Winter Collection 1999/2000

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Cyra and her husband were easily the most stylish people Faye knew. They'd just moved into a flat above one of the hippest bars in the East End and had arranged to meet there for drinks before heading upstairs to eat. So what was Faye going to wear? To make it worse, Patrick was away and some strange man had sent her flowers. Why did people have to do things like that? Why couldn't they check first to see whether or not her situation was flower-friendly. The whole thing was making her feel guilty - and she hadn't even done anything. It was so unfair. Faye sat down on the train, determined to block the whole mess from her mind. She had far more important things to worry about than fitting in with her friends' immaculate lifestyles or some pushy man's pathetic attempt at grabbing her attention. Over the weekend she had to put together a report for Monday's meeting. She tried to write a list of the things she had to remember - a task which would have been easy were it not for an image of herself in a beautiful blood-red, crushed velvet jacket forcing itself to the forefront of her thoughts and ruining her concentration.Too late now, she was nearly home. She'd have to make do with whatever she'd got in the wardrobe. Only four stops to go. Faye pictured herself in a simple black dress. That'd be sure to go down well with her severely stylish friends. Why hadn't she thought

about all this sooner? She'd seen the exact thing in that shop near her office. A second pestilential vision - this time of herself looking happy and confident in her imaginary black dress - weedled its way into Faye's consciousness. Well, this ought to teach her about putting work before pleasure. If she wasn't such a goody-goody she could have sneaked out early and given her credit card a little exercise. Despite all her efforts to the contrary, Faye had managed to spin herself into a pure panic about friends, men, clothes, flowers - and, come to think of it, didn't Patrick say he'd call at work that afternoon? He was involved in some mysterious project that meant zipping off to Scotland every three weeks. It was all very well his working on top-secret assignments, but he really ought to call when he said he would. Little things like that, when they got you on the wrong day, could sometimes lead to big consequences.