In our house there is a tendency to only absorb the medical news stories that suit our already calcified bad habits - notable among these is the idea that red wine is good for you, (and forget the detail about moderation). Similarly, we have a habit of clasping to our hearts phrases that we pick up from PR or fashion or somewhere and twist to our own foul ends.
Among these, 'shabby chic' has been embraced for so long chez nous that, when casting a glance over our decor, the second word in the phrase ought to be struck out completely, were we being honest.
But we aren't - not about our rugs, at any rate. About our clothes we are slightly more circumspect. Which is why my husband found himself in search of new suits recently. He ended up buying some very nice ones from a man called Henry in Jermyn Street. He and Henry got very matey. Which was a pity as I'd spotted some lovely alternatives for him, in Collins Street, Melbourne, (and yes, I promise, these are clothes meant for men):
and in Singapore, where towelling rules and pink, apparently, is the new black:
I'm so disappointed to have missed the opportunity to redefine my beloved's image. But it's too late now - the suits he got off Henry should see him through another decade. And what likelihood is there that those nice shorts and matching donkey's ears or the pink towelling ensemble will still be available then?
Actually, probably quite a high likelihood come to think of it - who else is going to buy them, (although there was a man I used to work for who wore such extraordinary get-ups that I thought he must be the tailors' of Canberra's delight - "Quick, quick, Barry, there's that man again: go out the back and fetch those green and yellow striped three pieces I bought when I was drunk at the Trade Fair in Brisbane in 1964; I'm sure he'll take them")?
Apart from him though, what is the market for these things? Can the makers really be serious or are these just the latest in the centuries old game of Emperor's New Clothes?