Talks by Ann Lindsay


Ann Lindsay offers talks about three very disparate subjects, for either up to 40 minutes or 40 – 60 minutes. All are illustrated with 65 to 100 images, dependent on time required:

High fashion, Haute Couture, my experiences in 1960s London and Paris. 

What the audiences thought.

June 2014

  • You were fantastically entertaining and it was a pleasure to watch and listen. All the audience gave great feedback;
  • “an enjoyable evening”
  • “the fashions from yesteryear brought back wonderful memories”
  • “very interesting and enjoyable”
  • “very intimate and interesting”
  • “enjoyed it being a different format from usual talk/slides”
  • “I enjoyed learning about vintage
  • April 2013 "Ripping Yarns"  - to sell out audience, raising just under £3k for local Arts Venue at Birnam. 
  •  Thought your talk was wonderful - congratulations! What a huge amount of research you must have done  - absolutely fascinating! 
  • Your presentation was delivered with great aplomb (love that word !)  loved all the stories and the beautiful outfits .
  • Splendid evening. Your talk was fantastic, so interesting. 
  • Fantastic night Ann, well done.
  • Congratulations on a fabulously fascinating fashion evening. All my pals loved it and thought it was excellent value,
  •  Hugely entertaining talk; a magnificent taste of the glory days of couture. 
  • Oh I am SOOO pleased! Nearly £3000 is masses, surely?? For one evenings fund raising? Alone! Jo Prosser, V&A.


  • Very impressed with your very informal but authoritative tone - understood every word...and the slides were wonderful.

The Scottish Plant Collectors, who travelled the world in search of new plants over two centuries.
Hidden Scotland, exploring the secret and little known corners of Scottish life and country.

seedsbloodbeautybigThe Scottish Plant Collectors, who travelled the world in search of new plants over two centuries.

Click here to view a pdf of images

anntree1. Simple straightforward talk based on my book– a personal account of the author's explorations to produce this book. Why did so many Scotsmen discover so many plants from far flung countries? A cross between a detective tale and a horticultural and travel feast. Tales of derring do, almost unimaginable feats of endurance, stomach churning dangers and little personal reward.

2. Aimed more at gardeners – a horticultural feast of garden plants, now familiar, which came from far off places. How did they arrive? Who found them and how? Where did they come from and see just how widespread and hybridized they have now become. A surprising number of plants which are commonplace in our gardens today were brought back here by Scots whose efforts were often hardly rewarded at the time.

hiddenscotlandbigHidden and Lost Scotland

Click here to see a selection of images from the talk

anneelhouseTalk which can be slanted to emphasise requested areas of Scotland, or simply covers Scotland in its entirety. Quirky, surprising and certain to offer unknown facts!

A journey round the hidden or vanished places, buildings, packed with information on curious places, bizarre happenings and perplexing happenings and oddities. Did you know that trains used to travel under sail across the Angus countryside, and Scotland produced a Queen of Morocco, saw the death of Queen Guinevere, and elected a Queen of the island of Handa?

How many giant figures were carved into hill sides? Where a bride's height was measured after the service? Human blood letting alters? Where WW11 Nazi submariners crept ashore to grab a sheep for sustenance? Heather priests secretly roamed the moors of the West Coast? Tide Mills which ground up cereals.

Across Scotland, many industries have flourished and then disappeared, including vast amounts of linen weaving amid acres of bleach fields, mills for grinding bones, mills for extracting starch from potatoes, mills for producing spindles from birch for the Indian jute trade and tide mills. Illicit whisky distilling was rife.

boatAll of these were fed by a network of mountain passes, drove roads, military roads and bridges, ferries and a busy network of railways criss crossing the county. Of most of these there is little or no trace.
Gone completely are many huge mansion houses, pleasure steamers on lochs, most market crosses, wartime aerodromes, prisoner of war camps, outdoor curling ponds and animals such as elk, bears, beavers, wolves and boars which roamed at will. But also fascinating are the many clues left about Scotland's past. If you know where to look. Ann Lindsay does.

coutureMy Year or so in the Heart of Haute Couture.

Click here to see images which accompany the talk (PDF)

hautecoutureArriving in Paris as a naïve 18 year old from the rural hinterlands of North Eastern Scotland, Ann Lindsay attended the school of Haute Couture, struggled with constructing clothes from flimsy muslin 'toiles', attended couture shows, watching in awe the models parade clothes from the great Haute Couture houses of the 1960s, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Balenciaga, Pierre Cardin, Coureges, Pierre Balmain and those of a recent graduate of the school which she was attending, Yves St Laurent.

The endless brisk reminders that Ann Lindsay's creations were less than the approved 'elegante', the concentration to learn in French the history of costume taught at top speed, acquiring the knowledge of the 26 essential lines to use as a base for fitting clothes on a body, and the sheer wonderment of living in the centre of Paris.

hardyamies1960Leaving Paris, she struggled onto the cross Channel ferry with her sturdy mannequin and settled down to a nine to five job as an assistant vendeuse (sales woman) in the Haute Couture department of Hardy Amies in Saville Row. She was required to rush up and down stairs and across town to match up silk coat linings, buttons and sequined embroidery, discovered that the main pre occupation of the staff was studying the form in the Racing Times, and arguing about which customer should be allowed to order a specific outfit. Not matter what suited which client, the decision was simple, the senior vendeuse always won.  Watching the preparation which went into creating clothes for Her Majesty the Queen, she helped the models change outfit at double quick speed, as well as the wealthy, well known clients to climb in and out of their clothes.

annjournalismAnn Lindsay did not go onto a career in fashion design, but was side tracked into journalism. Her keen observations make this a personal, amusing and historic insight in to a world few have every glimpsed.
She illustrates with contemporary images many of the Haute Couturiers who were famous in the immediate post war years, explains the intricacies of constructing such clothes, and offers many a secret!