Hang on to your hat. The legendary London milliners Bernstock Speirs celebrate 30 years of witty hats with an exhibition at the new Fred (London) Ltd Gallery. Here, founders Paul Bernstock and Thelma Speirs talks i-D online through the fresh faced models featured in one of their lookbooks from the 80s.
Thelma and Paul met at Middlesex Polytechnic where they studied fashion and textiles. They started Bernstock Speirs in 1982, inspired by 80s club culture and the freedom of style. Thelma told i-D’s Princess Julia in an interview for District MTV, “People were doing their own thing then in music and in fashion, and there wasn’t much money around but people had spirit… It was all about making things, not setting up a business.” “It was catwalk in the clubs”, Paul added. After three decades of hat dressing, the pair are celebrating with an exhibition to include some of their iconic pieces in large scale multi-format, look books, drawings and brochures, featuring hat fans French & Saunders and Bananarama! The exhibition will also show two films, made in the 80s by Isaac Julien, and Thelma and Paul are producing special editions of their cute-made-cool bunny hats to add to the buzz. When i-D were offered the exclusive of these images from one of Bernstock Speirs’ 80s lookbooks, one glance at former i-D Fashion Editor Caryn Franklin busting a move in a wrap around head piece sold it. Here, Paul and Thelma talk about their relationship with each model featured; all stylists, writers and editors who were (and still are) doing something interesting.
Bernstock Speirs 30 runs from 14th November until 24th November 2012 at Fred (London Ltd).
Text: Sarah Raphael