Daydreams and Feathers

Amy has got her place at fashion college, but nothing else is going to plan. She has no money, no free time and no boyfriend. To top it all off, she is expected to look after her bereaved friend Heather. Can Amy keep a cool head when the heat is up high? Can her friendship with Heather survive? But most of all - will she get her fashion degree?

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1. The Flat

My new flat is the best flat I have ever had. The light from the sitting room window floats in at just the right angle, revealing thousands of tiny specks of dust. They dance and twirl from the floor to the ceiling. Some may think it’s disgusting but I think it's beautiful.

Because Steve and I clubbed together on this flat we managed to get one with two levels - making it not so much a 'flat' as a 'slightly bumpy'. Steve called dibs on upstairs as his pad. His love of staircases is childlike, perhaps the only element of his personality that hasn't matured years before mine.

"Earth to Amy," Steve's voice startles me out of my daydream. Without Steve I don't think I'd ever have both my feet on the ground.

Steve needs help to carry his stuff up the stairs and of course Christian isn't here. He never is when he's needed.

I put all my bags on the crap 'free with the flat' sofa and try to help Steve carry his vintage dressing table up the tiny staircase.

"Why didn't you just get the removal guys to do this, Steve?" I say.

He just looks at me for a minute and then rolls his eyes back into his head and sighs.

"I have absolutely no idea."

I let out a little laugh before remembering that I need to be concentrating on lifting this table up some steps.

Finally, we reach the top. Now we can just drag it along the floor into whatever room he wants it in.

But no.

Apparently it's too precious to get a few small scratches on the concealed bottom of the legs. So we lift it up again and begin to make our way towards the bedroom.  

I don't want to waste time sitting around. Ok, so this is my last day of freedom before I start college but it makes no difference. I want to have a head start on everyone else. At least I want to be at the same level as all the other students.

Steve is on his floor and I'm all on my own. I pull out my sketchbook. First of all I start to flick through all the pages. It's a big thick book; some of the drawings are from back when I was in school. Those ones are clumsy in my eyes, far away from the refined style I want so badly too achieve. And it's not just the drawing but the actual designs. They are bland and simply slight variants on what was the fashion at the time. One of my main aims now is to create original pieces.

I skim through the rest of the pictures, concentrating on a few which I think are particularly good, or bad. Finally I reach a new page. I grab my pencil from the desk and start to sketch. I draw a dress, a 'sweet' sort of one. Then I sketch it out again and again experimenting with different hems, designs and straps. I decide on my favourite of them all and sketch it once more, this time on a model. Then I proceed to spend half an hour delicately sketching out accessories. Some are contrasting, slightly diminishing the 'sweet' theme, others totally in keeping with it. When I'm finished I feel the proudest I've felt since I got my place at college. In fact I like it so much that I rip it out my book and blu-tac it to the wall.

I smile and sit back down on the crappy sofa and observe the room. I want to do this one up first as it is the one most people will see. I want it to show me as whom I really am. That's one thing I can only do through design.

I call Steve downstairs to help out with a brainstorm of what to do with the room.

"Daydreams and feathers, that's you Amy," he says.

"And the prize for least helpful flat mate goes to - " I drum roll " - Steve!"

He raises his eyebrows and insists that he WAS helping. In Steve-land three words mean a lot more, they have a hidden message in them. Trouble is in Amy-world near everything is taken at face value - meaning that three words mean just that. Three words.

Steve realises that I still don't get it, so says, "What I mean is you should decorate this place like daydreams and feathers. So dream catchers, hippy feathers and this sofa is definitely a keeper. It's raggedy chic at its best. Very best."

I have to say I agree with him a little. The sofa could be comfier but it is just like me - not as crappy as you might think.

I nod to show that I get him now.

"Now you need to come help me out with my place. So far I basically only own a dressing table and an armchair with about fifty holes in it." says Steve.

Who knew the fashion genius would ever want my help?

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