Jasmine Hemsley – author, cook, wellness influencer – knows the three keys to a great party. (Don’t worry, they have nothing to do with mung beans.) ‘Number one: you’ve got to have the dress. Two, you’ve got to be able to move in the dress,’ she says. ‘And three, you’ve got 2020欧洲杯足球即时比分to be prepared to dance.’
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Well, she had that covered. For the 40th birthday party she co-hosted with her friend Yasmin Sewell at London’s The Standard hotel in February, Jasmine wore a rainbow-sequinned, bell-sleeved dress that couldn’t have been better suited to shimmying, shaking and sparkling. Possibly because she designed it.
That dress is one of the standouts of Jasmine’s first fashion collection, a collaboration with Needle & Thread2020欧洲杯足球即时比分. ‘It’s one of those brands that’s so different from everything else out there.’ Jasmine says. As well as proving the ideal source for a dance-all-night birthday dress, her range is full of wearable antidotes to the blues. There’s a mood-lifting buttercup-yellow lace ballerina dress, plenty of wafty florals and one rainbow-ruffled sundress (below) that seems to cast a cheery glow.
‘I think, being a Londoner, you really want to be around this stuff because we live in a grey city, and this adds some sparkle to your life2020欧洲杯足球即时比分. I’m very much a more-is-more girl, and all the texture, light and colour that I love really shows up in the clothes. There was just so much to play with.’
They’re calling it the Elemental collection, and to create the 30 looks, Jasmine took inspiration from ayurveda, ‘a 5,000-year-old philosophy for life that’s about everything being in a rhythm and balance,’ she explains. That sequinned dress isn’t just colourful for decoration’s sake; the bands of sequins come in colours associated with the body’s seven chakras, or energy centres. The midnight-blue Ether dress features constellations inspired by Jasmine’s interest in astrology. And woven among the kingfishers and vines embroidered on to the Kalptaru bodice and maxi skirt is her motto: la vida veda.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分‘Ayurveda means “life knowledge”, and la vida veda has become a bit of a fun way of referring to it,’ she explains. ‘A lot of people have an image of ayurveda involving a monk drinking green tea and eating brown rice on a mountain, and that’s so far removed from what it means. Actually it’s about how you take the understanding of nature and weave it into your everyday life. It only makes your life easier.’
Jasmine first encountered ayurveda about 20 years ago, through yoga and meditation. It now shapes her daily routines from waking, when she uses a copper ‘tingler’ to scrape her tongue, through her meals, which she plans and composes with attention toward her ‘dosha’, or mind-body type, and the needs of the day. And it’s the foundation of East by West, her ayurveda-based second solo cookbook.
Just as ayurveda emphasises a holistic view of food, health and environment, Jasmine came into the Needle & Thread collaboration with a broader view of fashion in mind. ‘It was important to me to do something that would take the evolution of conscientious creation one step further,’ she says.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分To that end, the collection is Needle & Thread’s most sustainable yet. The tulle – and it uses a lot of tulle – is all recycled; the sequins are made of melted-down, re-formed waste product. All the zips are likewise made from upcycled raw materials. ‘We’re not using any virgin plastic,’ brand founder and CEO Hannah Coffin says proudly. Pushing to achieve the desired level of responsible sourcing meant the collection took 18 months to develop, and Hannah plans to roll out the innovations from Jasmine’s collection across the rest of Needle & Thread’s ranges as soon as possible.
All of which has helped the brand earn the Butterfly Mark, an accreditation that recognises eco and ethical credentials. The mark is also held by Christian Dior, Gabriela Hearst and Louis Vuitton. ‘Our aim was to do our best, and then to get awarded that was just amazing,’ Jasmine says. ‘In light of the climate crisis, I think you either block it out because you feel too guilty, or you turn that energy into something positive.’
Jasmine grew up in London, wearing relatives’ hand-me-downs and trawling through car-boot sales and charity shops. Most of her wardrobe consists of vintage or second-hand pieces (today’s outfit: a vintage embroidered shearling waistcoat, a T-shirt from ethical brand Lavender Hill Clothing, yellow jeans from sustainable denim brand Boyish, and a reversible, oversized coat she picked up at a charity shop for £18).
Lately, she’s become a champion of fashion rental platforms, including My Wardrobe HQ2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 and By Rotation. ‘What I love about renting is that you don’t have to drown in the stuff that you consume. It goes around, you get to wear it, then someone else has it,’ she says.
Espousing the joy of renting clothes while promoting a new fashion collection might seem contradictory, but Needle & Thread has adopted Jasmine’s priorities and is using the collection to launch a rental option through its site. ‘When I design dresses, I want the women who buy them to wear them again and again. But if you only want a dress for an event, then OK, rent it,’ Hannah says. ‘I think rental is here to stay.’
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Jasmine has taken a circuitous route to her first fashion collection. As well as being known as a tastemaker, she gained her profile first and foremost as a chef. In the UK, she and her sister Melissa, her Hemsley + Hemsley co-founder, were among the earliest advocates of the wellness trend, and they were targets for the inevitable backlash, too. Even so, practices, foods and lifestyle tweaks once viewed as niche – from avocado to meditation – are now relatively mainstream. How does it feel to see things you’ve been talking about for years become the norm?
She beams. ‘Really satisfying. Just for me to live the life I want to live, and for that to be accessible, makes a huge difference.’ One of the most exciting advances, she says, is that she can find water-decaffeinated coffee more widely, and she adores knowing that the ingredients she recommends in her recipes are easy to find in, say, Sainsbury’s. ‘I used to make my own kefir in the airing cupboard. Now you can get it everywhere.’ We’re at the beginning of a similar adoption curve with sustainability and fashion rentals today, she suggests.
Earth Garden lace dress, £355; Chakra sequin gown, £550; Kalptara maxi-skirt, £450; Kalptara bodice, £250;
Despite pursuing their own solo projects, the sisterhood and partnership is going strong. Jasmine and Melissa still speak to or see each other almost every day. Hemsley + Hemsley at Selfridges, their cafe, just marked four years in business; after our interview, Jasmine spent the whole afternoon designing the new menu with Melissa.
To Jasmine, 2020 already feels like a year of great promise. ‘I feel so happy to be alive right now,’ she says. ‘I feel like there’s a collective consciousness2020欧洲杯足球即时比分 that’s happening. There’s something about being in a new decade. And it’s exciting to have reached 40.
2020欧洲杯足球即时比分‘The thing that gets me through, with everything that’s happening around the world, all the sad news and bad news, is that there is potential for good stuff to happen if we focus our efforts. That’s all we can do.’ Though a sparkly chakra rainbow dress never hurt, either.
The Elemental collection is available from Friday; needleandthread.com
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