In the first episode of Season 2 of Bridgerton, the Queen’s ball takes place at the Great Conservatory at Syon Park. For those who have not seen the episode, this is the ball where the Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton declares that it is ‘the season the Viscount intends to find a wife”! This Viscount, rather caddishly, is later seen discussing with his friends the ‘ ridiculous rigmarole of courtship’ and that it is best to ‘simply pick the least objectionable and get her wed, bed, and bred!’
This is overheard by Kate Sharma, who is shocked by this vulgar male chat, which objectifies women as ‘ chattels and breeding stock.' Unfortunately this was the reality of the 1800s. Times have thankfully changed for women since then and, perhaps especially, for women and love, as we can now choose who we wish to love and marry! The very fact that women can vote, run their own business and, even, choose what to wear, would shock our Georgian ancestors. Although there are some things in the world of women that still haven’t changed since the Regency times; the vast majority of women can still not inherit titles and, far more importantly, there is still evidence of a pay gap and, on top of this, the taboo subject of working women having babies.
There are other things in British society that have not changed; we may inherit old family heirlooms (either gladly or with dread) - perhaps a family portrait, jewels, the family house or some brown furniture. Some come with the duty to care and look after and pass on the next generation. So, what about the heritage of jewellery or even clothes?
In the case of Hannah-Sophia Jarvis and Zuleika Gerrish, they first met at a pop-up on Portobello Road via a mutual friend, vintage stylist Sarah Kate Bryne. They soon discovered that they had lots in common; they are both young mothers of two children and run their own small UK sustainable businesses. They also share the very same passion and love for British heritage and the finest workmanship and artistry. Their emphasis is on sustainability and the stories that their pieces are yet to tell.
Jewellery and Clothes, as we know, go hand in hand. Hannah-Sophia runs Hannah-Sophia England, a heritage-inspired British clothing line, where one dress can cleverly be interchangeable to be seen in several ways and to last a lifetime. Zuleika runs Parkin & Gerrish, the newest online antique, vintage and fine jewellery shop.
Where else would be more perfect to do a collaboration than at the Great Conservatory at Syon Park, the southern stately home of the Dukes of Northumberland? It is a spectacular early nineteenth century glasshouse, which was designed by Charles Fowler and built in 1826 using the latest industrial knowledge, as well as the most fashionable classical style.
For this special shoot, Zuleika and Hannah called-in their friends; Martha Sitwell, Antalya von Preussen, Flora Gibbs, Toni Castells, Nik Trifunovic and Oliver Gerrish (Zuleika’s husband!) to model. Hair and make up was by Glow & Dry, Freddie Ardley was the photographer, Indigo24 films were the videographers, the suits were loaned by Guy Hills from Dashing Tweeds, and the Delevingne sisters gave the shoot their delicious Della Vite bubbly.
We bet the new Viscountess Bridgerton, Kate Sharma, would be thrilled that we women are free to love, live and work in a world that still values beauty, stunning design, as well as sustainability and versatility.