It’s done. The Coat has made it to The Wardrobe. I’m pleased with the seamlessness of this project: no misplaces snips, no unpicking, no unfathomable differences in hem length. Just straightforward, logical, successful dressmaking. I’ve put applied-welt pockets on the front panels (the sort of opening you see on a traditionally tailored jacket. You slash the jacket fabric and attach a piece of cloth to the cut so that it stands above the opening. You sew down the sides of the flap with tiny elf stitches et voila!) and I’ve steamed the seams and hem to within an inch of their lives. Happy lady.
I’ve been thinking about colour. In particular, about how people seem to shy away from colourful clothes just at the time in their lives when they ought to be increasing the colour quotient. We wear colour as children, indeed anything goes, but by the time we hit our late teens, we reject all things vibrant for the safety of black and find it hard to emerge from dark seclusion the older we get. Grey seems adventurous, we might even push it to camel.
I went to the Picasso exhibition at Tate Britain this morning and took a good look around me. Having done a brief and unscientific survey, I concluded that the majority of people at the exhibition were over 50 and that black, grey and beige beige beige were the colours of choice. I’m a huge lover of black but even I realise that my ageing skin hasn’t got the stamina to stand up to it unless the cloth is of fabulous quality (I’m thinking of the sort of sheen that you get from really good cashmere or the depth of colour from a fine wool). And as for beige…..is there anything more likely than beige to make you look like you’re heading for your pension? There was one woman who made my smile with joy. Without being offensively rude and asking her age, I’d say that she had passed 70 but she wore the most beautiful shade of violet: a tweed jacket with wide kimono sleeves and I couldn’t stop looking at her. I had on bull’s blood red patent brogues and a dark orange scarf and when I stood next to the Lady in Violet, the colours made me shriek with happiness.