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MOVERS & SHAKERS

The snakes and ladders of society A chronicle of drama, scandal and success in London, Paris, New York and elsewhere

Laura Cathcart: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks milliner Laura Cathcart: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

 

The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? 

“No woman is a success to herself”. I’ve paraphrased this from Graham Greene but I think the thought applies to both men and women. I like originality, and pushing my own creative boundaries, which is why I chose making wacky and quirky hats for myself and my friends rather than working in a Mayfair decorating firm

 

“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

Euripides: “Where there is no wine, there is no love”. I read this on the cover of a wine list in London the other day and it made me smile.

 

Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?

Taylor Swift.

 

Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

Having grown up in Norfolk, the fresh air of the seaside.

 

What might you swap all your wealth for?

I am just a milliner. I have calluses on my fingers from stitching. My idea of heaven would be an electric blanket for the night in a four poster bedroom at Castle Howard.

 

Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

I’m the sort of person who is appalled if a girlfriend of mine racks up a £1,000 overdraft buying shoes, so my view on a whole banking and consumer system being fuelled by debt makes me despair. In my grandfather’s day, a generation was lost to the War. Today’s ‘Lost Generation’ are those – including too many of my contemporaries and soi disant friends – that chose to go into banking or the City in search of happiness. Any global financial system based on keeping the score through casino banking – with how many chips you have on the table defining success or self-worth – was always going to end up bust.

 

What phrase or word do you most loathe?

The word “inappropriate”. In my view, something is either good or bad. One can be ‘indifferent’ by saying nothing. But the word “inappropriate” is meaningless. We are in danger of losing our critical minds through politically correct fear.

 

In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

Anything to do with dogs.

 

The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

If I’m sat next to someone at a dinner party and they chose to use their phone the whole way through, I’m most defiantly going to pull them up on it.

 

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

I’d like a mix of real and fictional: Nabokov, John Nash, Cecil Beaton; Coco Chanel, Humphrey Bogart, Claus von Bülow, Audrey Hepburn, Rex Mottram and Valentino Garavani (and all the pugs). Politicians and business tycoons don’t interest me much.

 

Lady Laura Cathcart
Lady Laura Cathcart

 

If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Foie gras with Sauternes.

 

What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

Lunch-time.

 

A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

A cup of tea. Preferably brought to me in bed

 

Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

The dinner parties in the kitchen at home in which a friend and I try out some of our favourite dishes for the first time on our friends. I’m not a very ‘public’ person and always prefer private homes to glitzy social events with photographers.

 

Who is the most positive person you know?

My designer Stefano Arato. He is the most enthusiastic and detail obsessive person I know. He is obsessive about everything – especially beauty.

 

What’s your most guilty pleasure?

A bag of sweets in the car.

 

If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

I’m not sure a tattoo is very me but in a fantasy world I would have wings like Pegasus that would come alive so I could fly away

 

If you were a car, what marque would you be?

I’ve just bought a new car, which is a Golf Sport, and people have been saying it is “very me” – so there you have it.

 

Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

I’m into psychological books.

 

What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

I don’t have one. The closest I have is the desk in my studio. I have a silver pen engraved with my initials, which I like because I like to write in ink (blue ink). I have some costume jewellery samples. I have a red leather diary from Smythson that a girlfriend gave me. I have some dried thistles, which I have kept since I like their harsh, bleak beauty.

 

Visit Laura Cathcart’s website at: http://www.lauracathcart.com

 

Follow Laura Cathcart on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/CathcartLaura

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