A couple of days ago I was talking about stylish clothing designed for women who’ve had a mastectomy. There’s Chikara and, um... that’s it.
Like I said, some of us have a lumpectomy, some a quadrantectomy, some a mastectomy. Some of us have reconstructive surgery some do not. Some of us become fatter. Some of us waste away to x-rays.
During and after cancer treatments one’s body becomes a strange new land. I experienced baldness, sickness, weight gain, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, ulcers and dry skin. One of my breasts got bigger – and then it got smaller. I still feel uncomfortable in bras.
As a consequence I lost confidence in every aspect of myself. My mental and emotional underpinnings developed large cracks. My spiritual beliefs were shaken. My self-image was devastated. Before BC I was slim, sexy, fit and full of it. I had a wardrobe stuffed with figure hugging dresses by Vivienne Westwood, Diane von Furstenberg and Yves St Laurent in which I would shimmy about on the slightest provocation. I still do. Have them, that is - but I no longer wear them. Those gorgeous garments just hang off my skinny frame like damp dishrags.
In an effort to fatten up I have started eating Spiru-Tein a ‘high protein energy supplement’ made from rice protein, pea protein and soya. Let’s hope it helps. Other women I have spoken to bemoan the extra pounds they have piled on as a result of taking Tamoxifen.
Whichever way you cut it, breast cancer catapults one into a time of sartorial turmoil. What I want now in is a pared down wardrobe of simple, flattering - but not revealing - clothes that I can wear every day and dress up or down with belts and jewellery.
If you’re dreaming along the same lines, here’s a tip: Studio Nicholson are showing a preview of their Spring/Summer 2011 collection this Thursday - and taking orders at wholesale prices!
The Studio Nicholson look is understated. Androgynous chic. Designer Nick Wakeman has put together a range of garments that are easy to wear with confidence, no matter what one’s body happens to be doing today.
Studio Nicholson Spring/Summer Preview is at Guesthouse West, 163-165 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, W11 2RS on Thursday 21st October from 5p.m. until 9p.m.