September is the January of fashion,” said fashion brand consultant Candy Pratts Price in the Vogue documentary, The September Issue.
Right and wrong, Candy. In fact, September is the September of fashion. Because, as everyone knows by now, September is the beginning of everything. January’s association with newness is wrong.
January is the armpit of the year, full of bills and streets strewn with old wrapping paper and sad bits of tinsel. Just because there’s technically a new numerical year
(which we will all get wrong on forms and cheques until March anyway), doesn’t mean there’s anything ‘new’ about it.
The tax year doesn’t even flip over until April. It’s just grey skies and no more chocolate until Easter. But September, you make my heart skip a beat. If you had an Instagram account I would stalk you. If you were on Snapchat I’d... do whatever it is people do on Snapchat.
The feeling goes right back to childhood – like so much in life. Until I was 18, September was the official new start of the year.
Six whole weeks since I had seen my classmates (except the one lone friend I saw in the holidays). There would be a new classroom, new teacher, different desk. Maybe the blackboards, dusty with chalk, had been given a new lick of blackboard paint. Maybe your most hated teacher had been fired and replaced with someone nice.
For me, it was extra thrilling as one of my parents’ many ace qualities is their extreme parsimony. I salute them – it has made me the thrifty penny-counter you see before you – able to survive for a month on £8 and half a bag of Tate & Lyle.
But the one thing my parents would splash out on was books, paper and stationery supplies – so every September my sisters and I would go berserk in WHSmith, poring over pencil cases, ring files, hole reinforcers and maths sets. These were actual new things of my own, not hand-me-downs.
So, September is a powerful watershed in my fashion year – if it isn’t yours too, why not?
Editor: Sophie Hines / Photographer: Jonty Davies