Sustainable razzle-dazzle. Eco-poshness. By Walid is like a West London version of Story MFG. Very Matches. Seemingly designed for cashmere-haired rugby shirts called Barnaby who bellow their mates’ nicknames across a busy pub.
To my eyes, most of the brand’s pieces come on a little too ‘gap year’. There’s a lot of embroidered silk and heavy appliqué: it seems destined to end up in a car-crash outfit of bright orange Cordings cords and suede driving shoes.
Apart from this hat that is. Somehow, in amongst all the embroidered dragons and trousers made of curtains, this hat manages to strike precisely the right balance between Little Lord Fauntleroy and Bethnal Green rent boy.
A whole thing’s a patchwork squabble between up-cycled vintage fabrics and boro style mending. A bit of this, a slice of that, all trussed together in the shape of a bonnet. And I’ll be honest, I’m into it.
It’s the kind of ‘check-out-my-vibes’ show-piece that can elevate an entire outfit. I’m thinking head-to-toe navy with this on the top as punctuation. It’s even got some random buttons on it FFS. Part of me thinks it looks like something you’d pick up for £19 at a craft fair, the other part is digging on it so hard I’m warming up my Paypal. But, as with so much interesting stuff, therein lies the rub-a-dub-fuck. It’s not £19. It’s £260.
I’m sure I’m entirely out of step with the By Walid ethos of glamorous sustainability, but £260 feels more like a nice pair of trousers than a bucket hat. I’ve got a lot of hats (EG, Kapital, Nonnative, Mr Fatman, Needles, Boncoura, Kaptain Sunshine…) but not one of them cost £260. But then I suppose, neither do I have cashmere-hair or own a rugby shirt.