We're big Bernstock Spiers fans here at Robot HQ. Not just because I look awesome in my bunny cap but because they represent a particularly british design aesthetic: eccentric, iconic and achingly cool. 2012 marks 30 years in the millinery business for Paul and Thelma and to celebrate there's an exhibition featuring the pair's most celebrated and memorable designs from the past three decades. It's a pretty amazing journey - many iconic looks that I didn't even know Bernstock Spiers had created are on show. There are also shots of some very British stars from French & Saunders to Curiosity Killed The Cat and even Bananarama modelling their own Bernstock Spiers hats.
I caught up with the duo to ask a few questions about their past and their future, and most importantly to find out what advice they have for hat haters...
Congrats on 30 years in the business - looking back what's been the highlight for you?
Thank you for your congratulations, Monsieur Robot. There have been so many highlights. In the early days we really enjoyed meeting and working with the actresses and pop-stars who modelled in our brochures. We were particularly excited to meet French and Saunders who were heroes of ours, it felt as though we were in one of their sketches.
More recently it has been amazing to work with Peter Jensen…..and to be his muse for the ‘Thelma’ collection for A/W 12. A highlight of this year has been meeting Rei Kawakubo, who came to our shop and invited us to present our Bunny Cap installation at DSM Ginza in Tokyo.
There are plenty of celebrity hat wearers in the show but is there anyone who you've wanted to make a hat for but never had the chance?
If you had to pick one design as your favourite which would it be?
It probably has to be the Veil Beanie. We first made this knit bobble hat with an integrated veil in 2005 and it seems to get more popular every year
Any advice for hat-phobic readers?
The Bernstock Speirs 30 show runs from 14th – 24th November at Fred London Ltd.