Now it may seem that a creature like me could only have sprung fully formed from a (possibly sequinned) egg on a mountain top Monkey-style:
but in fact I do have the usual human parents including a mother who lives in Scotland and is something like Alexis Carrington Colby, but with more corgis and haggis. She was also an actual fifties girl/minx-about-town in the actual nineteen fifties and therefore has quite a store of arcane knowledge and ancient wisdom on subjects including (but certainly not limited to) the lost art of "damping down", how to ballroom dance with a Tongan prince, the correct technique for flirting your way out of a tight scrape - and the proper way to wear a fifites frock. Here is an email I received yesterday regarding that very subject - read it and learn!
A note re your latest blog.
The fifties look cannot be (and never was) achieved without the
assistance of at least two enormous gathered petticoats (half
petticoats) made of cotton and starched within an inch of their lives.
And I mean startched! Not the wussy spray on kind of starch but the
kind you soaked them in for hours, dried them on the clothes line and
then attempted to iron them. The correctly starched petticoat would
stand on the floor by itself.
When the petticoat was showing below the hemline the discreet comment
"it's snowing down south" alerted to the wearer that there was a BIG
I had one petticoat that was broderie anglaise that used to shred the
back of my stockings when it was seriously starched and the scalloped
edge scraped against my legs.
You undoubtedly know all this petticoat 'lore' but i just thought I'd
mention it due to the pretty 50's number you were wearing. Won't work
sans petticoats and that's that. If you have the series 'Mad Men'
showing on TV in Oz they do the 50's look quite well, especially the
Once synthetic fabrics appeared it all went to hell on a rail of
course. Sadly missed.
Needless to say this was a style (as so many are) that only teenagers
with 18 inch waists could seeriously contemplate. Fortunately for me
I fitted into that category briefly when the petticoats were at their
So there you have it!
xx (or should that be XXXX)
3 days ago