for a tweed mini skirt teamed with a wonderful crocheted cape she found for 50 cents in a charity shop. Bargain alert!
Matt Ponting, grandson of Kenneth Ponting, a famous woollen mill owner and writer is photographed here with  bottle of finest tweed whisky, the tipple of the party. Ken wrote numerous books about textiles including Sheep of The World. And an interesting fact about Matt's very smart tweed jacket, he found it on the pavement. It was laid out in front of him one day as he walked passed (not dropped, someone had arranged it beautffully making it look inviting), he tried it on and it fit perfectly so he gave it a home. As you do.
It was also a real pleasure to meet tweed super fan Nina Head. Nina embraces tweed in her every day life and believes more people should wear it, especially city workers. She customised her tweed jacket with some gorgeous animal brooches made from tweed....one of which (the very happy cat I'm wearing) she gave to me as a gift.
They are handmade by Andrew Duncan Graham who sells them on Thursdays and Fridays in Spitalfields Market London. Look out for them if you are passing that way. It's an easy way to incorporate tweed into your life if you don't think you can wear a whole garment.
I didn't manage to photograph Nadia's yellow tweed trousers so here's another picture of her with her tweed cap and bear.
In Guy's speech he talked about the fun associated with wearing tweed, how he discovered it and how he and designer/weaver Kirsty have launched their own modern tweed label, suitable for the urban city dweller - changing the notion that tweed is a rural tradition. 
Check out some of their modern tweed cloths on their website.
On show at Wool House was one of Guy's ideas - creating cycling wear made from tweed, and even tweed with reflective yarns.
Elsewhere in the house, I particularly liked this reconstruction of a Saville Row tailor's shop, you can see the tweed sample books at the front which gentlemen flicked through to choose the type they want for their suits.
Or if you can't afford an entire bespoke suit you could opt for an accessory like tweed headphones by Conran.
How amazing are these boots by Vivienne Westwood? They were definately made for walking in. Not sure if they are strictly tweed but they are patchwork so may have had a tweed patch on them. Regardless, they deserved a mention.
Now this is my kind of tweed. Sadly it doesn't show up well in my photo but there were three samples of shimmering, sparkling blingtastic tweeds encrusted with Swarovski crystals by Dashing Tweeds. Just what we need for the current arctic climate we're in. The good news is Dashing Tweeds sell remnants and offcuts of their tweed ... maybe I could get a bit and make something super special like a DIY Couture cloak?
After High Tea - which was the perfect way to spend a Sunday; meeting tweed fans whilst taking tea, I had a chance to look around the rest of the incredible exhibition:
The best I've seen in a while. I particularly loved how it was about wool but not knitting. 
This was wool in all it's forms, with infinate uses.
There were some gorgeous interiors installations showing how wool can be used as an interiors fabric.
Well it was a wool house...
My favourite however was this felt wall by Anne Kyyro-Quinn. Felt is one of my favourite craft materials but it's usually seen on the small scale in the craft world - to see it used in such a unique way got me really excited. I want a felt room too!
Oh...and this woolly mammoth sofa by Amy Somerville...made from Mongolian Longhaired Sheep... I tried and failed to find a photo of one. 
Sadly Google led me to long haired bovine instead so I'll have to imagine what they look like.
Such a shame the exhibition was only on for 12 days. 
I'm so pleased I went, I'm going to remember it for a long time.
Wool House by The Campaign For Wool took place at Somerset House 13-24 March 2013. 

If you enjoyed this post - check out more about people who love tweed on Lady Velo's Tweed Run blog post.

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