Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon might be at odds politically, but there is one thing they can both agree on: supporting local designers. Their perfectly matched policies of wearing items sourced from shops and designers in their respective hometowns was thrown into sharp focus yesterday.
In London, Theresa May attended the Commonwealth Day observance service at Westminster Abbey wearing a favourite jacket by London-based designer Amanda Wakeley with a hat by Liz Felix, a milliner whose shop is situated in Henley-on-Thames, just down the road from Fluidity, the boutique where the PM buys much of her wardrobe and a short drive from her home in Maidenhead.
"It's a lovely thing that she chooses to shop in the local area, I think it says a lot about her personality and everyone around her is very appreciative,"says Felix whose designs May has worn for key occassions including Remembrance Sunday and a reception for the Chinese President in 2015 when she was Home Secretary. "She comes in with her husband unannounced. She's very decisive," Felix adds of May's shopping modus operandi.
Meanwhile, at her official residence- Bute House- in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon was laying out her plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence wearing a pink (although it looks red in photos) skirt suit by Edinburgh-based label Totty Rocks.
"Her P.A contacted us when she was going to be sworn in as First Minister," says Holly Mitchell, one of the design duo behind Totty Rocks which makes each item bespoke in Scotland, but at affordable prices. "She wanted to wear something by a local dress designer. Now we make a few suits or dresses for her each season."
Mitchell, who founded Totty Rocks with fellow designer Lynsey Blackburn 11 years ago, pinpoints the reason why it's so important for politicians to buy and wear patriotically. "It proves that she's the genuine article. She could be saying all these things politically but then if you knew all her clothes were made in China, it would all come unravelled."
That's a philosophy which Theresa May has long integrated into her wardrobe. Many of her accessories are picked up during shopping trips in her constituency. A £65 faux-fur collar by Louison d'Or which the PM wore during the Davos Economic Forum in January seems to have come from her browsing in Maidenhead's Craft Coop, "a social enterprise business, pleased to be giving over 150 local craftspeople the opportunity to trade in a High Street shop, and to bring vitality to the Town Centre by transforming otherwise empty units into fabulous craft shops full of unique, locally created products."