I spent part of today with one of my favourite people in one of my favourite places. Caroline and her immaculate (always! How does she do that?) lipstick and I met up for a cuppa in a regular haunt of ours in Soho, to talk fashion, photos, work and life. I love this place because it’s so friendly, because it so luvvy, dahling (one of my favourite actors was in there too) and because it’s so full of stuff. Little memories and personal things are tucked everywhere, really, it’s always a shame to leave.
When I was nine, I put Sun In in my hair. Actually, when I was nine, my mum put Sun In in my hair for me. Yep, that’s how we rolled. This is a product, mind you, that delivers hair the colour of Tropicana with the texture of air dried Barbie locks.
Anyway, at nine, what it delivered to me was a previously inobtainable level of sophistication and a life long love affair/obsession with being blonde.
My natural hair colour is that particular shade of mouse that puts you in mind of, well, nothing actually, because who in their right mind leaves their hair that colour? In between, my hair has been red, it had been black, it has (very briefly) been pink. It’s been shades of brown-y blonde-y half way house-y, not quite mouse-y, leave a toothbrush but I’m not sure about full commitment, hi-lighted, lo-lighted and, are you getting the picture here? But mostly, recently, it’s been blonde. Proper, grown up, I now go to a hairdresser and pay them to do this stuff properly, blonde.
And now the sun’s out! So the only colour to be is blonde! Surf girls are blonde, summer girls are blonde. You see, this is the thing I find about blonde hair, somehow more than other colours, is that it’s a tease. No really, it invites you to take your influence from other people. You forget yourself. That edgy white fashion blonde? Love it, let’s do that. Giselle’s sun kissed natural blonde, yes, that’s the one. Drew Barrymore ombre, yes yes! Knowing I’m (really, no really) a natural blonde isn’t enough..there are so many choices from there on in.
Split personality hair? Who knew?
Do you find it hard to choose? Tell me it’s not just me…
In a (frankly, heroic) effort to stick to my shopping diet (chocolate? Oh that’s another matter. The ratio of chocolate to blog posts is something I could probably work out as a formula and post here) I have decided to have a little look-see at what we already have in that there wardrobe and take care of it properly. Vintage mac re-hemmed and dry-cleaned, tick. Jeans taken in so they sit better with my ballet pumps, tick. My word, I am positively virtuous. Who needs shopping? I rock at this. Next job on the list, do something about those Acne jeans I bought (Sale. When will I learn?) that weren’t quite right. Good fit on the waist, not good fit on the leg. Boo. I cut them in to shorts. Nope, still not doing it for me. Last chance, my friends, I’m going for the denim skirt option. Last tried in about 1999 the jeans to denim skirt fix is an oldie but, occasionally, a goodie. It’s time to break out the pins. Here goes…
Go Spring. I knew you could do it.
1945, evening of the Labour election victory, Miss Julie is rocking it. Palest blue floral print tea dress with a mini cape. Perfect victory rolls. Seamed nylons. Attitude to spare and a fever for dancing.
Later the same night, Miss Julie’s hair is undone, her thick blonde mane wild around her tiny feline face. Her dress is falling off one shoulder, shoes gone, stockings torn. Still holding together her fierce.
The next morning, game face on. Black crepe pencil shirt with a central pleat and ballet pink lining. Black blouse strewn with red roses tucked in and tied at the neck. Hair re-groomed under a close fitting black hat held in place with a pin. And the luggage, I die! (Yes Ms Zoe, you so would.) Circular vanity case in powder blue, a birdcage (!) with a fitted aubergine cover.
Oh! Miss Julie, you are proper bonkers but you really do look amazing.
Now kiss my shoe.
So, the other night I was coming home on tube, people were chatting, giggling, Friday night happy, a girl just near me was changing her shoes.
Yeah, she was changing her shoes. No big deal.
“Ugh” says my friend
I don’t understand. “What’s the problem?”
“Why is she doing that on the tube, I mean do it on the platform, not right here”
OK…I think doing it here is fine, actually. I’m curious so I make a confession to test the water
“Well, I was filing my nails on the underground the other day and..”
“Oh my God, no”
“..the woman next to me got quite huffy about it”
“Yeah well, that is kind of disgusting”
Now, did I miss a memo about what is socially acceptable to do/not do on the tube? I’m not talking about taking a shower here or changing your underwear, but if you’re on the way somewhere, sometimes you have to take it on the run. A bit of make up application? A shoe change?
It’s fine, right?