Pink Pyjamas With Purple Stripes

The moment we meet Reggie, he slips into something more comfortable. Explaining to his guests that he has a horror of being dressed after closing time, he changes into pink pyjamas with purple stripes and puts powder on his face. He laughs his ‘slightly hysterical’ laugh that shows all his teeth.

Reggie de Veulle’s entrance in Marcel Boulestin’s pseudonymous novel Les Fréquentations de Maurice (lightly disguised in the 1912 edition as ‘Reggie Lindsay’) adds a hint of colour to a subsequent scene, which scandalised court and public alike when it was described in 1919. A hearing that ensued from the death of Reggie’s friend Billie Carleton heard how she, he and several others spent all night smoking opium  in Reggie’s Mayfair flat: the men in the ‘circle of degenerates’ were said to have changed into pyjamas, and the women into chiffon nightdresses. We may be confident that Reggie’s attire outshone the rest.

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