Not long after the Birkin affair there was an odd situation between Katy and a guy called Fraser. I didn’t think much of it at the time.
Basically Katy was seen swanning around in new clothes, with her Birkin, and making arrangements to move into a nicer apartment. “Did your dad show up?” I asked, assuming her new moneyed status had something to do with him.
She looked puzzled, and slightly hurt. You can’t directly ask someone, “how come you suddenly have more money than before?” so I just said, “I really like your new bag,”
“Oh, Fraser bought it for his mum, but they fell out so he gave it to me,” she said. All very plausible so far. Later when Kathleen came round, I asked what was going on between Katy and Fraser. I need to explain here that Kathleen and Fraser know each other quite well, because they work together at one of the big banks. I can’t say which one.
“Oh, Katy’s doing some work on Fraser’s real estate portfolio, you know, interior design stuff, he needs to renovate a couple of apartments.” Kathleen said this as if it were the most natural thing on Earth.
“That’s fucking crazy,” I said, “Katy’s not a decorator.” She had almost failed her set-design module at film school after a botched job involving a staple gun and some old Laura Ashley curtains.
A couple of days later Kathleen called me. “You’ll never guess what. I just got back from Fraser’s.”
“So what?” I asked. I didn’t ask why she was at Fraser’s in the first place.
“The apartment’s been repainted, it looks like something out of fucking Cribs,” she said.
“That’ll be Katy’s work,” I said.
I saw some pictures of the place. It wasn’t as bad as Kathleen had suggested. But it definitely wasn’t a professional job. One wall was mustard yellow. She had picked out a shabby chic dresser, a velvet corner sofa, and some Liberty print scatter cushions. It was kind of funky, in a very young, girly way, but missing the mark for a waspy male Manhattan financier. My theory at the time was that Fraser had fallen for Katy big time, and Katy had him under the thumb.