No, this is not a luxury boutique hotel. This is where I went to school.
It is an extraordinary, wonderful, confusing and confused place. It was founded in 1850 by suffragettes. If it looks scary from where you're sitting, try to imagine an ordinary kid leaving a grubby London suburb to go there every day. I'm not joking when I tell you that everyone raised in this hothouse leaves with the finest education and some kind of anxiety complex. We love it deeply from a distance and return to it in abject terror.
With this in mind, I wasn't 100% happy with the emergency fall-back look I wore to last weekend's reunion of the Class of 1986, but then I was never going to be. That said, I was comfortable in the heat and at least my hair behaved itself in all the pictures. The best bag of the day was not my 80's mix tape purse, but a canvas tote sported by one of my classmates, printed with the slogan EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE. Enough said.
The event was amazing. To paraphrase one of my buddies from the sixth form, connecting with long-lost friends is like rediscovering a piece of yourself you didn't know was missing. At the end of the day, I had the privilege of leading a memorial toast to my oldest, dearest friend, who passed away two summers ago. It was a moving and cathartic moment for all of us.
After that, the tattoo reveal was a bit of a non-event. Following your wise advice, I wore short sleeves and acted normal until my brother outed me over drinks in the garden. He was the first to mention it and went on to describe his own plans to go under the needle. Bless him.
Anyway. Next time you see this famous alumnus and the most powerful woman in fashion, remember that she comes from a place that has probably left her with a deep seated sense of inferiority and is constantly worried that the whole world thinks she's faking it. You heard it here.
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