Issue 48 Etiquette
MY SON IS ABOUT to go off to secondary school – life is changing at a faster pace than I would ideally wish, while he is relishing the adventure. As I prepare him for his big day, I have dutifully stitched Cash name labels onto every item of uniform. You may be surprised given the field I’m in: but as a working mother this is almost the only time I pick up a needle and thread. At one time all women were responsible for their household linen and even the wealthiest, who employed others to weave and make up their linens, retained the task of monogramming. The value of the linens necessitated its labelling to prevent confusions during laundry. Embroiderer Victoria Bain examines the importance of a name in her article on the survival of monograms.
I recently enjoyed the Chanel Four series All in the Best Possible Taste in which artist Grayson Perry examined what remains of the British class structure. While most people would not wish to go back to the rigidity of the past, great comfort and security can be gained from established rituals and codes of conduct. It is surprising how much manners still mean to most of us in a world of ever-decreasing formality. This informality takes many forms. One only has to look around the arrivals hall in an international airport to see casual dress taken to an extreme. Just fifty years ago flying was considered something to dress up for, and Deirdre McSharry reminisces on the value of respectable dress codes, and Beth Smith, mourns their demise. In parts of the world traditional dress is still worn, at least on special occasions, and when it is as beautiful as the Korean Hanbok it’s no surprise. Photographer Kim Kyung Soo captures the grace of this costume in his Full moon Story.
France, often considered to be more formal in its forms of address than the rest of the world, has a rich textile heritage as described by Genevieve Woods in Southern Charm. She also takes an in depth look at the innovations and industries that gave rise to that heritage in Lyon.
You will note that after six successful fairs at St Augustine's Church Hall, it is time to move on. Although we loved the atmosphere of the old church hall, we have struggled to accommodate visitor numbers. So we would like to formally invite you to our next fair on Saturday November 10th at Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Road, London: a stylish and spacious venue with good visitor facilities and excellent transport links. Practical considerations aside we won’t be pursuing change for the sake of change – you can expect the same high quality exhibitors, a friendly atmosphere and good company. Our Winter Fair, will be a place to mix with like-minded people, make new friends and get together with old ones. I hope we will see you there and, since we’re on the subject of good manners and etiquette this issue, I’d like to thank you for supporting Selvedge.
Polly Leonard, Founder