26 FEBRUARY 2005, Page 46

Q. May I be permitted a small addendum to your

various correspondents’ suggestions as to what to wear at fancy dress parties? I remember back in the early 1960s bumping into Vyvyan Holland, Oscar Wilde’s son, at a fancy dress party at the Café Royal. It was clear that the majority of the guests that evening had hired their elaborate costumes from the likes of Bermans. Not so Mr Holland. He was immaculately attired in regulation dinner jacket and black tie, but with a wooden lavatory seat slung round his neck. On being questioned, he replied: ‘Oh, I’ve come as Toulouse-Lautrec. This is only one loo!’ A ploy which has stood me in good stead ever since.

M. M.-E., NSW, Australia A. If dinner was being served at such a party the lavatory connection could deter the squeamish from taking a tip from Mr Holland, but thank you for sharing this historical anecdote with us.