Pointless Editorial

Designer Norah Turncote is the anti-Angie for the YLF generation, with three decades as a dilettante technologist behind her. Now she’s turned her attention to clothing. Tousled and Windswept Magazine caught up with her in her factory space behind the KwikFit garage, where she is reimagining fashion as post-industrial folk-art.

T&W: Describe your look.

NT: I call this one “Hyperactive Preteen with Issues”.

T&W: How do you get dressed in the morning?

NT: I run through my wardrobe backwards grabbing as many things as I can and put them on upside down.

T&W: Like that jacket?

NT: Yes. I made this out of some scrap fabric a friend was using as an occasional tablecloth. I could wear it the right way up but you wouldn’t see the zipper on this strangely bifurcated shirtdress, and that’s no fun at all.

T&W: Is this what it means to be the anti-Angie?

NT: Exactly. She’s very polished, you see. Always fabulously turned out and appropriate for the occasion. And I’m not just rough around the edges, I’m rough from the inside out. A total hot mess, me. She’s a dog person, I’m a cat person, that sort of thing. But we both wear specs and talk like the Queen, so there’s that.

T&W: How do you even leave the house?

NT: I accessorise with a large dose of confidence and take the side-eye of twenty-somethings as a compliment. None of them will be dressed like this when they get to my age.

T&W: Which is?

NT: I’m not telling. But let’s just say I run a little hot these days and my bladder’s not what it used to be.

T&W: Mid-life crisis?

NT: It’s a transformative experience.

T&W: What’s next?

NT: I’ll take some pictures in awkward lighting conditions with this rubbish camera and crop them to make my photographic incompetence look like artistic intent. Then I’ll write some pithy text mocking the fashion press to cheer up the ladies on their Monday morning.

T&W: Pointless editorial. What’s not to love?

NT: Quite right. I’m very pleased with my photobombing mannequin. I’m thinking of giving her a pay raise. How do you think this random footprint on the wall got there?

T&W: We really can’t imagine.

NT: Neither can I. But it’s fun to speculate, no?

T&W: You know we’re suckers for an abandoned industrial space filled with the ephemeral traces of a mundane past. And we’re every bit as pretentious as you are.

NT: Pretentious? Moi? Why thank you!

T&W: You’re very welcome.


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WIW: an accidental icon

Sorry ladies, it's not a glamorous old lady strolling around New York in sunglasses (I wish) but I couldn't resist the byline. 

I've been busy with the New Venture. I have no end of pictures of half-baked calicos and other works in progress but I've been very slack about photographing outfits. This is disappointing, because while I've missed some of my favourite summer outfits, somehow I managed to shoot this one look of me in the New Boring. 

Let me explain. I grew up in the neighbourhood around the UK's biggest sporting arena and every weekend during the football season it would be overrun with young men looking for a fight. They dressed very sharp and had a distinctive style, which was two parts preppy to one part Mod. Pants were creased and trainers were expensive. The look was typically finished with a designer windbreaker or an Argyle sweater. 

Needless to say, in my youth I wouldn't have been seen dead dressed like that, but I scored these sneaks from the New Balance Made in England collection earlier in the summer and I'd been fighting the urge to dress like an 80's football Casual ever since. When I finally gave in I found I quite enjoyed it. 

But. As a middle aged lady, this does not translate. Because what do you get when you cross two parts preppy with one part Mod? It's not a young delinquent with a flick knife in his pocket and that's for sure.

It's Ines de la Fressange.

And that, lovely ladies of YLF, is my submission to the Icon Challenge. 


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