. . . on style icons
A friend admired my clothes horse the other day. I was so proud. She’d been eyeing it up all afternoon, initially embarrassed to make enquiries about such a totem of domestic mundanity. She held off as long as she could but eventually the allure of this multi-tiered blue and white plastic architectural triumph proved too much and she cracked. “I have to say something. I just love your clothes horse,” she gushed. “Where did you get it?”
People rarely gush about clothes horses, I find. Even ones with 40 metres worth of drying space that are skilfully designed to facilitate the drying of jumpers and which, in addition – as if all that were not enough – fold completely flat for easy storage. (Yes, I did have to consult the “manual” there. I don’t actually know this stuff off by heart.) Thinking about it, people probably don’t get the opportunity to gush because most normal people put their clothes horses away when they have visitors. Never mind dirty linen, for perfectly valid reasons people don’t want their clean, inexorably drying linen in full view when their friends pop round for a cup of tea.
I didn’t think I’d left it out on purpose but analysing it afterwards I suspected that I subconsciously left it on display because it’s the Rolls-Royce of clothes horses. You see, I don’t own the Rolls-Royce of anything much. I once, what seems a lifetime ago, spent months searching for candy-coloured stripy carpet – surprisingly difficult to secure – and eventually sourced it in London. All this gadding about London in search of the Rolls-Royce of striped floor textiles was carried out before I had children obviously. In the intervening years the aforementioned children have wrecked the place and the carpet is threadbare, a mere shadow of the playful, contemporary yet still functional interior vision I once had.
But ah, my perfectly constructed clothes horse makes me feel like a proper discerning grown-up who knows her stuff when it comes to homewares, which gives the mistaken impression I might also have a handle on other mysteries of life. And all this for only €40.
I still wasn’t expecting clothes-horse-related enquiries. I mean it’s perfectly acceptable to ask where somebody got their shoes or even their bathroom tiles but a clothes horse is not generally something people get excited about.
The first time I saw the original clothes horse that inspired the purchase of my own one, I gushed in almost the exact same fashion as my friend. And then when I was told where I could get one I legged it online and reserved one the way some people put their names down for designer handbags.