Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.
Pure Collection Ltd.
Net-a-porter UK

Monday 28 April 2008


How do you get rid of these?


The situation with the moths is as follows. I have had various moth repelling sachets etc inside my wardrobe for years. When I got back from Australia in mid-March and went into the bedroom I found a dozen or so moths circling round the bedside lamp. Since then they have proliferated. They are on the ceiling, on the walls and crawling around occasionally on the duvet. Several hundred were lounging around on the carpet at the top of the stairs, and I hoovered them up, which seemed to do the trick. Several times a day I go at the moths on the walls and ceiling with the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner, but more always come to take their place. So far they don't seem to have eaten anything I can find in the wardrobe, but the cashmere is in sealed bags and all my good clothes are in protective covers. I feel that the sachets and whatnot are keeping them out of the wardrobe but in the room itself. Last night I found them inside a pair of Uggs. Another black mark for that footwear.

I just had a long conversation with a very nice man from here, who told me to buy one of these, which I have done.

I have just carefully gone through my wardrobe. So far, no holes. I wonder if I have ever really needed seven little black dresses.

I realise that the moths are emanating not from the wardrobe but from the carpet on the hall stairs outside. As one commenter said, what you need is a crevice tool attached to the vacuum cleaner to carefully go along the edges of the carpet and the area where each stair meets. I have now vacuumed and with my new moth genocide kit which arrived this morning, put down insecticide. The advantage of going through my wardrobe was that I realised what pieces I had too many of and what was missing and bought a top at COS this morning. And a long necklace which it obviously needed. So there's always a silver lining, eh, girls?

Speaking truth to power

Corinne Grant (definitely no relation) writes:

A truly ready-to-wear outfit would assemble itself, slink out of the wardrobe and leap on to your body the moment you stepped out of the shower. A ready-to-wear outfit would never crease, never stain, never need washing or dry-cleaning or ironing. It would have the good grace to expand and contract according to your size so that you would never know that you'd put on weight. I would happily pay good money for that.

I haven't attended a fashion festival this year. For a start, I don't own anything clean and, secondly, I always get the uniform wrong. The last time I endured one I wore a lovely broderie anglaise frock in black with ruffles all through the skirt. Everyone else was wearing jeans tucked into their boots and pashminas. I thought standing out was what I was supposed to do but apparently I had completely missed the point. This is the fashion rule I've never really grasped: to truly capture that individual look you are supposed to look like everybody else.

Maybe it's just me, but fashion festivals seem to be high school all over again, just with a $1000 price tag.

(What's a 'fashion festival'?)

courtesy of Norm

Tagged - five random things about me

I have been tagged by George Szirtes and am supposed to write six random things about myself. So here they are:

1. I have never seen an episode of the Simpsons

2. My father knew Houdini

3. I always thought I would grow out of being untidy, but I haven't. I don't understand the principle of putting things away. If I can't see them, they might as well not be there.

4. The oldest item currently in my wardrobe is a sweater dating from 1978. One day I will be thin enough to wear it again. One day.

5. I am a Canadian citizen (as well as a British citizen)

6. I will not, under any circumstances, eat a fried or poached egg. I might eat a cold boiled egg in a Salad Noicoise, or an omelette but only as long as the filling overwhelms the taste of the egg, and there is no runiness.

I will now tag Deja Pseu, Phyllis at The Sewing Divas, Lisa Goldman Miss Cavendish Charles Lambert Baroque in Hackney

There is no waiting list for Hermes Birkins

Example of rich Hermes customer

It's all a scam:

In his book, Tonello, 49, an Osterville native, reveals how he cracked the code for jumping the waiting list to purchase Birkins whenever he pleased. Naturally, this code has something to do with large amounts of cash. When Tonello first attempted to purchase a Birkin at Hermès, he was told that the store had none available. But when he later visited a store and spent thousands on Hermès merchandise such as scarves and jewelry, he found that stores would suddenly have the coveted Birkins in stock.
. . .
A spokeswoman for Hermès said there is no system or trick for purchasing a Birkin. She said it's simply a matter of forming a relationship with the store and working with an associate to track down one of the bags when they become available. Because the bags are handmade, she said there are limited numbers available. A single Birkin - depending on the material - can take up to a week to complete.

"There was a waiting list at one time," says Bernice Kwok-Gabel. "But we realized the whole concept of a waiting list may be off-putting for some customers."

(thanks, sewing divas)

Sew it yourself

courtesy of the Sewing Divas

I know some readers will be delighted to hear that there has been a huge jump in home dressmaking, according to the Guardian.

I speak as one who who has both two left feet when it comes to dancing, and and two left hands when it comes to sewing, and who thinks that shop-bought is always better than home-made (when it's my home it's being made in) but I'm nonetheless quite pleased to see any revival of creativity:

So it comes as no surprise to me that more and more people are taking up sewing. Last week, Argos reported that sales of selected sewing machines have rocketed by 50% in their stores in the past 12 months. Explaining this phenomenon, they cite increasing concern for the environment, awareness of social issues and a backlash against the "throwaway society". They need only add the words "credit crunch" to give a complete picture of why sewing has suddenly become popular again. Woolworths has also just reported a similar trend, with sewing-machine sales growing by 258% in the same period. Their explanation? "We think it's down to more home economics classes being taught in school, the increasing popularity of fancy-dress parties and the death of the high-street tailor."

And those figures show that a trend that has been bubbling under for a decade has finally hit the mainstream. The crafting revival began in earnest in 2000, when Debbie Stoller, editor of popular US feminist magazine Bust, took a fresh approach to the traditional skills of knitting and crochet, reinventing them for contemporary crafters. She wrote the knitting book, Stitch and Bitch, and soon groups of the same name were gathering in clubs, bars and cafes across the world to make stuff together. In the UK, other groups started, too, including Knitchiks (, the Cast Off knitting club ( and IknitLondon (