The first thing you notice about Winona when she opens the front door is just how very small she is — almost like a real fairy, with dark, velvety brown eyes and her hair which offsets her porcelain skin. (She says she never goes in the sun.) Her real hair colour is blonde, but she dyes it because she feels it suits her skin tone better — and she’s right. Her skin reminds you of a very young Elizabeth Taylor. as Winona shows us round her cottage, she frantically apologises for everything. She and Johnny have only just moved, and it’s obvious she’s a terribly homy and domesticated creature. Tripping upstairs in her fluffy slippers, she shows me her tiny bedroom with a wrought-iron bed smothered in floral decorations and a linen and lace bedspread. She opens her jewellery box and shows me one of her prized possessions, a debutante’s pearl and diamond watch dress watch, which was given for her eighteenth birthday. On the telephone Winona has told me that she loves Chanel and Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, and owns lots of Manolo Blahnik and Chanel shoes, so I’m intrigued to see what she has in her closet. But when she opens it, I see rails of black — black bodies, lace, dresses on wire hangers and hundreds of Chanel and Manolo Blahnik shoes that all look the same — sensible black courts and pumps. I’m amazed that someone so young — she’s twenty — and so successful, can be so conservative. Suddenly Johnny comes bounding in like a wild puppy, in cut-off T-shirt, bovver boots, and ripped jeans, looking like a British pop singer. They hug and kiss. His taste and looks seem in complete contradiction to Winona’s. He likes clothes that have a Dickensian, dandified feel — ruffled shirts, frock coats, morning suits. Everything about this couple seems very English: debutante girl meets eccentric Bohemian boy. Their home, their clothes and the way they are together are very romantic: there is a feeling that they are living in the wrong era in the wrong country.
Victo Ngai - Notice what you care about.