Fashion’s tipping point

I’m always intrigued at what point an I’m never wearing that’ trend becomes mainstream. There seems to be four stages. The first is the catwalk stage when someone super-influential such as Miuccia Prada (the ‘off’ colour combinations and icky long grey socks), Calvin Klein (the frumpy knee-length skirts with flats in the mid nineties) or Marc Jacobs (those sick patchwork LV bags that cost about ten grand) rocks a look that on first sight seems so wrong you are just convinced it will never see the light of day. The next stage is when the high-end magazines, stylists and style setters give the trend the nod. In this day and age the next stage is the most crucial when the celebrity set latch on to the look whether or not with the help of their stylist. A celeb wearing a tricky trend in its early days marks them out as brave and garners them column inches, even if it’s a negative reaction. From this stage it’s a hop and a skip til the high street takes on the look, especially now that people are more style savvy and actively want to push the fashion envelope. The high-waisted look championed by Chloe and Kate Moss was a case in point. For someone who does not want to attract attention to her bum or tummy there was no way I was going to embrace high waisted. Or so I thought. A few months into the trend I spied an A-line denim button-through skirt in H&M, a nice seventies mid-blue, very Chloe with braided belt loops and the now-ubiquitous high waist. Hmm, I thought, that could look nice with my oxblood stack heeled Frye boots if I hold my tummy in. I tried on the 8. A bit too snug on the hips and being a shortie, my top was too long killing the proportion. But I couldn’t give it up. I took it home for a try with said boots. Still Not Quite There. I bought a 10. Another try-on at home. A few different tops were summoned. Dammit, I would make this work! But no, a high waisted skirt on a short-arse makes one look dumpy, frumpy and schlumpy! So I admitted defeat and took them both back. However big a trend there’s just no point forcing it if it’s not working for you. But good on those brave few who did the experimenting for the rest of us in the first place. If it wasn’t for them we would never try anything new and would be forever stuck in a style rut.

Wrangler revival

This evening I went to another shop opening, the new Wrangler store was unveiled in Carnaby Street. Is there even room for another jeans shop? Hell yes maam. Wrangler have been trying to reinvent themselves for a while and this time look set to succeed. It was nice to see some interesting looking characters out. This guy might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’m loving those silk scarves!

The American Invasion

Today was the longawaited opening of the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Savile Row. I recall a few months ago plenty of speculation as to whether it was a wise move to open an Abercrombie in the current retail climate. Well, clearly these guys have nothing to worry about. The shop does not even have a sign but it was packed to the rafters. In a colossal building with room upon room of rainbow coloured logo tees and sweats throbbing loud music created just the right amount of chaotic buzzing energy. The staff look like they stepped out of the sexy-but-wholesome photographs on the wall and they’ve all been briefed to do the “Hey, how are you?” thing you get in New York. Although prices are equal in pounds to dollars it seems they had no trouble amassing sales. The question is, will the UK chavs adopt it as their own?

Don’t believe the hype

The Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m Not A Plastic Bag’ bag went on sale today at the Anya Hindmarch stores. As usual, there has been masses of hype, the website crashed and ran a puff piece on it to create even more of a frenzy. Although the bags look lovely and certainly worth more than £5, and are for a good cause (although that would be the last of my reasons for buying it) I am still in two minds whether to get caught up in the hype. On the one hand I really like the style of the bag and it looks like a collectable. On the other hand, it’s canvas and will get dirty so will not be in a collectable state for long. Is it the hype that is making it so desirable? I don’t need any more bags. I get bored easily. If I go out of my way to get a bag now, will I still be using it in three months time? I think I will wait until April when they are in Sainsbury’s. If I’m not sick of the sight of them by then and manage to get one then that will be the deciding factor.