Category Archives: Laura Ashley

Hot Night at El Morocco

Okay, I don’t have any pictures, but we were there. One of the hottest nights in my memory, as if a garbage filled blow-dryer was pointed at your face. It was NYC, 1974, Robin and I in our long Laura Ashley dresses, getting drunk on champagne while Mother and Pop Bossa Nova’d and didn’t pay attention to anyone else. Listening to “Midnight at the Oasis”. Later, I passed out in the taxi. My first faint. Stay cool out there this summer.

Years later, in a strange, worlds collide, my husband and I were living in Hell’s Kitchen and we’d just had our first child, Harry. We lived in Manhattan Plaza, a building for people in the performing arts. An old lady named Mrs. Valentine who had been Toscanini’s secretary lived a few floors down from us and knitted booties for Harry. Her husband, Harry Valentine had been the Maitre ‘d at El Morocco until his retirement in the early 80s and probably poured us all into the taxi!


First Evening Bag

My first evening bag.
I bought this bag at the legendary Biba on Kensington High Street to go with my first long dress from Laura Ashley.  I was fourteen and the occasion was a party for an ambassador’s son at Quaglino’s, a legendary restaurant in London.  The restaurant was opened in 1929 by Giovani Quaglino and quickly became a favorite haunt of royals and wealth socialites.  It was in fact so popular with the Windsors that a special section was cordoned off so there would always be a royal table available.  It was the first public restaurant in which a reigning monarch dined (Elizabeth II in the 1950s).  By the time of our party, it was a haunt for the rich and famous from all over the world.
The restaurant was made over in the 90s by Conran and is still a place to be seen.  The dress is gone but my memories like my Biba evening bag are still with me.