Recently while browsing in a charity shop for a fancy dress party, I picked up a book entitiled 'Elegance'
The book, by Kathleen Tessaro, follows a characters search for grace.
The story reference an actual book publised years ago by Madame Antoine Dariaux and I haven't put it down.
Elegance is something that has slowly seeped into my life over the years. Or at least my quest for it.
I wasn't a child that played with make up as my mum didn't wear any. She has always been a naturally beauitful lady.
Although my mum's style was more perms and shoulder pads when she was younger. When she got older she became the appitamy of under stated chicness.
I remember loving seeing her get ready for a rare night out. She would wear beautiful sleek black dresses and ALWAYS a spray of perfume.
She has worn the same perfume all my life. Yardleys Chique. It will always be the smell of her to me.
Always smell beautiful was my first ever tip towards elegance.
The next time I discovered a love of all things beautiful was Frank Sinatra and his music. His voice was like silk to me , a 9 year old in the 90's meant that Frank Sinatra's music was completly ground breaking. It also enabled me to discover the 50's.
As I got older I became the only teenager I know abssessed with Audrey Hepburn, Nat King Cole and Gene Kelly.
Apart from my best friend Jess. Luckily for me shared my obsession. The day I heard her mention Maraliyn Monroe I knew we'd be friends for life.
We had ideas of one day becoming glamourous woman who had coffee in cafes, had our hair done, wore gloves and danced in beautiful shoes.
Now that we are older my love has escallated into obsession and we do have coffee in cafes, have our hair done and dance in beautiful shoes but we still chat about all things old hollywood while we do it. Nothing changes. (I still haven't found a good leather pair of driving gloves)
So why do I love those old hollywood stars. Why do the woman say nothing but beautiful to me. I love the way their hair frames their faces, the sexy curve of their hips and how every item of clothing makes them a lady.
I come from a very male orintated job as an animator and over the years I forget the joys of being a lady. Since moving to London I have had the chance to flurish. I can wear what I like, heels, high waisted skirts, red lipstick.
I finally feel i've found my nieche. I never fitted with girls in magazines and the trends never suited me but with 40's and 50's clothes I feel I finally have a style. When I use to be upset when I was younger because I felt ugly and like I didn't look right in clothes my mum was forever telling me that i'd find what suited me and finally it all fell into place.
Clothes and my challenge to be seen as graceful doesn't mean I'm high matinence (i'll still run around in a muddy firls and spend days in my pj's.) Discovering my love of the 40's and 50's means I can just feel confident in myself.
I'm no wear near as eleant or chic as I hope to be but with my book already being read for the 2nd time in two weeks i'm on the right track.