Peter Jensen is so in awe of her, his AW12 collection saw models stride down the catwalk with Speirs’ trademark ‘do, while Tilda Swinton dons their bunny caps on the Eurostar; for this month’s Mixtape we asked Thelma from design duo Bernstock Speirs to come up with the fine sounding goods. Celebrating the brand’s 30th anniversary this winter, Paul Bernstock and Thelma Speirs first met at Middlesex University before establishing themselves as Bernstock Speirs in 1982, creating hats inspired by their night time surroundings at White Trash, the clubnight they founded as a financial aid for the business.
Showing off a witty and innovative take on millinery, the pair opened their first shop on Brick Lane eight years ago, while collaborators include Richard Nicoll, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Agnes B and the aforementioned Peter Jensen, for whom Thelma and Paul most recently created cut away hats to mirror the shapes of his SS13 collection, (titled ‘Barbara’ after sculptor Barbara Hepworth).
To celebrate their 'pearl anniversary' the duo are exhibiting at the Fred (London) Ltd gallery, and this morning Clash took a trip to the Riding House Street space to drink orange juice and gaze at gorgeous hats. The exhibition is across two floors, the first with neat blocks of hats (think Bunny caps in bright colours, Rome hats smothered in glitter, trilby's with batik brims and pastel and cream striped veil beanies), all sat alongside a collection of iconic styles produced in red, plus their special edition seriously dreamy black glitter Bunny cap.
Downstairs-where we found Thelma in a yellow Bunny cap and yellow headphones (a la Jensen's Thelma collection) and Paul sipping tea-is a similarly clean affair, displaying imagery from fashion shows, working drawings, numerous pieces of press coverage, and a series of black and white images from brochures they produced in the the late 80's featuring fashion buyers, editors, pop stars and actresses all donning Bernstock hats.