Sunday, February 08, 2009
ONE WAY TICKET TO CRAZY...
I've been a bit preoccupied the past week. When I try to sleep my dreams are full of giant insects chasing me. I haven't actually slept so apologies if I ramble a bit. My living room is full of bin liners containing different types of clothes with labels on them saying: washed, not washed, to freeze, charity, throw away. The dry cleaner loves me and this is my new favourite shop. Once the dry cleaning bill hit triple figures I started freezing things - (it kills the eggs if you wrap things in plastic and freeze for at least 72 hours so I'm told. I'm still on the first batch, so I have no idea yet if it also damages your clothes.) I wasn't even going to mention the plague that's been visited upon me because, first of all I felt silly for getting so upset when my clothes get attacked; secondly I felt like a bit of a brat - like boo hoo my cashmere casualties are all Marni. Poor me.
So moths. The moths. I had some vintage clothing (not mine) stored in my flat to sell and they brought some friends along who decided to move in. I caught it right at the beginning which is lucky I suppose, but actually more gross as I got to find the eggs and larvae - yum. And you have to either dry clean, wash above 50 degrees c or freeze to kill the eggs. And of course you can't wash cashmere ( or anything except manmade fibres which, obviously, no...) at 50 (where the fuck is the degree key?)
After the first week of spending every waking minute of every day dealing with the plague I started to look at my clothes in a new light. I mean, all this is incredibly time consuming. I had never had moths before because I spend an inordinate amount of my life sorting out my wardrobe, dry cleaning, moving things around. (By the way did I mention I'm just on wardrobe No.1 at the moment. The other wardrobe, where all the nice dresses are is probably being munched through as I type, but I don't have enough space in my flat to do them both at the same time - and the killing sprays etc haven't arrived yet.) I mean, it's not as if something like this hasn't happened before with stored clothes. (Ha - just noticed the title of that old post - my freezer really IS Narnia now.) I had been keeping things I never wore because I could sell them or pass them down or whatever. And I was extremely sentimental about them - they sort of told a story of all the years I worked in fashion and had access to these heavily discounted or free amazing clothes -(See? Poor me - you hate me don't you). And after last time I told myself I got the lesson, but I didn't.
Then yesterday I suddenly felt free as I shoved a vintage feather headpiece that I'd vaguely been promising to turn into some kind of Ban.do thing, but would never have got around to, into a bin liner and threw it in the bin. I'm eyeing my antique silk kimono suspiciously and thinking - do I really get any pleasure out of it hanging on the back of a door, or is it just a disgusting moth party waiting to happen? And I think the goatskin rug has to go - it's vintage, it's fur, it's...hanging outside (in the rain) awaiting its fate at the moment.
So now I'm throwing things away with abandon. I have things I've been keeping for DECADES that I never wear, don't have the facilities to store properly and feel too guilty to throw away because they were expensive. And then I feel guilty buying new clothes because I have so many. Most of the things I had been saving for my future online vintage shop that I could never find the enthusiasm to get off the ground - gone! I realise I hate all the faff of selling things online; I should do something I actually enjoy with my time and ideas. (I'm sure my local charity shops are totally infested anyway but I don't want that karma, so anything beloved by moths like wool or cashmere goes in the bin.)
Also, having cleared out a total of five relatives houses after they died, seeing what they accumulated over the years that had to be dealt with somehow has quite a profound effect.
When I've finished I will be left with only the clothes I wear regularly and maybe a couple of special things. Shoes I'm keeping - that's the only collection I'll have. My latent O.C.D. was very happy going to Lakeland to buy clear plastic boxes for them. And each piece of saved cashmere gets a plastic bag to live in. (Oh, I might even go and live in an oxygen tent - am I scaring you?) I always thought you weren't supposed to store clothes in plastic; apparently I was wrong - and Rachel Zoe stores her vintage collection wrapped in plastic so it must be ok.
I'm excited to receive my package of chemical warfare (tomorrow hopefully) and I shall commence extermination.
The middle of a recession may not be the best time to lose half your clothes and need to shop, but I'm going with it. OK, if you saw me I would have a slightly crazed look and I may be rocking backwards and forwards but it's just because I'm cold (nothing warm to wear!)