This is the fourth instalment in our Meet the Locals Q&A series – introducing you to some of the faces behind Forest Hill Fashion Week
Jo Elvin, Editor – Glamour Magazine
Q: What are the three words that you’d use to capture the creative spirit of South East London?
Cool, inventive, fun.
Q: How heavily influenced/inspired are you by the community you live in?
On a practical note, heavily influenced by the standing room only on the Overground to wear flat shoes every day.
But the thing I love most about our area is the motivation amongst the community to make our surrounds really beautiful and useable. We’re also committed to supporting local businesses and love to support the ones who fill a real need in the area. There’s a sense of community and caring about where we live that I haven’t seen in other places in London I’ve lived. That inspires me to be a good resident and neighbour.
Q: What trends have you noticed filtering into the area lately?
Definitely a vintage vibe. There’s a lot of cool people around with unique style. I miss the vintage pop-ups that were around for a while, I hope we see more of that.
Q: What’s your best piece of style advice?
To find what works for your shape and cultivate your own classic looks around that, rather than be too obsessed with what’s ‘in’ at the moment.
Q: Who or what would be your dream designer, craftsperson or fashion label to open up a boutique store on one of our local high streets?
As I say, some more great vintage stores, supplying the niches that aren’t serviced by bigger high streets or central London. I suppose I’m thinking of it as a commuter – give me stuff to look at on the weekends that I can’t find during my working day up west.
Q: What inspired you to pursue the career or field that you’re in?
I loved writing as a young kid, I loved magazines, I wanted to meet pop stars! That is how it started, anyway.
Q: Beyonce and JayZ once stopped for a coffee in Forest Hill. If you were having a coffee, who would you love to be sitting at the next table?
The only celebrity I would pass out with excitement at meeting is David Bowie. And he’s a Bromley boy, right? You never know.
Q: There’s been a resurgence in locally produced, handcrafted things made to last, how important is this to you?
I think there’s a sense that we all want to get back to basics, whether that’s buying locally, eating seasonally etc. It’s a cleaner way to live, isn’t it? It’s not always easy but I think it’s important to all do what we can – being a conscientious consumer can make a difference and be a real boost to the local economy as well.
Q: What’s your favourite item in your wardrobe and why?
Probably my YSL Le Smoking tuxedo, bought in 2001. The cost of it made me feel a bit ill at the time, but I still wear it a lot, so it’s justified its presence! The very definition of ‘investment dressing’.