Meet our new Winter Ambassador
Our new winter colour ambassador Hannah Betts reveals why she loves being a jewel winter and shares her favourite pieces from the Autumn/Winter collection.
Introduce us to you and your style.
I am a feature writer, interviewer and columnist across a range of subjects for an array of British newspapers and magazines, principally The Times and The Telegraph. A former academic, my interests cover all aspects of the Zeitgeist: not least feminism, social and sexual mores, royalty, literature and history.
I also can’t stop thinking about clothes. Even in my most bluestocking phases, I was obsessed with determining which shade of blue, worn how high, and with which heels. My fashion narrative began with a love of history, manifest as a love of costume: from the sumptuous satins of Ladybird fairy tales to Elizabeth I shedding pearls as big as plums.
Given three words, I would describe my look as retro, feminine and witty. The first two I can’t help, dictated by the shape of face and figure. The last I find I crave: for – without some element of joy – what is the point of dressing? Think spots, stripes, camp accessories and heady shots of colour.
Tell us about your colour initiation.
After a teenage goth phase, I’d always adored colour in a clueless fashion. In late 2016, Melissa and her team took me along to Fiona Ingham at House of Colour to get “done” for a Sunday Times Style article about the return of dressing for your season.
I was in the middle of a seriously terrible time – genuine trauma – and my colour initiation brought me such simple solace. It turned out that I was on the right track for my jewel-winter colouring. However, getting “done” allowed me to shop with impunity, whether in snowy Zara faux fur, fuchsia Marc Jacobs silks, or hothouse florals from Tara Jarmon. Cue instant pleasure.
And that was the start of your Kettlewell love?
It was! Kettlewell is such a genius British brand – a real jewel, practical and playful all at once. I am addicted to its lace shirts and so delighted to see them back this season. I have worn my A/W 2016 silver and midnight blue versions incessantly: at the opera in Paris and art shows in Berlin. And 2018’s emerald version is very heaven – I like to think Melissa succumbed to Betts pressure.
What has colour brought to your life?
Colour is a joy and a liberation, a weapon against depression and a veritable superpower.
Does getting older also play a part in your colour obsession?
Definitely. As a winter, black is one of my shades, but, even then, it can drag at one’s complexion and morale. At 47, I look younger with colour, more alive. My summer wardrobe is a riot of colour. I am striving to ensure that my winter dressing follows suit. Hello, Kettlewell’s emerald lace.
Tell us about being a jewel winter?
I LOVE being a jewel winter; nothing could make me more proud. It was probably rather guessable – children and chaps on the pull have always referred to me as “Snow White”. Jewel winterdom suits my mercurial personality. I’m one of life’s rebels – an all or nothing type – befitting extreme statements.
What are your A/W 2018 Kettlewell favourites?
As an uber-winter, I live for this season’s garb. Obviously, I’ll be laying down new lace shirts and am besotted with the sapphire silk-blend number. The pattern of the true red Suki wrap dress is sublime, while the electric-pink striped scarf is an absolute corker. Now I just need some Kettlewell cocktail options. How about an emerald velvet jacket, Melissa?
Photographs: Katharine Davies