Halfternoon: Rachel Skinner
Rachel Skinner, co-founder Lomax & Skinner, Lewes
‘Wow, I went into a mild panic when I was asked this as I'm extremely bad at taking anytime off. Being a bespoke milliner involves hours of hand sewing on each hat so I constantly feel I've still so much more to do...
So, I started fantasising about all the things I would do with some time off and my top 5 are:
1. Catching the train to London to see an art, photography or fashion exhibition.
2. Catching up with friends I keep meaning to see but never have time to.
3. Lolling around in a luxury spa totally indulging in treatments and reading glossy magazines between snoozes.
4. Going to a hot yoga class coming out feeling super bendy and fit!
5. Strolling around Ardingly Antiques Fair, which is where I can spot interesting hat blocks and haberdashery.
Then I thought, hang on, half an afternoon is long enough to commute the 2 hour train journey to London or enough quality time for seeing friends or relaxing spa and, because I'm pretty unorganised and never ever spend anytime at home alone, I think my perfect halfternoon would simply be to create a home spa starting with a very deep hot bath with my favourite Neom bath oil.
I would then make a hot strong earl grey tea and rummage around for some biscuits to dunk. I'd settle myself on the sofa, and get stuck into a favourite tv show, film, or good book... and hope to God the family doesn't walk in anytime soon to disturb me.
This incidentally, is the story of these photos of me. I found them when we moved studio recently, and the irony is that it's not so much champagne in the bath on a photo shoot anymore, as dunking biscuits in a mug of tea.’
‘You see my problem is I can never keep things simple (maybe it's greed?) I get overwhelmed with all the exciting possibilities on what I'd like to do...
There's a brand new contemporary arts cinema which has just opened in Lewes which is totally over exciting for our quiet town, which is far more Shakespearean rather than contemporary. It would be a total dream luxury halfternoon to sneak off there. I tried to a couple of months back, but failed 'cause of no childcare - I was contemplating telling a small white lie to some moms so I could get there ...but chickened out.)’
Rachel Skinner is an award winning milliner and former proprietress of the legendary eponymous shop on Princess Road, Primrose Hill. Hat maker to the likes of Kate Moss, Mick Jagger, Gwen Stefani and Rachel Weisz, her designs have been featured in Vogue and at London and Paris Fashion Weeks, and sold by Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Harrods among others.
In 2013 Rachel returned to bespoke milinery, co-founding Lewes based studio Lomax & Skinner where she creates custom contemporary hats and headpieces for local and international clientele alike, and hosts a series of wait listed intimate salon style millinery workshops.
September 2017 sees the launch of the Lomax & Skinner book, Millinery; The Art of Hat Making.