Like many of the recent emigration generation, Velda split Ireland early: "50% of the nation is under 25 so it has a huge youth population and very high unemployment. If people do stay in the country they have to fall back on other talents. They talk and express themselves a lot. I actually missed that the most when I first came to London."

After runaway kicks in Ibiza working on a chain-gang redecorating the town's Acid Ecstasy club-cum-temple 'Ku', she returned to England and the start of her sexual education. A self-immolating period she remembers scathingly as: "A treadmill of decadence!...I got sucked into this whole Notting Hill jet set thing. Real mindfucking - bored, wealthy people feeding off others with loads of travel, drugs and really kinky sex. My main kick's voyeurism, just watching, so hanging out with the idle rich was good practice."Eventually she bailed out, falling in with more subculture hipsters working the coat-check at influential 'eighties
London S/M club Maitresse. After ravenously absorbing the more extreme creative fashions blossoming through the fag-end of Goth culture, she set up her "Pagan Metal" store smack in the centre of Soho' old-time sleaze renaissance. "Fantastic" followed on naturally.

Very much the-shop-of the-club-of-the-concept, the floorspace touts some of the most wonderous sex-wear in Europe: "I got interested in the whole ritualistic exchange of power. That sophisticated sexuality was very psychologically fascinating. Then I got into the women's gay scene which was another form of expressing female strength.
So the whole lot combined to create my Warrior Woman fashions. The ideas come from a lot of those old Irish myths about warrior women training the sons of kings in their long capes and leather bras. I love the age-old concept of the dominatrix in her wig and corset and high boots and battle armour, her whip as a sword and all her military training.