I love hearing from our readers every week, at the moment more than ever. As much as we like to entertain and inspire you with the magazine, believe me, you all do the same for me. In fact, the very content of my editor’s letter today was inspired by a reader, Jill, who had a funny thought after reading our 5 April cover story with Alexandra Shulman (the former Vogue editor gave YOU a first look at her new memoir, detailing some of the clothes in her wardrobe that conjured happy memories).
Jill made the point that many of us probably have items of clothing that throw up less than glowing memories. She told a story about the pink and purple evening dress adorned with Perspex circles from her days as a fashion student in Manchester in the late 1960s. Her college decided to put on a ‘plus-size’ fashion show. ‘Imagine my horror,’ she writes, ‘when the principal told me that as one of the larger students, I would have to model an evening dress! There was no argument in those days; you did as you were asked. Fortunately the dress was beautiful. But being an “outsize” model then wasn’t like it is now and I was so embarrassed when there was a spread on the show in the Manchester Evening News!’
I can say two things to make you feel better, Jill. One, newspapers like their fashion pictures to be glamorous, so I’m sure the editor featured you because you looked great. And two, nothing tops the humiliation I suffered at the hands of a favourite pair of black trousers. They were long and flared with very deep turn-ups. Strutting through London’s Mayfair one day, I managed to get the pointy toe of my shoe stuck in that turn-up. Yes: I tripped over the leg of my own trousers. I landed chin-first on the road, narrowly missing an oncoming bus. There was a lot of blood but even more embarrassment as the shock and concussion convinced bystanders to call an ambulance. The crew were very kind but did beg my forgiveness for laughing as they wrote their report. ‘Jo, we’ll have to write, “Patient tripped over her own trousers.” We used to see a lot of this in the 70s, not so much now,’ they howled. I survived the mortification. My trousers, however, were shredded beyond repair. Probably for the best.
Can you top that? Jill and I would LOVE to hear from you! In the meantime, this issue is dedicated to mining ever more joy from our wardrobes. Whenever I need a shot of sartorial energy, I ask myself, what would our contributing editor, the irrepressible Trinny Woodall, wear? The answers are plentiful. I hope her ideas for pepping up your mood with colour put a (very steady) spring in your step.
Enjoy the issue.
A few things I’m coveting this week
More lounging requires more loungewear. £134, eberjey, anthropologie.com
This seed mix will grow into beautiful nectar-rich wildflowers loved by bees. £3.95, kabloom.co.uk
A cheese box delivered to my front door? What luxury! £28, thecheesesociety.co.uk