When I visited the newly relaunched brand’s London store, memories came flooding back. I’ve no idea where I first heard about them. Perhaps from one of the magazines in the school library, where I would sit by the radiator to keep warm - under the pretence of improving my language skills by flicking through copies of Elle and Brigitte. For several years I had idolised the retro ‘pin-up’ Panini sticker displayed prominently amidst sketches and magazine cuttings of Marc Bolan, David Cassidy and other ‘70s heartthobs on my custom-découpaged school folder.
True love arrived just prior to the end of the summer holidays, before I went up to Cambridge. We met at the Mecca ballroom in Stevenage. I was shocked to be asked to dance by anyone, let alone this vision of gorgeous auburn curls. He spat out his chewing gum and my Moorish slipper stuck firmly to the dancefloor. We giggled as I prized the shoe off. I wanted to know everything about this beautiful stranger. We laughed at the coincidence of my wearing a jumpsuit with harem pants and his being Iranian. He told me the song we were dancing to, Three Times a Lady by The Commodores, had special significance. It reminded him of his much-cherished car, the azure blue Ford Cortina he picked me up in a few days later.
Van Morrison blared out from the radio as we bombed up to Cambridge. Bright Side of the Road. The Way Young Lovers Do. He had been there as a language student and knew the city much better than I. After lunch at the Fort St. George, he took me punting on the river. On this magnificent late summer’s day, I endured the corseting effect of skin-tight black corduroy jeans purchased from Dickie Dirts in Bayswater and, despite the burning heat of the sun, made a conscious decision not to remove my itchy alpaca wool jumper. We ate cheesecake in a studenty café, walked through the college gardens by the river as the sun set, and ended up at Sweeney Todd’s having pizza - new enough in the UK to be an exotic delicacy. We sped back to Tupelo Honey. Moondance. And Crazy Love.
During the holidays he worked in a bakery, leaving his well-worn cowboy boots outside on the windowsill to air overnight. As our relationship blossomed, we gorged ourselves on cream buns in the early hours of the morning at Toddington motorway service station, the only food outlet open after midnight. He regularly drove hundreds of miles between our university cities, ferrying me back and forth in his beloved car, once during a treacherous snowstorm. We communicated by letter - his written on crisp, featherweight, powder blue airmail paper.
As often as I could, I took the Green Line bus from Cambridge to Marble Arch to visit Fiorucci in Bond Street. On one occasion, Elio Fiorucci himself sat watching with smiling, inquisitive eyes; quietly observing customers, perhaps to recycle their street style into future designs. My enthusiasm for the brand rubbed off on my beau. We wore matching pairs of high-waisted jeans, and sweatshirts in Cortina blue.
I still treasure my collection of Fiorucci memorabilia - including Panini stickers, and the Minnie Mouse sweatshirt I am wearing with a red and white striped ra-ra skirt in the photograph above.
See the Colours of Love Collection at ShopCurious. Will You?