Story

Spring/Summer Collection 2002

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Christmas again. And, more to the point, single again. Patrick's Scottish sojourns had proven to be somewhat more exciting than he'd led Faye to believe - as a midnight phonecall from a sobbing girl called Moira had revealed to her. In truth, it was almost a relief. Patrick, since the Pelham family weekend, had become a far less appealing prospect. What had seemed at first like engaging eccentricities had since revealed themselves to be hopeless immaturities. She was undoubtedly better off without him. James was still an angel but it was never going to go anywhere. He was just too puppyish and doting. Surely out there somewhere was someone mysterious (without being shifty), handsome (without being vain), dependable (without being dull), attentive (without being drippy). Someone who would love her as she was and as whoever she might turn into. Meanwhile, there were Christmas parties, friends, drinks, dinners, dazzling dark dresses and shimmering silver coats. How much nicer for now to be wrapped in soft, sheer silk than the arms of someone less than perfect. The other worry was the guests. In spite of the fact that Faye was fast becoming a formidable player in the world of corporate identity, Trudi's friends were still capable of making her feel like a hick. She remembered a game of 'Do you know so and so?' she had become embroiled in at one of Trudi's dinners. Faye's 'Opponents' (two

bankers) had left her feeling as though she didn¹t have a single friend in the world. If she had to sit next to either of them today there was a risk she might start twitching and jabbering and have to be carted off in a straightjacket. Arriving at the wedding was tricky at first ­ more and more people appeared to be paired off these days. Turning up unaccompanied seemed increasingly likely to mark you out as either tragic or wanton or both. But a glass of champagne and some idle chat later, Faye was feeling better up to the occasion. So when one of the bankers, with a distinct air of lecherousness, came over and asked, 'Do I know you?', she was happy to be able to reply, 'Of course you do. You know everyone,' before swivelling off on her elegant heel to talk to someone nicer

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