Details for 'Behind the seams' by Esme Young

Behind the seams

by Esme Young
A fascinating story of a life well lived by the judge of tv's 'The Great British Sewing Bee'.
Behind the seams
by Esme Young
My review:

Although I enjoy watching tv's 'The Great British Sewing Bee', I've never been interested in reading about the lives of the judges or contestants who appear on it. A friend lent me this book, surprising me by her insistence that I read it.

It certainly was intriguing - written in a very strange style, it revealed quite an exciting life.

As a judge on the BBC's sewing programme, Esme Young has hinted at her earlier life with cryptic comments and her bright, bold accessories and clothing. She was a costume designer for film and a lecturer at Central Saint Martins when she was spotted by the tv producers and asked to try for the programme.

In this book, Esme takes us back to her early childhood where all but one of the five children were given a private education. She wasn't suited to an academic life, preferring drawing to writing, but she was endued with a large amount of self-belief and determination. 

She moved to London as a teenager where she joined a squat, making friends who have stayed with her for a lifetime. She rubbed shoulders with stars of music and stage, including David Bowie and Cher, and created often outrageous outfits in a fashion business called Swanky Modes.

It's a fascinating story of a life well lived, written in a rather naive style which reads at times as if she's spoken her story and these pages are transcripts of her musings. I rather enjoyed it!

Date of my review August 2023
Book publication date: 2nd March 2023