My father (normally a mild-mannered man) got in first when he forbade the wearing of denim jeans from under his roof. This was the Sixties for heaven’s sake. I did what any self respecting teen would do – developed an obsession with the faded blue fabric, hid my jeans at friends’ homes and married young.
My mother was not to be outdone. She loathed pink, thought sparkle in daywear was Common and honestly believed a nice frock was a fitting substitute for denim jeans. Bless her.
Even though fashion was such a fraught topic at home, I sewed a lot of my own stuff. And, in what I now see as an early start in how to make life difficult for myself, I disdained Simplicity patterns and headed straight to Burda. Navigating their maze was the closest that I would ever come to Air Traffic Control. To this day I can smell the tailor’s chalk, feel the tracer’s wheel in my palm, hear Woodstock playing in the background, and see myself cutting my way round my absolute favourite fabric – Paisley.
I meet people who say they haven’t a creative bone in their bodies. They lie. Every single day, when we get up and get dressed, we make creative choices. And you can reminisce on this in beautiful fashion books, you can even dream of featuring in The Sartorialist (the street fashion of real people). Truth is, what was everyday clothing to you all those years ago has probably attained iconic status by now.
Fast forward a few years. See that old lady in the boots, the jeans and the wildly patterned Paisley shirt? That’s me. What will you be wearing when we meet?