The Super Humans of 2017

Lori Smith and Jon Topper's Wedding. Photography by Nick Tucker.

Every December since 2011, I have been publishing an annual list of people who have had positive impact on my life in the previous 12 months and, in my opinion, deserve an award for their greatness. These are the super humans who have shaped my life and brought me joy and inspiration – I want to thank them for all they have done and also introduce my readers to their awesomeness. Let me introduce you to my Super Humans of 2017…
Fi and Lori at Henley Festival 2017

  • Jon Topper – This year has been another splendid one for Mr Topper. Not least because he now has a rather wonderful wife… me! We never used to think that marriage was for us, but this year we realised that’s no longer the case. One very small and secret ceremony later, and we’re both grinning like fools every time we see our shiny wedding bands. Happy 2017 husband! (Will I ever get bored of the h-word?)
  • Fiona Deane – My lovely sister makes it onto this year’s list because of the wonderful time we spent together at Henley Festival and Stylist Live… despite the nasty hangovers I had after both! She’s one of those people I know I can rely on for a good solid day discussing fashion, feminism, work and life, all whilst wearing something that makes us both very happy. The Vera Wang prom dress Fi wore to Henley was a TK Maxx bargain that I will forever be impressed with!
  • Karolina Laskowska – Once again, working on The Underpinnings Museum has been one of the highlights of my year. One of my lovely colleagues suggested that the museum would be great for a collaborative project with the MA students, so I got to see Karolina whenever she popped in to London College of Fashion for a session with the students. She also taught me how to cut and sew an underwired bra this year, which didn’t take me as long as I feared!
  • Georgina Orgill – I spent one day a week for three months volunteering at the UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) and Georgina was my guide. The entire ASCC team were amazing to spend time with, and I’m definitely going to miss the lively discussions we had over a mid-morning brew, but Georgina deserves a special mention here due to her excellent management of the volunteers scheme and utterly infectious love for the festive season.
  • Tigz Rice – This year I finally got round to booking a shoot with Tigz, which was a fantastic experience in so many ways. After seeing her hard at work at an Underpinnings Museum shoot back in January, it was an interesting experience to be on the other side of the camera (for the first time in years). I’m looking forward to catching up with Tigz at a Museum of London fashion event in January.
  • Holly Butler – My counterpart in the Fashion Business School at London College of Fashion, Holly has been a grade-A work-wife this year. She was my brunch buddy when Brunch Club reviewed Bill’s separately, can always be relied on to compliment my most awesome outfits, came with me on a Friday recce of Stylist Live so that I could make the most of Saturday there with my sister (#selfless), and she also recommended the Grenson sample sale where I got Topper’s wedding shoes.
  • E-J Scott – The year started with a bang for E-J when his Museum of Transology exhibition opened at London’s Fashion Space Gallery, accompanied by an interview in the Independent. In the summer, the exhibition moved to Brighton Museum and I spent a wonderful afternoon with E-J, chatting while we wandered round the city and the museum. We caught up again recently at UAL and I hope that some of the exciting possibilities we discussed for 2018 actually pan out for him.
  • Johannes Reponen – There are some people in this world who can always cheer you up when you’re ready to give up, because they (a) believe in you, and (b) keep reminding you of all that you have achieved. Johannes is one of those people. Just when I felt at my most stuck for a few years, he popped up to tell me he’d read my career crossroads blog post (it still gives me a kick when people read what I write!) and then offered a much-needed sounding board.
  • Louise (from Brunch Club) – I was going to award a Brunch Club another group spot on the list (like last year), because my fellow brunch clubbers have been a shining beacon of joy throughout the year, but in the end I had to single one of them out. Some excellent work-related advice, a tiny knitted personalised Xmas tree decoration, and one unforgettable evening trying our hand at drag make up means that Lou gets a special mention.
  • Taproom SE18 Team – For all the times they have recommended truly excellent beers and served us tasty sourdough pizza, the team at Hop Stuff Brewery‘s first Taproom deserve the group spot on this year’s list. They know I love porters and sours, always welcome us with a smile, and they even let us in early for our small wedding party to enjoy a celebratory drink while our photographer snapped away. A couple of team members are based at the new Taproom SE8 now, so it looks like we’ll be visiting Deptford a bit in 2018!
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