Ready to Wear: A small yellow creature took off from the surface of an as-yet unworn scarf
Monday 14 September 2009
This week I will mostly be eating humble pie. About two years ago now, British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman felt compelled to write a feature in her magazine about moths. How banal, I thought to myself. And this in one of the world's most aspirational and inspirational publications.
Then, last Sunday morning, I opened a drawer and a small yellow winged creature took off from the soft, fluffy surface of a new and as-yet unworn oversized Rick Owens scarf and into my face and instantly I knew how she must have felt. Upon closer investigation, the vile insects had munched their way through one sleeve of a precious Lanvin cardigan, had bitten a hole in the back of a Dries Van Noten dress and had munched away at the ribbed wool inner sleeve of a leather jacket (Rick Owens again, for anyone interested – moths enjoy his designs, clearly).
Tantrums and tiaras ensued as I pulled everything out of the closet and marched all wool and silk – moths are attracted to natural fibre, apparently – to the drycleaner. The bill so far tops the £200 mark for that. Then there was the £20 cost of perfumed lavender and cedar sachets I have been told to "scatter among my sweaters".
"They won't kill the eggs though," said the lady at the counter. "Only dry-cleaning does that." Well, she would say that, wouldn't she? "You can put your things in the freezer too. That'll do it. But it has to be for months." Yes, and the freezer has to be the size of a wardrobe, which it's not.
"You need to get a machine that exudes male moth pheromones," said a helpful colleague, "then the female moth dives into it and drowns," which is nice.
"Check all pockets and seams for larvae," said another, "and make sure you're wearing your glasses" all of which brought to mind a particularly nasty scene in an early David Cronenberg movie. Shivers, anyone?
Anyway, since that time I've been washing my drawers (cupboard drawers, thank you) and doors with soapy water and spraying more cedar (pure fragrance this time – sachets are for lightweights) here, there and everywhere to the point where my world has become a quite suffocating place to be.
Will it be enough to stop the hideous parasites from wreaking merry havoc with my belongings given that they seem to be even more attracted to them even than I am?
The worst news of all came from a certain editor who cheerfully announced: "Once they've run out of wool, they start eating cotton; I once found a half eaten T-shirt which was weird."
And what's to be done? "Nothing really. The only solution is to throw everything out start again."
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