How do I look?: Paul Bernstock, milliner, 51
Saturday 03 July 2010
My earliest memories are of being dragged around Biba by my older sister. She was a bit of a spoiled princess and wouldn't go out on a Saturday night without a brand-new outfit, including new shoes and handbag. Every weekend, I'd be carted around town with her. Surprisingly, it didn't put me off clothes for ever, rather it sparked a lifelong interest in fashion.
From the age of 13, I would buy Vogue magazine religiously. It all sounds terribly queenie in hindsight: I'd go through each issue and pick out all the things I liked. In my teens I got particularly into the bon chic, bon genre French preppy movement; from then on it was all about navy gabardine trousers. I still wear more casual versions of what I wore back then.
I got my first weekend job in my early teens, in the East End. It was at the Houndsditch Warehouse department store in east London, near where I lived – back then it was a bit of a Jewish ghetto. I'd spend all day carrying fridges and helping people load things in their cars, and then spend all the money on clothes. In my spare time, I'd be at the flea market on Brick Lane, which was one of the few places you could buy the non-synthetic stuff I liked, like linen shirts.
I started going to Vidal Sassoon at the age of 12. When I had hair it was blondish, slightly short on top and longer on the sides; every morning I'd blow-dry it before school. I started losing my hair when I was 18. I'd been on a kibbutz in Israel; my hair baked in the sun, went white and never recovered. I started cutting it very short, and ended up shaving it all off in my early twenties. There was no pointing attempting a deceptive comb-over; it was very obviously thinning.
I'm only 5ft 8ins so I appreciate a well-proportioned design. This shirt was £8 at a vintage shop. I tend to wear subdued colours so I like the freshness of a flash of white vest underneath. The trousers are by a German designer called Drycorn and were a recent purchase from Berlin; the Hermès belt I bought 10 years ago in a King's Road charity shop where old Chelsea gents donate their clothes. It's one of those special places where you can find hidden gems.
Bernstock Speirs are showing the results of their collaboration with Peter Jensen at their store at 234 Brick Lane, London E2. See bernstockspeirs.com for details
Life & Style blogs
Melanoma rates in the UK are up five times on the 1970s
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
How dementia is changing me: My battle with an ever-shifting identity
The 10 Best kitchen knives
It’s a pizza! And a cake!! What’s not to like? (The calories)
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offers 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...