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I did it first






You know how annoying it is when a trend goes mainstream and someone says, oh yeah, I’ve been wearing that for years’? Well, guess what? I’m one of those people. So I thought I’d do a post where I get it all out of my system.

Number one, the Chanel 2.55 bag
I invested in my candy pink one years ago before the OC was even a blink in the producer’s eye. I wear mine with sweatshirts and second hand tees for a deliberate scruffy-posh effect and then what happens? That Mischa Barton comes along and steals my look right before my eyes. Grrr. Result? I look like a Mischa clone.

Number two, Converse
These have been my wardrobe staple since about 1993 (uh oh, maybe I do need a change…) so how galling is it when every emo, chav and tory party leader decides to muscle in on it as well? Thankfully the move is going towards old skool £4.99-from-Woolies plimsolls now so I can reclaim Converse as my own.

Number three, aviators
I’ve had my mirrored Cutler & Grosses for at least ten years and now, NOW, everyone’s wearing them –how DARE they! Luckily, they’re also wearing comedy oversized shades and coloured wayfarers so the aviators may be on the wane. Please let it be so.

Number four, pink jeans
I bought my fuchsia Silas jeans three years ago to wear Matthew Williamson-style with turquoise and yellow. Now every nu-rave wannabe is on my patch so mine are staying firmly underwraps until the 90s all-black revival kicks in.

Number five, Edie Sedgewick/Andy Warhol
Edie was my secret muse for years and like the snob I am I liked the fact others hadn’t heard of her. Now she’s everywhere. Stripy long sleeve tees and short hair are my thing ok, so back off people!

Er… do you think I’m being a bit childish? OK maybe I’m being a tad territorial but it does grate when you spend a lifetime nurturing your look and thinking you’ve nailed it and along comes a wave of Converse, pink jeans and stripy tops and suddenly the look that was “so you” has become mainstream and ugh…common! But hey ho, on with the show, I guess that’s the name of the fashion game, no? But before I go I just want to trademark the following three looks:

Chinos
Chinos, khakis, utility pants, whatever you want to call them I’m on a quest to find some slim-but-slouchy ones as an alternative to jeans. Can I find any, even in Gap? Hell no. But when I do I’m making sure I snap up every last pair.

Sweater-over-the-shoulders
There’s something a bit geeky about this euro-styling which is what I like about it. So I’m going to be hopping mad if I see even one under-30 Shoreditch hipster rocking this in the Hoxton hood this summer.

Judith Leiber/Kathrine Baumann minaudiere
Oh my god, I have wanted one of these for absolutely years. They are so OTT and blingy that they’re just begging to disco-fy a scruffy jeans-and-tee outfit. Is it so wrong to want a Mickey Mouse minaudiere so badly?

Pics 1: Judith Leiber
Pic 2: Judith Leiber
pic 3: Kathrine Baumann



Fabulosity






Next to Zhuzh, Fabulosity is my favourite word. I mean really, do I have to explain? One day I Googled Fabulosity and Kimora Lee Simmons’ book came up. Readers, I bought it. Call me cheesy but this is one feel-good book. But I think I really dicovered that word in Anthony Haden-Guest’s book The Last Party. In it Haden-Guest documents the goings-on of ‘nightworld’, the New York clubbing scene in the 70s and 80s. I never actually finished that book because it’s so confusing. So many clubs, this person fell out with that person, this club got busted, that guy went to jail. Whatever! Just tell me what Lauren Hutton was wearing dammit! Actually, the pictures are what really tells the story in this book. Forget Lindsay, Paris and all those wannabes, these guys really knew how to get trashed in style.

Another great book if you’re interested in the disco era is Ron Galella’s Disco Years. It’s a photo book and all I need to tell you is it has Grace Jones on the cover. Pure glamourama.

Photos: Top to bottom: Grace Jones, Diane Von Furstenberg, Bianca Jagger by Ron Galella



Bitches of style






This has been a week of gig-going with the Pet Shop Boys on Sunday, and the Teenagers and Ping Pong Bitches on Wednesday night. When I go to gigs I like to spend as much time checking out the audience as I do watching the band. At the Pet Shop Boys the audience was sadly lacking in sartorial finesse, all I clocked was a sea of jeans and tees and… rucksacks? What was in those mysterious bags, their packed lunches? Dull, dull, dull. In stark contrast,The Teenagers’ audience wore a mash-up of leopard leggings, denim cut-off hotpants, graphic Stussy tees, and baseball caps with just a light dusting of fluoro (not all in the same outfit but it could easily have been).

The great thing was the crowd had dressed up to be seen so were super-flattered to have their photos taken and completely up for striking a pose. The band, a trio of young French hotties rocked the house but as soon as they came off-stage I exited to the tube and raced to Notting Hill as fast as my Oyster card could carry me. I arrived just in time to catch electro-clashers Ping Pong Bitches at Death Disco, the weekly indie night at the Notting Hill Arts Club. The look here was more studied compared to the thrown-togetherness of The Teenagers’ crowd – trench coats with berets mixed with 80s Jesus and Mary Chain look-alikes. The Ping Pong Bitches are three girls and a guy, all (I think) the wrong side of thirty but boy do they work it. Tight-ass jeans, mirrored aviators, pink socks and sparkly ties. These bitches have their don’t-mess-with-us stance down pat and all that matters to them is their own perceived hotness. Conclusion? When the music rocks this bad, and the band looks this good, everyone grooves to the same tune.



Eureka!





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.

Pics:
I *Heart* Me bag: www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk
Chanel bag: www.purseblog.com