This Is Your Life 14th June 2011

Dear Rowley,

Don’t you find that we all have a musical in us? I recall someone once saying to me that life wasn’t musical theatre to which I replied ‘there’s always a song’. I would ordinarily say my musical would be Cabaret but on reflection I think it is Evita. What I have in common with a dead Argentine dictator’s wife who slept her way to the top, I have no idea. But the music does speak to me. I think ┬ámy fave rave in the show is What’s New Buenos Aires? I recall humming this tune when walking past the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires many moons ago when I discovered Eva Peron’s wardrobe mouldering in a bank vault in the suburbs of BA for a Sunday Express story. Memories!

Today has been rather like This Is Your Life. I love London days when you simply drift through Mayfair and Knightsbridge and meet people you haven’t seen for decades. The day began in the camp Romanesque swimming pool and spa rectifying a Champagne hangover from the night before: gay karaoke in Soho. Don’t Ask. Anyway, after a swim, sauna and steam I hot footed it to Franco’s on Jermyn Street to meet an old friend Hugo who is launching a terrific new website that I will send you the link to when it ‘goes live’. It’s all about high rollers, luxury goods and making friends with friends. What’s not to like?

Anyway, I was minding my own business nursing a spritzer outside Franco’s when I spotted this sexy dame speaking in a smoky low register. I did a double take and realised it was my first mentor and strength and stay Marcelle D’Argy Smith. Marcelle was THE editor of Cosmopolitan for the high rolling 1980s and early 90s. I won a writing competition at Cosmo when I was still a child and won a week’s work experience. Long story short, I never really left and spent every holiday in the calendar working on the fashion desk at Cosmo. Marcelle taught me pretty much everything I now know.

How to describe Marcelle? She’s a genius writer, an inspirational editor and simply one of the sexiest women I have ever met. We did the squeal and hug and ‘it’s been ages’ but I really want to spend some fabulous time in her company again this year. Marcelle was Helen Gurley-Brown’s protegee and that means she is the mother of Sex and the Single Girl if not mother of Sex & the City. On reflection, I’ve met the most incredible people in this life and it is lovely to meet people who are genuinely thrilled to see you.

The next brief encounter happened when I went to Harrods to sign my Fashion at Royal Ascot book for them. It is selling rather well, Harrods has set up a table dedicated to the title and I got the chance to sit in the signing chair that God knows how many famous bottoms have inhabited. I do love a good book signing, don’t you? It is like underlining months of work with a black marker that said ‘this is the book what I wrote’.

After Harrods, I drifted back to Mayfair and bumped into my adorable Lara Mingay who will be in Florence on Thursday for Pitti Uomo so we have a date for a Negroni in the Piazza before dinner with Guy, Anda and Poppy. Can’t wait to be back in Florence for the weekend. It is truly in my top three cities and I feel honoured that Pitti has invited me to join in the revels. There is a Rodarte show on the night I arrive and I know there will be much fun to be had in Firenze after midnight.

My masseur Santiago said some very profound things this afternoon after I’d lifted a pint of Guinness with one of my favourite people in the world: Keith Levett, head of Ceremonial Tailoring at Henry Poole & Co. We got on to star signs (natch) and he said the Scorpion was a split personality. One half was the phoenix who rose above all sticky situations and renewed and regenerated. The other half is the sting in the tail, the Disney witch who stores up resentment then sticks it to their victims with no remorse and no regrets. I think he was describing my career over the past two decades.

You get to know a lot about someone when you are butt naked lying face down on a towel on Brewer Street. Santiago has turned into a pal in much the same way that I could not live without Gail and Diane in Capri (the dry cleaner on Southampton Row not the island). Diane made me hoot this week. I brought in my Anderson & Sheppard Yellow linen summer suit with a splash of red wine on the lapel. ‘Not like you’, Diane said deadpan. I love my ladies at Capri.

I also love my housemates at the risk of sounding Big Brother. No, I don’t live with them but they are on top and underneath me in Bloomsbury Towers. I adore the boys in the basement who are wont to come home at 3am…narrowly beating me by about five minutes. We’re all used to the walk of shame. My favourites are Randy Andy upstairs and his fox of a girlfriend who looks not dissimilar to Jean Shrimpton in her prime. I saw The Shirmp this evening coming home from work as if she’d just jetted back from a naughty weekend with Serge Gainsbourg in Biarritz. Glamour isn’t even in it.

So it is home to bed chaste not chased tonight. Off to Ascot tomorrow for a book signing and a giggly lunch with the Sherwood Massive at Thames & Hudson. Mrs T and I have a plan. We’re going to lunch, sign then high tail it to Windsor for a sundowner at the Christopher Wren. Until next time…