• ZJ


You know when you go on holiday and see folk wearing panama hats, white kaftans and garish beaded jewellery and you convince yourself you can wear it all up Sauchiehall Street next Saturday so you buy hunners only to open your suitcase upon returning and folk think you’ve smuggled a looky looky through Easy Jet?

Well this year I went to Malaysia. And I admit that given my mixed race status (half Asian and part magpie) when I see shiny stuff and it’s like throwing water over Gizmo.

Perth Racecourse Media Day

I went for a run in Kuala Lumpur near the Petronas Towers and may have ended up having a detour through Suria KLCC shopping mall. On the ground floor there was a huge celebration for Chinese New Year and small boutique stalls were dotted along the back wall. One of them sold occasion wear for the Malaysian Muslim market. All very modestly designed at the neckline and sleeve. The long style was not dissimilar to Pakistani clothing (shalwar kameez) but without the addition of trousers underneath. I fell in love with two dresses both costing about 260 Malaysian Ringgit (£50 each). It was an expensive run. As I left the Mall, not thinking about the security guards reaction to a sweaty Glaswegian racing with merch through the shops, I was sure I would wear them loads at home.

Fast-forward four months and not a sniff of them.

And then we were nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Best Daytime and I decided to be brave and give one of them an airing. It was made from clean white silk, it floats beautifully, falling like a ruched cape at the sides with gems and detail punctuating the neckline. I decided to play it down a little with a black leather jacket from All Saints.

When we won we piled onto the stage at the Fruitmarket to accept the award. Later I was in the bathroom and one rather tired and emotional individual said I looked like an angel on stage. Then she was sick.

I was invited to Perth Racecourse for an event with Frame PR and given my experience of Ladies Days thought I could probably get away with something a bit more ethnic. The second dress had a red underskirt with chiffon overlay. The detail was flawless with hand stitched lining and turquoise embroidery along the hem. I was delighted to arrive to a sea of grey tweed. This was not a ladies day event and I was the loudest dressed person ever, It was like the Great Wall of China. You could see me from space. But it was comfortable, it looked good and I felt great in it. So there.