My London: Sahar Freemantle, Milliner

Sahar Freemantle is a milliner for cutting-edge and unconventional headwear company UglyLovely. Here she opens up to The London Word about Hackney life, Dizzee Rascal and dogs on the canal…

Right now I’m relaxing in my living room. Today I’ve had a walk along the Thames with a dance under the arches of the DLR. It’s been very sunny and very windy; my favourite kind of day.

I’m based on Well Street in Hackney, which I love. It’s one of the only streets in Hackney that still feels like a true East End community. It looks pretty rough, but everyone knows each other. I also love the Tower Bridge area; the mix of old and new architecture.

My perfect London day out would involve dancing tango under the noon day sun, followed by a dark fusion of tango, blues and swing dancing to anything from dubstep to Bill Withers.

London’s welcoming nature to other cultures coming in makes it unique.

I enjoy the summer in London because so much happens. I don’t even want to go away for one weekend because I don’t want to miss that thing that might never happen again.

I feel pretty creative in my millinery studio in Hackney; its full of old bits of stuff that could be used to create hats, or ‘head sculptures’ as I like to call them.

There’s a museum in London called the Horniman Museum, which sounds fascinating. I’m saving that trip for someone special and probably quite strange.

I love Dizzee Rascal even with his constant sell outs and contradictions. He should really stop being a representative for young black people on the news and stick to making music, but I love him anyway.

There’s a great little vintage designer fayre called Jumble and Pearls. I’ll let the secret out and tell you the next one is November 16 at The Book Club.

I don’t tend to miss things much when I’m away because I adapt easily and enjoy where I am. But eventually I miss the mad fusion of creativity in London.

The dogs along the canal drive me mad. No, the dog owners along the canal who don’t have their dogs on a lead. Once I saw a dog move suddenly in the way of a passing cyclist and the dog’s face got kicked. It was horrible. The cyclist felt bad and the dog was hurt and the owner of course blamed the cyclist but it was the owner’s responsibility!

My flat – I’m barely here, so when I am I can really relax.

Abdu’l-Bahá is my biggest inspiration in life; the perfect example of a human being and how to live. In the face of constant persecution in nineteenth century Iran, he faced hatred with love, war with peace, and injustice with justice constantly. He was love and light embodied in human form.

At the moment I’m gearing up for Christmas. I have some ideas for new designs for my millinery label UglyLovely, which I’m looking forward to making. I’m also looking forward to having our stand at Jumble and Pearls on November 16. It’s always a busy event as they cater for everyone. Well known for introducing the best underground designers in London, It’s also a mixture of bespoke pieces including greeting cards, art, jewellery, millinery, vintage and designer clothing, bikes, crafts, frocks and cake. You name it, they sell it.

Happiness is: really fancying a white Magnum ice-cream and going to the freezer and finding one!

The Jumble and Pearls Vintage/Designer Fayre will be showcasing many new designers and vintage emporiums on Saturday 16 November from 12 – 5.30 at:

The Book Club
100 Leonard Street

Free entry.


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