Monday, 28 March 2011

Scared of the Flare

What? People are wearing SLIM FIT jeans now? Are you sure?

I was never a jeans person until skinnies came around. Yes I had a mild flirtation with skater-style wide legs back in the day after watching 10 Things I Hate About You but I see no need to dwell on that period in my life.  When you're relatively munchkin size with proportionally long legs, the flare does you no favours.  If I'd been around in the 70s, I like to think that I would have ignored the flares and maxi trend and stuck with my hot-pants and mini-skirts from the previous decade but now in 2011 people, they're back!

Let me describe your new jeans, so you can prepare for the challenge. They are over-long and over-wide, and, most crucially, they feature a high waist – certainly high enough to hide a belly button, and almost high enough to be on talking terms with your bra. Your body is about to enter a whole new era, my friends, and it may not be a comfy ride.
Derek Lam SS 2011
 High-waist trousers have been gnawing away at the periphery of fashion for years. Marc Jacobs was trying to get us to wear them in 2004, paired with cropped jackets and pussy-bow blouses. We gave them a sniff, and carried on wearing our low-down jeans, at least I did.  High-waists have kept on coming at us, but they’ve never caught on.  This time around, though, there are signs that they’re gaining momentum. The wide-leg, high-rise Marrakesh jeans by MiH have been stealing space in the magazines for a good few months now; at London Fashion Week last month, the high waist was very much in evidence. Kate Moss, Gemma Arterton and Diane Kruger have been giving them a go.And now, even Gap have got in on the act and are pushing them as a big seller for Spring.
The new Gap flare
 Back in the day, when Charlie had Angels and men had perms, high-waist jeans were worn tight enough to show your ovaries, I'm just not up for that. I don't have time to wriggle around on my shag pile carpet, listening to Abba and trying to pull the zip up before spraying my Farrah flicks into place.  The problem is though, that because this new style are slightly looser, on me, they are even more unflattering.  I went and tried on the new ones from Gap. They look huge, like I’m about to wear a pair of denim curtains. Once on, my belly looks as if it’s smuggling contraband. There is nowhere to hide. You can virtually see the cheese and ham croissant I had for breakfast. It’s all rather intimate, with a strong risk of camel toe and – jackpot – my bum looks big. On the practical front, if you tuck in your shirt, as Derek Lam suggests, you will look like you’re housing ferrets. Knickers become a big conundrum too. VPL is very Seventies, isn’t it? Another rarely raised concern that mitigates against the wearing of high-waisters is the appearance of Thigh Crack – that curious crease in the fabric which develops precisely where your legs meet your torso. Nice

J Brand Martini

High-waist trousers are the kind of garment that make you constantly aware of their presence. “Look at me!” they announce as they stride into a room. “Aren’t I clever to have captured the zeitgeist? I’ll just stand here and pose awkwardly for a bit.”

There may well be a middle ground but I haven't found it quite yet.  No matter how you cut it, these trousers are a trial. My advice is to split the difference: go for a flare, but opt for a mid-rise waist. I’ve got my eye on a pair of Flaunts by Citizens of Humanity. Or perhaps J Brand’s Martini cut with its kicky flare and a waistband that sits in just the right, 2011 sort of place. Or think, life's too short and one of the joys of fashion is there are plenty of other trends to choose out there folks, just remember, beware of the flare.

This may well be the only suitable way to wear the flare but please remember to adopt this position at ALL times. 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Wedding Belles

"When I look at my jewels, I realise what a lucky girl I am " Elizabth Taylor, 1932-2011"

 At the weekend I was lucky enough to attend a wedding of some very dear family friends. Weddings always make me feel a bit gooey as well as stressed out beforehand as there are so many factors to contend with; weather, heel height and length of time on one's feet, waistband-dictated by how much you think you might pig out at the buffet/ sit down lunch etc, to hat or not to hat...The list is endless.  Also at most weddings, after seeing the bride glide in I tend to lapse into an elaborate day-dream of my own about my wedding.  If the Boy starts reading this he may go a little green about the gills but he needn't because what my dreams primarily revolve around is THE DRESS.  Here are a few of my favourites and congratulations to the lovely couple! Ladies, if you occasionally drift off into fantasy wedding land, please let me know..Please see Elizabeth Taylor update at the bottom.

Rockstar husband? Check? St Tropez wedding? Check. Iconic outfit by legendary designer? Check.
I loved the originality and fun of Galliano's gown for Gwen Stefani..recently given to the V&A.
Audrey in Funny Face...
..then the epitome of 60s chic at her second marriage.
Lastly, I know everyone makes a fuss over the beautiful Vivienne Westwood dress that Carrie wore in the SATC movie, but for me, it was all about the stunning Dior dress she wore in the fake Vogue shoot.

UPDATE - Have just read the truly sad news about Elizabeth Taylor. As someone who truly knew how to rock a wedding dress, here are a few images of her looking utterly radiant in every one.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Who'd live in a house like this?

 Regular readers will remember the post I did on closets, the dream walk in wardrobe that we all aspire a way, this is an extension from that. I must apologise for my lax posting of late, there are several reasons largely work being hectic and possibly the bigger stress..finding a house/ flat. The Boy and I thought we had found our dream one, only to get gazumped at the last minute. I'm not quite over it yet but the quest must go just takes up SO much time! It also got me thinking about some of the most stylish houses around. I love feeding my nosiness by checking out great interior design blogs like The Coveted, Into The Gloss, The Selby & Closet Visit which all offer a behind-the-scenes insight into the lives of the fashion crowd, whether the focus be on the inner workings of their wardrobes, make-up bags or apartments or simply what inspires them in day to day life. 

I suppose in a way, it is dressing up voyeurism, but this is so intrinsic to the concept of blogging that it's nothing we fashion followers haven't seen before. Indeed, in the days long before blogs existed, I always found myself drawn to features such as the Closet Confidential in Elle UK and settling down to enjoy MTV Cribs...a show I still love! Also the 'What's in your bag' feature that used to be in Harpers Bazaar and a similar feature that they used to have in Tatler which was a double page spread and collage of a celebrity/ model/ socialite's favourite things. I loved seeing what my style icons (ok..not much on MTV cribs..) wore and were inspired by. Although I'm sure these features are artificially constructed, I still can't get over the thrill, or intimacy if you will, of going behind the person to see what makes them tick.  Few things can reveal this as much as looking round a person's house or wardrobe.

For me, despite the blog’s ability to provide instant gratification, it will never come close to the pleasure of pouring over an interior design book, handing over my last fiver to check out the feature on Sofia Coppola's flat in Vogue or even pottering round a friend's house that I haven't visited I just need a place of my own...
Edit: All pictures courtesy of The Selby, maybe he'll come round when I've found the dream flat.