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A Colourful Present

Sophia is a new Lewesian; in her regular column she muses on life and style in this idiosyncratic little town of ours. Read more about Sophia here.


(Spring blossom, found close by to Lewes station)

Spring and a young woman’s fancy turns to… colour.

Suddenly the beautiful muted charcoals and sables of the winter feel heavy and near claustrophobic, I am craving pale green and storm cloud blue, pollen yellow and the mauve of the dawn sky.

Although the near miraculous leap from the endless rains of winter has definitely got something to do with it, I think it is also in part due to the colourful nature of Lewes itself.

‘Colourful’, now there’s a word. Oft a polite slur, accompanied by a raised eyebrow and pregnant pause denoting something a little, well, out of the ordinary. If I may re-appropriate the term and take away any snide tones, to me it feels a perfect way to describe our vibrant town.

We may not have Brighton’s ice-cream hued terraces or bold street-art; instead we have the brick and flint contrast of rust red and petrol blue. The near iridescence of the dark mathematical tiles that form the elegant façade of so many of Lewes’ town houses, and the wonderfully named ‘bungaroosh’ walls that combine a whole mishmash of materials, textures and colours. The twittens running betwixt and between the steep streets revealing doors of sage green, sky blue, duck egg, wren’s egg, eggshell – a veritable nest of soft shades.

But we also have our fair share of neon.

I am known for my slightly wild platinum crop, which in my previous rural home caused some comment. Here in Lewes I feel positively conservative on the hair front. Hot pink, mauve, lilac, deep blue, green, scarlet, flame orange feature regularly as hair colours of my fellow Lewisians, lighting up the grey mornings of March. As the warm weather starts to take hold, I cannot wait to see what outfits accompany these rainbow locks! I am certainly lusting after Popsicle’s new range of brilliant clothing matched with a pair of Emily’s Vannucchi turquoise wooden earrings. You never know, I may end up getting a sky blue streak in my fringe too. When in Lewes…

The window boxes, planters and parks are also inspiring my sudden desire for colour. The formal planting of the Grange is now brimming with Primulas, wonderfully tactile double daisies and stately blushing tulips. Passing School House on the high street aptly named ‘bumble bee’ primroses dazzle in gold and deepest indigo. Blossoms swirl like confetti in the breeze and those first impossibly green leaves are starting to unfurl on trees round town – yes Ladies and Gentlemen; spring is officially here…

(Southover Grange Gardens)

…she says skipping down the street in brand new mermaid green heels from Irregular Choice and no tights, and instantly discovering that the whole ‘April Showers’ business is based on fact, and not to be underestimated, even if 5 minutes previously it looked like a glorious summer’s day!

It may not be quite time to banish the opaques, yet... but the clocks have changed, windows are being flung wide across town and an almighty spring clean and reshuffle is happening in the Needlemakers. It feels like the whole town is coming out of hibernation, and the carnival of life beneath my window is becoming more vivid (and, to be honest, vivacious) by the day.

So, after 8 years of observing London dress codes of black, more black and maybe a bit of navy (less about fashion, more about surviving the grime that coats every available surface), now is the time to embrace the Lewes style. Whether or not I have a colourful past is up for debate, this Spring I am looking forward to having a colourful present!

 (Irregular Choice heels & Viva Lewes magazine - Sophia's own)


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