Southgate, Michael (1 of 15)  An Oral History of British Fashion

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  • Recording date

    2004-03-17, 2004-03-18, 2004-03-30

  • Recording locations

    British Library, London

  • Interviewees

    Southgate, Michael 1930- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Sandino, Linda (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: [Tape 1 Side A] Born in Ipswich. Story of father's family grocery business and its demise. Brothers older so not close. Primary and boarding school, old teachers, digging for victory; wartime memories. Anecdote about collecting mushrooms. Comments on feelings on being sent away to boarding school [Framlingham] and its benefits when on National Service [NS]. Description of fascination of the cinema as glamorous escapism. Realisation about being homosexual. Film stars admired. Anecdote about obsession with sequins. Mentions attending Ipswich and Brighton Art Schools, and the Central School after NS. Involvement with amateur dramatics because of mother who gave dancing lessons. Father: Frederick William Southgate, mother Esther Marjorie Rogers. Comments on family's straightened finances. Father became Ministry of Food inspector. Wartime outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Mother's wartime activities. Father's extra-marital liaisons and effect on marriage. Eldest brother's [Norman] death. Memory of parents' arguing. Comments on relationship with older brothers Norman and Russell; effect of Norman's death. Mother's character compared to father's; memories of grandparents. S family not close. Mother's family background, part of large family. Story about 'Aunt' Topsy; discovering that she was a cousin and not an aunt. Humorous anecdote about mother's funeral and Aunt Dolly's misunderstanding. Remarks about boorish behaviour of country people. Mother's symptoms and death; father's changed attitude when wife was dying. Story about father being reunited with former mistress, Violet and her refusal to marry him.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Michael Southgate (1930-), designer and managing director.

  • Related transcripts

    Michael Southgate interviewed by Linda Sandino: full transcript of the interview (PDF)

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