My mother loved Fashion.
More than fashion – which was prone to lapses of taste unacceptable to her – she loved STYLE.
She grew up in Dublin at a time when most people were intensely proud and incredibly poor. Money, when it was there, was for essentials.
Essentials included clothes, but style– the wearing of things that were beyond essential, but necessary simply because they were beautiful – was frowned on, as was aspiration or rebellion.
But my mother wore beehives, heels with stiletto toes, coats that were there to be shapely and luxurious rather than just to keep the cold out, in colours of chocolate brown and raspberry red, in hues of ochre, with explosions of turquoise blue and jade green.
And she passed her love of style, her quietly rebellious nature, and her aspiration – less quiet, but necessarily so – on to my brother and I, though I suspect she sometimes wished she hadn’t.
I went through a period, in the 80s, of sporting a vintage* tuxedo, lined with orange and blue candy striped silk for everyday wear. The sleeves were rolled up to display the lining, and the whole thing screamed Dandy, Daring, or Sissy, depending on where you stood in 80s Dublin…