This interview was originally published in 2012


What is your Show & Tell object?

Halley’s Comet mirrored brooch by Andrew Logan

Where did you acquire it?

I inherited it from a close friend of my mother called Dizzy Downes, who passed away in 2001.  She was a good friend of Andrew who I believe might have made it for her. 

What makes your chosen object special to you?

Dizzy was a costume designer and stylist who encouraged my creative endeavors before I had any real experience, offering me freelance work and valuable advice. She was a very inspiring lady. When she died my mum inherited Halley’s Comet and in turn passed it onto me knowing how much I would treasure it. Whenever I wear it I think of Dizzy.

Does your chosen object say anything about your sense of style, or your personality?

It’s such a decorative, eye-catching object unlike anything I’d normally wear, although I like how it cuts through my otherwise predictably monochrome uniform. I always wear it when I’m traveling abroad as I imagine it would make an excellent SOS reflector or fire-starting device should I get stranded on a desert island.

Are you coveting anything particular at the moment?

I’ve been admiring Margaret Huber’s crochet pieces, in particular her dollies. These series of dressed objects are more recent works for Margaret whose drawings, paintings and observations always make me smile and swoon. Shown below is Black Bile in a Jean Jacket.


If you were re-incarnated as an object or piece of furniture what would you be?

John Landis’ glasses circa 1978-1988.  (Preferably whilst on his face.) He’s one fantastic director and must have witnessed some pretty great things first hand, many of which he’s responsible for.  He looks like he’s enjoyed himself.


Where is your favourite place to be?

In bed.  I love my sleep.

Clutter or minimalism?

Organised clutter.  I can’t get rid of anything but do enjoy categorising it all.

Future or past?

Past and present. In terms of aesthetics I love things with a history but I get the greatest pleasure from pieces I’ve acquired from contemporaries and friends, particularly when they’re unique commissions. 
I’m not very good at embracing the future; I live vicariously through my husband’s fascination with developing technologies and inventions. He wants to buy a robot vacuum cleaner (is that the future?), but I’ll stick with Henry. 

Emily Alston