I think I’ve finally solved the age vs style conundrum. As someone who’s always looked young for her age I’ve got to a point where every time I find myself reaching for the ‘I *Heart* Me’ bags in Urban Outfitters, my inner ‘mutton’ radar goes into overdrive and an invisible hand slaps those bags clean away. Sadly, it seems there comes a time when you can’t wear that stuff any more. Or can you? Well after years (yes I really am that old) of agonising I think I’ve cracked the code and it’s as simple as Mixing It Up.
As long as I keep buying the classic-lady Burberry trenchcoats, Anya Hindmarch Jackie O jackets and straight-skinny jeans I can just about get away with the Mickey Mouse tees and Hello Kitty keyrings. The essential part is how you mix it. I say 2 x smart lady items (eg Anya Hindmarch jacket, Chanel bag) + 1 classic casual item (white Converse) + 1 quirky piece (smily face watch) = age-appropriate but not personality-free.
This I think I can keep up til I’m about 60, obviously increasing the ratio of classy-chic to teen-trash as I go. Once I hit 60 I can wear whatever the hell I want as everyone will think I’m crazy by then anyway. Now if I could just find somewhere selling the Burberry coats at H & M prices I’d be a very happy shopper indeed.
I *Heart* Me bag: www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk
Chanel bag: www.purseblog.com
My Ibiza week-in-the-sun is fast approaching but I’m not panicking about packing just yet (even though Easyjet only has a measly 22kg baggage allowance. I mean what is that -22 bags of sugar? How many T-shirts and bikinis does that equal?). No, my dilemma is what reading material to take. I’m a self-confessed mag hag. Tuesday to me is Grazia-day, I literally leap out of bed – yes I really am that sad. The first week of the month is my highlight – I make a beeline for Elle (especially the portable mini mag size), Easy Living (for all those How To Relax, How To Manage Your Money, How To Zhuzh Up Your Live-Work Space articles) and Red (gorgeous ‘lifestyle’ fashion shoots featuring dogs, quirky props and hoards of cute little private-school kids). The following week I get UK Vogue, Elle Deco and UK Harpers Bazaar. Next it’s US Harpers Bazaar, US Vogue and Allure. Teen Vogue is a nice surprise which I buy whenever I see it on the news-stand – it doesn’t seem to come out at any set time. Then there’s the last week where I read the dregs of all the aforementioned mags I couldn’t get excited about before (namely celeb interviews and travel pages. And beauty articles about spas – does anyone actually go to spas apart from beauty editors?) So magazines are what I read at home which is why I have a backlog of books to catch up on.
The new Miranda July book of short stories is out now so that would be a good one for the plane (plus OK and Heat. I need some magazines and I only buy crappy ones if I’m travelling). Then I read a recommendation for Grace Mirabella’s autobiography on Cathy Horyn’s blog (http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/) so I need to get that (if it’s half as good as Anna Wintour’s biography, Front Row then I’m totally sold). And Toby Young’s book The Sound Of No Hands Clapping I’ve been meaning to read forever. Finally, the Gossip Girl books. I never read these at the time and I’m certainly way too old now but hell, the TV series is coming out and I want to be ahead of the game. So…how much of the 22kg does that leave for my T-shirts and bikinis?
What’s the deal with see-through plastic handbags? Lagerfeld did them at Chanel, so did Oscar de la Renta, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana. And they’re a firm favourite with magazines – “I know, let’s do a shoot with a see-through bag and all the bits and pieces inside it – it’ll look so great on the page!” The deal seems to be they’re aimed at the ultimate exhibitionist. What’s the upside of see-through bags? You can see all your stuff. What’s the downside? Er, you can see all your (messy, ugly, so-not-this-season) stuff. Doh! Even if you’re a rich label-whore whose bag-clutter is a roll-call of premium brands – Smythson notebook, Chloe organizer, Vertu phone, Luella sunglasses, yada, yada, yada, surely you’d rather keep your stuff low key and under wraps? Or maybe there’s something ironically chic about saying “I’m carrying expensive shit! Mug me!”
I don’t like to gloat and I don’t like to line Luella’s pockets (I dunno why, she just annoys me) but…look what I bought! Functional yet quirky but not very practical because I know it’s going to get grubby within say 10 uses. But it’s nicely made and has lots of inside pockets to organise my stuff. See, I really am a geek! (Note, I didn’t get the charms, they cost extra…)
I’m seeing lots of these ‘sockette’ thingys around all of a sudden. Skimpy and lacy mini socks that peep out from under a court shoe, they’re a micro trend in the making. Find them at www.tabio.com/uk (pic 1) and check out the Eley Kishimoto ones at www.sockspopuli.com (pic 2).
The treadmill of autumn/winter press days is reaching its zenith which means only a few straggling shoe press days are left. So far the consensus is:
EXTREME SHOES CONTINUETH. While they’re not to my taste it’s good to have something so totally out there going on in high street footwear so rocking-horse wedges, chunky perspex heels and jumbo cone-heel ankle boots are still on the agenda going forward. (See top pic of Georgina Goodman for Evans. Hot huh?)
BALLET PUMPS. Who knew they would stick around for so long? The updated ballet pump has a more substantial sole and a high-shine patent finish at Carvela, an ankle strap at Shellys and a smattering of bronze sequins on satin at Barratts (pic 2, yup, Barratts has had an extreme makeover – watch out New Look).
WINKLE PICKERS. It’s easy to forget that back in the day (1984 to be precise) Shellys was THE destination for indie-girls seeking brothel creepers or winkle picker boots to go with their fake Boy bondage trousers from Kensingon Market. This autumn, dangerously pointy lace-ups are back in blue or black sparkles for boys while girls can get their indie fix from Bertie’s metallic lace up winkle pickers (pic 3) or Minna Parikka’s pink rockabilly crepe soled lace ups at Tatty Devine (pic 4).
RUBBER-SOLED boots and shoes. Started by Marc Jacobs last autumn, this has filtered down to Vagabond, TopShop and Camper (pic 5). Camper was never really my thing but the new collection is pretty damn hot tamale.
SOCK BOOTS. Umm, ankle boots with a foldover sock/legwarmer effect at the top. A bit pointless but kind of cute. At Shellys and Bertie.
Seen the new Kate Moss pics in W? Like em? They’re by a photographer called Ryan Mcginley and he’s a photo genius. Check out the beauty of these pics from his website
I have a love-hate relationship with US Harpers Bazaar. I love the written features but as I mentioned on someone else’s blog, the shoots in Harpers Bazaar have gone way downhill of late. But the May Issue if you skip the ropy Gwen Stafani editorial (Er, WHAT is going on with that hair?) and the Giselle/Barbie shoot (more dire coif-styling), there is a pretty OK shoot of Irina Lazareanu styled by Melanie Ward. Good hair, cool clothes and lovely photography by Camilla Akrans.
Skip a few pages and you have a feast for the eyes in the form of Milla Jovovich – all lips and teeth and casual luxe clothes. The best bit is at the back of the book (why do Americans call it a book? It’s a magazine!). A Fashionable Life with Jacqui Getty. Who knew the Gettys and Coppolas were related? This Jacqui is sister-in-law of Sofia and mother of Gia and the pictures shot by Lisa Eisner show that 20-year old Gia is a definite style muse in the making.
I’m a sucker for How To Pack articles and especially ones with tips from fashion insiders – it’s like the supersize version of what’s in your handbag. Bazaar’s one has Elle McPherson (who swears by Ziploc bags), Eva Chow (who always pack one tuxedo ‘for an occasion that might come up unexpectedly’) and Kelly Killoren Bensimon (always packs make-up in Le Sportsac and Prada nylon pouches). Hmm, doesn’t anyone use Muji anymore?
Accessories special – boring still lifes of sunglasses and flat sandals.
Ashlee Simpson’s grown up look – zzzzzz.
Buy Keep Store –as usual, contradicts the rest of the editorial. I just don’t see the point of these pages, especially when there’s even more What’s In What’s Out on the back page. Like, who cares! There are yet more ins and outs with celeb stylists extolling their choices for the season. Katie Grand: In- headbands with a photo of those eyesore Liberty floral hairbands from LV – ugh, gross-er-ama. Elizabeth Stuart from NY Times: In – Trouser-jeans “I love wide leg jeans from J Brand.” I love the word trouser-jeans! Kate Young, Derek Lam’s stylist: In – flat bags. They do look lovely but hmm, I don’t think so…yet.
Hot fashion news: Yet more gushing about girl-of-the-moment, model Agyness Deyn in her punk/granny-chic hybrid duds.
Personal style – Vera Wang: Ooh more eye candy for nosy people. She’s not normally on my radar but reading this and seeing her sick super-organised wardrobe I want her style…and her handbag collection.
I know, I know, I’m as over high-street-slash-celebrity-slash-designer collaborations as you are but this one’s a goody. Celia Birtwell for TopShop’ s autumn offering consists of a delectable selection of oh-so-romantic floral maxi dresses which are scheduled to land at the end of July. There are 250 of each style and they will be available at Top Shop Oxford Circus and online only.
Let the stampede commence!
I must truly be in tune with the zeitgeist as I have been thinking about desert boots recently. I don’t know where the thought came from but I’ve been feeling it’s time for a desert boot revival and now would be the time to bring them back as they only really work with a cigarette leg a la Paul Weller circa The Jam.
And what did I see at the Shoe Studio press day? Not only desert boots but Pied a Terre metallic ones in smooth-n-shiny silver and gold (plus black patent for the less adventurous). Tres Helmut lang, no?…but sadly not available til August.