Interview with author Sarah Langford

Interview with author Sarah Langford

By Ruth Rands

Interview with author Sarah Langford

We're very proud to feature the collections of true stories woven together by Sarah's own experience of lifting her family from their settled London life and setting up anew deep in Suffolk farming country. A deeply researched and considered treatise on farming today, Rooted is available now in the HERD Bookshop. Out of curiosity we asked Sarah Langford some questions for us about her approach to her wardrobe. Read on...

1. What is your favourite item in your wardrobe, if you had to choose one, and what is the story behind it? 

In 2017 most of my clothes burned down on a storage warehouse fire. Every now and then I will remember a special item of clothing and feel sad about no longer having it.  However, the experience taught me that I had far more clothing than I needed or really regularly wore. Since then I have tried to only buy pieces that will last decades. My favourite item, which never went into storage, is a velvet military jacket made by my friend Pinky Laing. It reminds me of her and good nights out back in the day (sometimes together). I also love the embroidered peasant blouses I have bought from the vintage shop Picknweight in Covent Garden in London. You have to search but when you find one it’s like stumbling on treasure.
2. What is your favourite piece of knitwear (you don’t have to say HERD but do if you mean it!)
My HERD Wyre vest. It crosses every seasons and goes with pretty much every outfit, both smart and casual. I wear it all the time and almost always get asked about it when I do.
3. Have you ever made an item of clothing and worn it? 
Not since school, when I made a pretty ropy skirt and shirt. I would love to start making my own clothes. My mum used to make my sisters and I dresses with matching ones out of the remnants for our teddies. My granny knitted us jumpers all the time. It’s clearly part of my heritage: I just need to have the confidence to have a go at doing it myself (and re-learn how to thread a sewing machine...).
4. Has your approach to your wardrobe changed over the past few years and if so how? 
I have really changed my attitude to clothes shopping since learning about the environmental and human consequences of fast fashion. I have never really been swayed by trends (and have always been a fan of eBay ) but I was always a sucker for cheap, high street clothing. I recently had an experience which made me feel I may have crossed the rubicon. I found myself on Oxford Street and went into a flagship shop which was once my go-to place to buy clothes. I walked around all three floors and wanted nothing in there. I didn’t even have to try not to buy something. I have far fewer clothes now than ever before, but when I looked at the rails all I could see was plastic and landfill. The whole experience of shopping was completely different. It felt like a bit of a breakthrough moment. 
5. What item of clothing have you lost or misplaced that you wish you could find again? 
A vintage silk multicoloured strappy jumpsuit and a heavy Ralph Lauren mini cocktail dress made of gold hand sewn sequins (my old housemate worked there and got massive discounts). They both burned in the storage warehouse, which was sad, but I guess less annoying than losing them…?! 


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