Friday, 30 April 2010

Slacks in the City

Slacks or khakis as they’re known..have for me been long associated with various toffs trotting along the Kings Road with their collars up or with rugby boys playing the ‘Iron Stomach’ (don’t ask) in my old university Union. They provided that wonderful middle ground on the minefield of ‘smart casual’. Boys tend to go slightly pale around gills when they hear that particular dress code and with good jeans can look a bit media-type, cords anytime other the Autumn/Winter are going to cook you alive and linen trousers are slightly ‘Man from Del Monte’. However as our season drags its way into Summer I’m starting to think that maybe slacks/ khakis/chinos have potential... and not just for you chaps out there.

Ladies, there was that fleeting flirtation that the fash pack had that combats were cool again (puhlease) but I think the chino look maybe a winner.. From the lovely range of pastel colours in Uniqlo for both sexes to ASOS’s high waisted chinos in pale pink, mint and lavender to the classic Gap slim cut variety, they’re kind of perfect for channelling that Hamptons vibe on this side of the pond. Lighter weight than jeans and..if styled correctly can either be humorously preppy or Shoreditch chic, give them a go. Deck shoes optional.

For a quick lesson in sartorial Upper East side elegance, there's only one man for the job..

No..You're eyes are not deceiving you, he's working the traditional chino with a red tailcoat.

It takes a brave man to work lemon, purple and a pink and blue combo shirt but he's certainly working it.

Chuck felt it was time to spread the gospel of the chino to the next generation...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Getting Carried Away

Wow, hold onto your corsages, it’s almost time for SATC 2!! There is a part of me that thinks if they’re pouring all this money into making huuuge Summer blockbuster movies, couldn’t the bods at HBO just fund another series? Seriously I think the writing gets a bit lost in the all the hype not that I won’t be jumping on the elaborate pink bandwagon when the time comes of course. I have to say though..and feel free to shoot me....but I think Patricia Field may be losing her touch. While SJP can pull of pretty much anything with aplomb (errr remember the Juicy Couture towelling boob tube dress in the Heather Graham episode), the others are starting to look a little try hard. I know I haven’t seen the film yet but other than the fact that there is a whole lot of harem pant/ gold jewellery/ kaftan action going on when the hit their mystery exotic location, I got a very distinct Priscilla, Queen of the Desert vibe and ‘drag queen’ unless you actually are one, is not a good look.

In the meantime there are so many more stylish movies we can have a drool and seek some style inspiration from. Though tempted to write about A Single Man again, I already wittered enough about it for the next decade, so here a few of my most fashion fabulous films (and not a harem pant in sight).

Gone with the Wind, 1939

Vivien Leigh’s Southern-belle accent was slightly wonky, but the graceful way she wore her antebellum wardrobe was impeccable. The scene in which Mammy harnesses Scarlett’s waist down to 18in inspired generations of sadistic fashion designers but, fiddle-dee-dee, we can’t help loving those Walter Plunkett designed ballgowns. Nor could the women of 1939 — the film launched numerous GWTW-inspired collections in stores across the world and continues to cast a crinolined shadow on the catwalks. She even pulled it off when she wore a dress made out of curtains to charm Mr Rhett Butler.

Top Hat, 1935

Ginger Rogers – what a gal. Not only could she dance, but unlike many of her Hollywood peers she wore clothes beautifully. The jodhpur ensemble near the start still looks sexy today. Thank goodness our heroine stood her ground when Fred Astaire kvetched that the feathers on her grand finale frock were moulting all over his tux (moral:never take fashion advice from a man wearing more make-up than you). Fred later sent her a gold feather in acknowledgment.

The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001

Gwyneth was peerlessly preppy in the Talented Mr Ripley but here, well, here she was interesting. Margot Tenenbaum is a panda-eyed, chain-smoking child prodigy who is both spectacularly insecure and breathtakingly attired. In her ragged furs and that Lacoste tennis tress Margot is trapped, but extremely gracefully so, in a fictional version of Grey Gardens . Great soundtrack too.

Funny Face, 1957

Yes, yes, Breakfast at Tiffany’s – we know. The way she wears that little black dress. And the way she transforms even George Peppard into a must-have accessory. But as well as featuring great fashion, Funny Face is about fashion, too – Maggie Prescott is Diana Vreeland to Dick Avery’s Cecil Beaton. Hepburn, meanwhile, is perfect.

Bonnie and Clyde, 1967

Bonnie Parker’s main accessory, aside from her gun and Clyde Barrow, was a series of killer hats. Her beret and silk scarf combination is as legendary as it is simple, and the beribboned fedoras she wore on several heists gave her a sense of propriety in improper circumstances. Bonnie’s clothes flipped between neat two-piece skirt suits that were deceivingly modest and button-through slips. Whatever the crime, her blonde bob stayed unruffled. 

Grey Gardens, 1975

The 2009 HBO feature film scored a golden globe for Drew Barrymore, as the eccentric, patrician Little Edie Beale, a cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. But it was the original documentary, showing Little Edie and her equally whacky mother Big Edie in the decaying squalor of their Hamptons mansion that kicked started the Grey Gardens cult , spawning many a fashion acolyte, including the Olsen twins. Broke they may have been but those Beales were dressing eclectic when John Galliano was still in short-trousers.