It is not that I have no sense of humour, I find many things funny, but it takes a lot to make me laugh out loud. Etsy therefore, surprised me when one of it’s e-mail updates featured a t-shirt which made me outwardly chortle. The t-shirt read “More issues than Vogue”. Everyone has issues, some more severe than others, and I most certainly have had and still have mental scars. I also possess huge respect for all that Vogue has done for the fashion industry, having read every issue of British Vogue since I was thirteen. Therefore, this t-shirt from PortugueseYour Tee Line had to be mine. It was all the more appropriate I buy this top to challenge the stigma behind mental illness as a friend of mine from school was announced to be one of the first people to receive the ‘Queen’s Young Leaders Award’ for her work in raising awareness of mental health issues amongst students (this is her story).
The morning after I placed my order I received an e-mail explaining that because each tee is handmade, I should expect my item in five working days. The ETA was spot on, five working days after I requested the t-shirt, a parcel flopped onto the floor through my letter box.
My statement shirt had its first airing at the exhibition ‘Wedding Dresses: 1774-2014′ at the Victoria and Albert Museum. A delightful outing we both had too. From the gowns of the past’s unknown to today’s best known icons, viewers are able to share in the beauty and craftsmanship of these special items which sadly in most cases are only worn once. Apparently, white has always been a common colour choice for wedding gowns but it was Queen Victoria who made it truly fashionable colour by wearing a white gown for her wedding. Wandering around the likes of Kate Moss’ dress I realised that my own preference of wedding dresses are those with light draping shirts and sleeveless tops.
Now, I am going to make a confession I rarely make. I have worn a weddings dress. During my Gap Year I took part in what is known as the London Season; yes, I was a debutante. During my year between school and university I was working towards my professional LAMDA acting qualification and one of my research pieces was Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Whilst watching the ITV TV adaptation I was laughing at Julia Flyte’s complaints about the hardship of attending debutante parties and the predicament of finding a suitable man to marry. It was then my dad piped up that I had actually just been asked to join the very same London season. My brother rolled on the floor with laughter, how could his tom boy prone sister be asked to partake in such ladylike activities? To prove him wrong, I asked Dad to accept the invitation. I missed things like the etiquette training because I was travelling but took part in what I think were the best bits such as a charity visit to Macedonia, Queen Charlotte’s Ball and even a Channel 4 documentary called ‘Teens and Tiaras’. It was for Queen Charlotte’s Ball (traditionally the event when girls eligible to be married were presented at court) I was required to wear a wedding gown, on this occasion all debs were leant pieces from the Pronovias collections.
Moving into another world entirely, Mum then took me from the V&A to a warehouse to choose a new sofa for our kitchen before meeting family friends for dinner and to see the enrapturing film ‘The Last September’ at the British Film Institute. As you can read from the account of my day, I needed a cultured and comfortable outfit to get me from showrooms to dining out, my new smooth t-shirt accessorised with a chunky chain necklace purchased during my US road trip from Urban Outfitters fitted the bill of events artistically.