Hannah Weiland's label Shrimps returned to the London Fashion Week schedule in February after a season away and boy, were we thrilled. After paying homage to the queen of country, Dolly Parton with her SS20 offering, the AW20 collection was inspired by another queen: the quintessentially British HRH herself.
All silk headscarves, faux fur hats, pearls, heritage check and top-handled bags, it was a fabulous way to kick off the AW20 schedule. Yet while the year began thrillingly for Hannah and her brand, like the rest of us she's now navigating life amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unlike most of us, though, she's both pregnant with her first child and a small business owner. Pregnancy can be an anxious journey at the best of times – let alone in this strange new world – and for many independent brands, the uncertainty of pulling through the crisis is compounded by shifting government measures and self-isolation and social distancing impacting people's shopping habits.
Currently six months pregnant, Hannah has been told by doctors to self-isolate for 12 weeks as she's at slightly higher risk from the virus. "It is definitely pretty scary, the world has never known anything like this," she tells Refinery29, "but I am trying to stay positive and do things that help me relax." Having left London to hole up at her parents' house in the countryside, she's counting her blessings. "I can go outside into the garden during my work breaks – the spring daffodils definitely cheer me up."
We figured that the woman behind some of the jolliest prints, most serotonin-boosting patterns and colourful faux fur in our wardrobe might know a thing or two about sustaining a healthy dose of cheer, so we asked Hannah what's helping her to stay creative, joyful and fear-free during the COVID-19 lockdown. Read ahead for some self-isolation inspiration.
Let's talk WFH style. Are you a PJs-on-the-sofa or a get-dressed-and-go kind of homebody?
I am definitely a get-properly-dressed person. I really like to keep the ritual of getting dressed the same as normal by wearing jewellery, putting on nice shoes and my Shrimps dresses and spraying some perfume. It's really important for my mental health to continue this level of normalcy – pyjamas should be a nice treat to get into after a hard day of working from home.
What rituals are you putting in place to keep your mood up?
I am going on walks in the garden with my dog, and there is a stream that I like to sit by and meditate. I am also doing yoga every morning and reading a book every night.
What are you reading right now?
I am re-reading some favourites, and have been posting about them on Shrimps' Instagram stories. I love Greek mythology and would definitely recommend Circe and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes.
Which wardrobe items and beauty products have you got on rotation?
I'm staying cosy in my Shrimps knitwear and am particularly loving the McCoy cardigan and Cherise jumper. I'm wearing them layered over our SS20 dresses – the Brock dress and the Oakley dress are my favourites – with woolly tights and walking boots.
Product-wise, like everyone, due to the excessive hand washing I am using a lot of hand cream. I love Buly's 1803 and any from Aesop. I am doing lots of facials in the evenings to help me relax, too. I love REN Skincare as it's all-natural so it's great to use during pregnancy, as well as Alexandra Soveral, particularly the brand's Volcano Ash Face Mask.
Which other independent labels are you championing and supporting during this uncertain period?
I like supporting small, sustainable and ethical brands, and I've started to buy things for my baby online as we can no longer go shopping. I love Mini Rodini, La Coqueta and Ando Stores. Plus beautiful baby bedding in Liberty prints from Coco and Wolf.
Do you see a silver lining in all of this?
The uncertainty of the situation is scary, however it has made me appreciate my amazing team even more than usual – seeing them adapt and work together to get through this time has been inspiring. You can see this feeling of being in it together across the fashion industry and in everyday life across the world. I think we will all come out of this with a positive outlook and appreciation for friends, family, nature, sunshine, art, literature, flowers – all those essential things that we might have taken for granted or not had the time to fully appreciate before!
Shop Hannah's picks here:
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