Tuesday, 6 September 2011

No to Nosey

No, no and no again!

 When we first moved into our house, nearly eight years ago now, we had little in the way of furniture. Two young twenty somethings with a fat legged baby and a whole lot of excitement. Money had been spent on the bricks and mortar we had bought into, so to think of hiring some decorating help, to ease the eye of the psychedelic colour scheme that pervaded throughout was not even a thought let alone question. A ladder, some overalls, pots of paint and a determination to claim the space as our own was all that was needed. Oh and one more thing,some lace.
 Living in a London terrace, you become quickly aware of the audience of passers by that unselfconciously turn their giraffe like heads at a 90 degree angle and nose innocently into your front room as you go about your not so perfect day. No, I don't look like Alexis Carrington at 7.30am or Sofia Loren by 9pm. I enjoy a bit of Waynetta Slob behaviour on weekend mornings and I overindulge my kids love of Saturday morning crap on the box. But I like to imagine my neighbours believe we are capable of better. We needed a good old fashioned screen to hide behind but I've never liked the anonymity and blandness of that modern phenomenon - the frosted stencil and the net curtain evokes too many bad memories of a particulary scary local who used to twitch them with a fury as any one of my siblings or I would noisily pass their house as kids. But the French, like many things they do, they get it right. Their use of French lace, stretched flat across the pane  always looked so, well, classy and artisan and all things bourgeois. I never imagined as a child holidaying in France that beyond those lacy screens there would be anything I wouldn't want to live amongst, I could ignore the occasional sighting of a toothless old widow who might appear from the residence to sweep away any touristy debris from her medieval village doorstep. 
 Years later, on becoming a slightly more toothful owner of a street level residence I sourced some French lace to screen my own front window. Doing it on the cheap I cut, sewed and fitted it myself. It serves its purpose. It shields the neighbours from our less than perfect reality but it has never been quite right. I don't know, maybe it is the fit, maybe the design, maybe the white would be better black but it has lasted and for me, so many years later it proves my theory that lace is the only way to go. I am on the look out for some vintage lace to do a new replacement however so if you happened to know that antiqued lady I saw all those years ago, did she take the lace with her? It could look good in Hackney, I'll make sure of it. 
A little porte de toilette I visited in France recently.
Even the loos are classy!

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Who is this Lady?

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went to st.martins,graduated as a fashion designer, worked in italy, set up my own womenswear label, married a lovely man and then stopped everything (well, almost) to pop out four little boys. have plans. will do.