Wednesday, 23 February 2011
It's LFW darling
Something else I find irritating about fashion is its ability to make people do stupid things, wear obviously ridiculous clothes and excuse such behaviour by telling dismayed onlookers that it's in fashion, as if that were some kind of excuse to lose one's self-awareness.
The other day Vivienne Westwood had the gall to criticise Kate Middleton for having no style and while I agree that the soon-to-be Queen of Great Britain-in-waiting's dress sense leaves a lot to be desired for someone her age, I take heart that atleast she doesn't look hideous half the time, which unfortunately I can't say for Ms Westwood. She's the British designer famous for bringing punk to fashion, who is hugely innovative and revels in breaking the rules, yet she herself looks absolutely hideous 90% of the time. It's one thing designing clothes for 20something year old anorexic-looking models, quite another trying to pull it off when you're 70, and très wrinkled sweetie.
At times watching fashion shows feels a little like reading 'The Emporer's new clothes' all over again where everyone seems to be pretending to be in awe of some new designer collection and the more discerning and plain speakers among us are thinking 'but its the same as last year and the year before'. Whether it's the chat shows with their 'what's new this season' or the glossy magazines, fashion pundits in every media seem to make a habit of trying to pull the wool over our eyes. This Spring 2011 trends apparently include floral prints, stripes, playsuits and bell bottoms - 'Hang on' ...I hear you shout, '...but those were last year's trends too'...and probably the year before. Yet nobody seems to bring this to the so-called designers and fashion pundits' attention that not only are we regurgitating 60s and 70s trends that our parents followed, we are also repeating them year after year and pretending they're new and fresh each time.
And then we have the style genius that is Mr Gok Wan who tries to tell every woman in the UK that they can look beautiful naked...Not! This man has a lot to answer for because thanks to him young girls walking the streets of London, Manchester, Liverpool and every other major UK city think they can D.I.Y their way to a fashionable wardrobe and the results are ofcourse disastarous. Gok's Clothes Roadshow, a series on British television advocates women sewing on things like buttons and tassles, and wearing their cardigans backwards to create a designer look for less. Yes yes I know, it sounds ridiculous and it is, picture the tired old trousers that have had sequins glued on by some incompetent teenager because Gok says so. To some extent we can excuse the young because invariably they have great bodies and few brain cells but when older 'ought to know better' people take blind fashion advice, it just makes me want to weep.
I understand the lure of fashion, it requires little effort, you can just pick an item or two and wear it in exactly the same way as you saw Kate Moss wearing it at that red carpet event, except you don't have her body and you're not on the red carpet, you're walking down the high street and finally, I think most importantly the 'knock off ' which you've bought is made of cheap polyester and has been sewn together by little nimble fingers somewhere in India, her's is made of pure silk and looks expensive because it is expensive!
I'm not suggesting that noone is able to pull off fashion trends, simply that those who do, use their heads. They are able to mix and match items, cheap and cheerful with key quality pieces and the result is often that we assume if the shoes are from Ted Baker, the dress must be too, even though it only costs 14.99 from H&M. I think smart stylish people also realise that they can't pull off any look, no matter how hot and 'on trend' it is.
For the rest of us, my advice would be leave the clogs to Alexa Chung, the hoof-style boots to Solange Knowles and please please please remember that if you do not follow the Sikh religion and you're not a man, then there's absolutely no excuse for wearing a turban.