Many of you know that my personal clothes are designed and made in Italy by my Italian designer. I have known Hilla for 15 years and during that time she has made, from exquisite Italian fabrics, my work and evening dresses, ball gowns, trousers, skirts and jackets to fit my body and style. I asked Hilla recently to let me have my size and she was reluctant to do so. She explained that there is not one universal sizing chart and that no one female shape is the same as another which of course every woman knows. What we also know is that when we buy ready-made clothes we usually compromise on sizing, fabric and design.


It was therefore a real treat to go to the Fabric Show in Paris recently and spend a day meeting cloth makers, touching a variety of textiles and being consumed by an array of colours. I was fascinated with the composition of fabrics as I searched for material that was natural silk, linen, cotton and fine wool at the right weight, with and without patterns. The show had many hundreds of exhibitors and there must have been over 1 million swatches.



As I returned on a late evening Eurostar train I was reminded by a phrase that Barbara Lindsay said at an MSL February focus group: “We don’t do Poly or Ester.” Next month I will let you know how we at Semple are turning this phrase into a reality.


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