The old dear last week handed me a bag of old photos that she had come across whilst having a clear out and I have spent a week in scanning heaven; simple things! I’d asked her to dig out my first school photo so that I could participate in a Twitter anti-bullying campaign. The photo in question shows me as a truculent and sullen four-year-old who clearly didn’t (and still doesn’t) enjoy having a photo taken and bears a strong resemblance to the children from the cult horror classic “Village of the Damned”. I should also mention that I only had half a fringe as whilst playing hairdressers with my sister had hacked it off to the roots with a pair of nail scissors. Mum still hasn’t been able to locate said picture but whilst searching she came across some other hidden gems including this one of my sister, Beverley Big Pants modelling one of my hand-made outfits! No doubt I’ll need to buy a shedload of gin as compensation for publishing this little beauty.
Back in the day when I was a hard-up student, I decided to put my dressmaking skills learned at school to good use. As I was so dire in the cookery class my harassed teacher had been relieved to offload me and school chum, Louise Williams onto the dressmaking teacher and rescue my poor family from potential salmonella poisoning when they were constantly forced to eat my latest incinerated culinary offering. To be fair I can follow any dressmaking or crochet pattern to this day and my ability with both smocking and ruffles was the envy of the class, however, none of the above qualified as “high fashion” statements at that time. In my limited and immature view, an abundance of sequins including various other adornments compensated for a lack of cutting edge style.
My mum gave me some old material and lining which she thought might just keep me busy & out of trouble and fortuitously my sister was to be the recipient of my needlework endeavours. There was just one small problem in that I lacked any talent in design or creativity. However, I clearly thought I was going to be the next Stella McCartney whilst I threaded my mum’s old Singer sewing machine with shirring elastic and frankly, any mis-stitch could be resolved with a flourish of sequins.
Unsurprisingly my clothing label never did make it to London Fashion Week and the Singer is now gathering dust in the attic.