So, you may have noticed I'm even more excited than usual about the Tweed Run. For this years ride, the poster was designed by the brilliant Eliza Southwood. It features a woman (huzzah to that!) and that woman was inspired by... me. It feels pretty unreal to say that, and I'm still quite bowled over by it.
I love planning and putting together an outfit for the Tweed Run - its always been one of my favourite things about the event. As this one is a bit special, I decided to have a more fun and let life imitate art: I had to try and recreate the outfit from Eliza's amazing poster!
After donning shorts on last years ride, 2015 would be a dress affair - which obviously doesn't match the attire in the poster. The compromise to this? Wear a dress made from a dogtooth fabric as close to the illustration as possible. The idea of getting the dress made was something that really appealed to me... I wanted something unique and made in London and knew exactly who to visit to make it happen.
I first met Nisa Halpin back in December when me and The Boy cycled to Old Spitalfields Market, where we came across her stall 'Similan by Nisa'. It was a beautiful oasis of tweed amongst the other stalls: beautiful big collared Harris Tweed coats and stunning dress upon dress, all handmade by her in her London studio. Looking through the rails, I'd made up my mind about coming back to buy something from her for the Tweed Run, long before I knew anything about the poster.
Thankfully I took her details, and contacted her when the illustration had been revealed. She agreed to make a dress for me, and invited me back for a fitting and to look through swatches of material to find a match. All measured up, Nisa got me into a prototype of the dress to check the fit a couple of weeks later, and it's safe to say I was more than happy with it... so it was all systems GO for the dogtooth fabric I'd chosen to be turned into my Tweed Dress!
The call came from Nisa to say it was ready and there was a fair amount of excitement in the air (which The Boy will testify to my bouncing off the walls...) - I couldn't wait to see it and Nisa couldn't wait to show it to me. We had a real blast on the Saturday when I returned to collect it - the fit was fantastic, and we accessorised it with one of the gorgeous felt flower brooches she also makes.
So, with the dress done (and you'll get to see it in all its proper glory soon), the next thing to sort out was a hat for the Tweed Run. It would be the same objectives again: made in London, as close as possible to the poster and something that would be fun to get made. And thanks to an extra roll of material from my dress from Nisa and a little tip from her, 'Operation Pill Box Hat' was put in motion...
Huge thanks to Nisa Halpin for all the time and effort she put into making this dress for VCG. 'Similan by Nisa' is available from Portobello Road Market on Saturday's and Old Spitalfields Market on Sundays. Click here for Nisa's Etsy Page and contact details.