Painswick is a sleepy, picturesque, village, not far from where I live here in Stroud. It it’s known as ‘the Queen of the Cotswolds’, and once a year plays host to a Wearable Art Festival. Initially inspired by a similar, international event in New Zealand, Art Couture Painswick is now in it’s 3rd year and attracts thousands of visitors to the narrow streets lined with Cotswold stone buildings.

This year they added an extra category, ‘Head Candy’, and I thought it was about time I tried my hand at entering the competition. Buoyed on by a friend I duly filled in my application form, and quietly started to sweat and mull over ideas.

Come June I had to submit my artists statement, this meant I really had to get cracking. My first attempt sat in a corner of the studio for a couple of weeks and when I came back to it I realised it needed to be bolder and more structured. I started again.

Working  with wire, hot glue gun and Totopoly paper money, I pieced together my headwear, trying it on, making adjustments.

Adding pearl buttons and painting the glue once it had cooled.

As the big day came closer I started to think about what to wear – sure I had this great  head piece, but I couldn’t just rock up in jeans and a t-shirt, it needed something simple but structured, in muted colours, to set it off.

I picked out a full length vintage evening skirt (it’s first outing in 16 years!) and a cream top, I toyed with a pair of matching gold heels, but the thought of toppling over on the catwalk soon changed my mind I went for pumps instead.

Add a can full of gold hairspray, metallic make-up, and a handful of pearl and gold jewellery, et voila!

Photos by Camilla Reynolds

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