The Norman Invasion-------
Mother of Pearl’s Maia Norman—surfer chick-turned-fashion designer—always puts Mother Earth first. So for her dinner in London last night, she chose Senkai, the Japanese restaurant that sources all of its food locally and abides by a sustainable and ethical menu. “You have to respect nature and heed its power,” Norman said over salad and sushi. “When I design, I think of the elements. When I am out there surfing, I need to be insulated from the wind and the water. When I am on my motorbike, I need to be well protected and padded if I ever fall off. I think there are so many of us whose clothes need to conform to their lifestyle, not vice versa.” That may explain why her profile is growing swiftly in Asia and the Middle East.
Norman’s clothes—leathers and cashmeres in Smartie candy shades—conform to the less sporting part of her own lifestyle: her long relationship with husband Damien Hirst. Artist collaborations have become a calling card of the line (in the past, she has worked with the likes of Jim Lambie and Fiona Banner), and last night she offered a glimpse into the the Fall ’12 collection she’s currently preparing: its visiting artist is New York sensation Fred Tomaselli. “Fred is a good friend and his work is wild, inspiring. I asked him once, twice, and three times to collaborate—each time he said no. Finally, years on, he had a change of heart and said yes.”
Reason enough for friends like Lulu Kennedy, Polly Morgan, Richard Mortimer, and Pam Hogg to raise a glass. Hogg had something to celebrate, too: One of her pieces just made the cover of British Vogue. Gisele is wearing “leggings I made eight years ago!” she revealed. “It’s amazing that they liked them enough to keep them that long.”