Strutting their stuff on the ‘Red Dust Carpet’ at Redbanks for the April 2012 Field Methods Field School were archaeology students, staff and helpers. Little did anyone realise that as a first time Arch student I was rating the dress sense of my more seasoned colleagues for ‘Fashions in the Field’ Awards. Unlike the red carpets of Paris and Milan, my points were awarded for being practical, safe, dustproof, sun-smart, bite- proof, as well as imaginative and stylish. Participants needed to follow the basic clothing requirements in the course handbook: long sleeve shirt, long pants, wide brim hat, sturdy shoes.
This season’s trends were Akubra style hats and check shirts worn with various shades of khaki; the new black! Those familiar with Munsell Soil Colour Charts know that khaki is dirt camouflage colour. Popular hair styles were short, no nonsense cuts and practical ponytails. But who dared to be different?
Bonnet of distinction – Heather, with her chic beige linen, and Rhiannon, with her embroidered little black Archaeology Society bucket hat, were strong contenders, but the winner was Jess looking a treat in floppy black hat accessorised with green peg!
Artistic Accessories – Bob, with his green anticancer gloves, Matt, with his burnt orange Egyptian scarf, and Viki, with mauve polished nail, were eye catching. Britt, with rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, lost points when her precious metal interfered with readings on Julie’s and Rob’s matching WW1 era compasses. But accessory princess was Amanda, who matched her blue & white bandanna with her nail decal on perfect acrylic nails.
Lovely Locks – Antoinette, with her short, glossy, stylish cut, and Mick, with his ‘no more tears no more tangles’ upstyle pony, looked the part and were practical, but they were outshone by Clare’s wash and wear dreadlocks resplendent with beads and threads!
The overall winner of Fashion in the Field 2012 was Sam, for her delightfully stylish and personalised outfits. The tie-dyed T-shirts, embroidered Nepalese pants, fly-netted hats and arm adornments prove that archaeologists can match function with fashion when in the field.