The Stylist Alphabet: F is for…
F is for…
There is an extraordinary synergy between interior design and fashion, and so it seems a pity to hide clothes behind closed doors. We all have pieces that tell a story, whether due to the design of the garment, the reason for purchase, or a place it was worn. My advice is to display some of your beloved pieces for all to see. Note: study fashion with an interior stylist’s eye and you’ll discover common threads for you to reproduce at home.
Fasten [tools that]
How many clips does one person need? About 5000 is you go by my books! I do not quite have that many, but it may be close. In Japan, while trawling Ito-Ya, the nine-level stationery store, I managed to come out with at least 10 different styles in a range of sizes from teeny weeny to huge. Irresistible. Perhaps I should have worked in a post office. Along with the clips are all the other fasteners I need, such as staplers, paperclips and clipboards.
I have never lost the thrill of the discovery of a fallen feather. Lorikeet, kookaburra, seafaring birds, blue jay – I’m yet to find a red cardinal. For all the bits and pieces I gather while out shopping, walking or on location, my style philosophy could almost be called ‘lost & found’. Feathers are one of the things I spot with a vengance. I look for stripes, colours, neutrals, big and small, dotted, white, jet inky black.
My mother told me many times I was an angel with dreadlocks & mottled wings! I find lots of feathers and am also given many by friends. I’m sure this is so I can replace the fallen ones and still be able to fly. As well as single bird feathers, I have many things made out of feathers – shuttlecocks and arrows, darts, paintbrushes, fans, hair ornaments and headdresses.
The study botanists, marine and other sciences (but not to dismiss the enthusiastic amateurs) that collect specimens, record & observe nature. Equipment required on a field trip (though, not necessarily all at once): Flower presses & herbaria, specimen jars, gumboots (or a sensible shoe), clear bags with secure tops, test tubes with cork stoppers, petri dishes, sketchbook & pencil, artist’s roll, shears & scissors or a knife that folds, belt with pockets or cargo pants, butterfly net, alarm clock (for early-morning foraging), sticky tape (a collection in itself), boxes with clear tops, labels & tags, pith helmet, entomological pins, arsenic, camera, fern trowel, magnifying glass, album.
The flags that flew – tattered through strong winds, relentless storms, high seas and all the wildness of the ocean. The seafarer in me can’t get enough of things that fly, although I am just as satisfied for my flags & bunting to live inside and/or be made of cardboard & paper.
A warning, a celebration, an indication of a win or a loss, to scare or attract attention, to signal or even spell something out; there are so many reasons for them that come in an endless variety of forms. Not to be used in a formal way, I soften hard lines with flags that protrude into a space or bunting that is oh-so-casually placed over doorways & in entrances.
The collective noun for a group of these incredible birds is ‘flamboyance’. I’m quite partial to a flamboyance of flamingos, here & there. You’ll even find a flamingo on my one of my surfboard designs with McTavish.
Flotsam & jetsam
The dashed pieces of a shipwreck, the debris of the wreckage. Flotsam is wreckage thrown off a ship, while jetsam is matter that has fallen off a ship. Aging imprints beauty onto even the most humble of man-made objects. Consider a beached piece of broken boat: most would see this as unremarkable flotsam ready to be discarded, but for me it has unique textural appeal and its sculptural qualities pair beautifully with rough-hewn stools next to an otherwise plain white wall. Note: There are rules to be respected about taking flotsam & jetsam from the beach & shore lines, so be conscientious and read the signs at local spots.
A stylist’s dream – I love fresh, fabric, milliners’, and all sorts of printed and artistic renderings – as the combinations are endless and almost impossible to mismatch. Experiment with your own floral motifs and see where it takes you.
To rummage, search, sticky beak or have a very good look through. A handy skill to pull out of your bag of tricks at markets of any kind, antique shops & side-of-the-road sales. Most likely to reward the fossicker with a rare treasure or two.