One of my favourite films is Doctor Zhivago. The scene with Lara and Yuri going into the frozen palace, with twinkly frozen chandeliers overhead and a thick dusting of snow on every regal surface is pure cinema magic. The costumes in the film heavily influenced Marc Bohan, whose 1966 Christian Dior collection was full of references to the film (Marc Bohan and I happen to share a birthday; he’s by far my favourite Dior designer). I have always wanted a furry pillbox-style Russian hat like the ones Lara wears in the film, but of course would never wear real fur.
Recently, the lovely people at sustainable faux-fur brand Helen Moore asked me to choose something, so I jumped at this hat in the warmest colourway (given my spring palette). I love the matching furry bag too; it is so different from the rainbow striped honeypot bag which you’ve seen before here (for the record, this bag is perhaps my most complimented accessory, everyone stops me to ask about it!). The rainbow honeypot still looks brand new despite heavy use and lots of travel. The quality of Helen Moore’s range is superb; even the linings are soft and strong. Also, it is a small woman-owned business, and you know how I love to fly the flag for them.
The coat I’m wearing here I’ve had and loved for 25 years (the lining has been replaced twice), but the black is now really, really ageing on me. I see lines and shadows on my face that usually aren’t there because the colour reflects up onto my skin and emphasises them. I put on lots of gold jewellery and more makeup than usual to add some colour and warmth around my face, but on me, black is a vortex that drains the life out of my skin. In the future, I’ll wear these furry Ocelot-print accessories with brown rather than black… much more forgiving.
Sometimes I wish I’d never met the alchemists of colour at Red Leopard because they’ve ruined half of my wardrobe for me! On the plus side, every single new purchase is a winner because I never make mistakes (aka regrets) with colour now. I’m using scarves more and more to colour-correct the black items that I simply can’t bear to part with…yet. I mean, just look at the lapels on this coat (below). I adore them, and I’ve adored them since I first saw this coat when I was 25 and living in South Africa where I barely even needed a coat!
Thank you to Helen Moore, who I had the pleasure of finally meeting last week, for gifting these beautifully made pieces. I’m thrilled to finally have my Doctor Zhivago hat! It will be on heavy rotation in the cold weather ahead.