A Fashion Dummy

In I am... on July 23, 2010 at 2:06 am

Illustration by Belle Krol

Okay, so I like to think I know a thing or two about fashion. I’m certainly supposed to, but really, I don’t. I’m skimming through the fall catwalk reviews of this month’s fash mag to find highly confusing terms to describe trends like ‘New Restraint’, ‘Oatmeal Hues’ and ‘High Octane Drama’. What the hell are these people talking about? Honestly, they’re worse than the art crowd. What colour is oatmeal anyway? Doesn’t it vary in colour depending on whether it’s dry or heated with milk?

The truth is, I don’t make it my business to look for new trends. I’ve never tried to follow trends because I’d rather find my own way, within my own little fashion world. If I ever end up dressing on-trend, it’s usually an accident and for no other reason than the fact that I like the way it suits my shape, lifestyle and the mood I’m in. I use the fashion week reports as an awareness guide of what will be available to me in the shops from the styles I know I already like.

You’ll hardly ever catch me googling a designer. You can however find me trying to figure out what the heck to type in the search engine bar for those thing-y majigg-ies with the pretty sort of layered-but not really layered stuff, usually made out of that whats-it-called fabric that I think I saw my mother wearing in a photograph from the 1970s– but it could have been the 80s. Believe it or not, I get there in the end. I focus much more on the individual clothes which I stock up like ingredients for a kitchen that can cook fancy, avant-garde food occasionally, but most of the time, prefers to serve up what smells and tastes like home.

But today for some reason, I’ve decided to give fashion reporting a shot (perhaps I had too much sugar today).

Here are my Four Fall Fashion Fancies for the new Autumn Winter season

The Camel Calls

My grandmother, Grace Kelly and the power-shoulder businesswomen of the 80s all contributed to my love of the camel coat. Well, lo and behold, it was all over this season’s trend reports and I could either dust off the one from my mother’s wardrobe or no doubt, Zara will be producing the same one I bought five years ago but ruined, out walking the dogs. Naturally, Max Mara led the way this season with the most classic designer offering (do they actually make anything else other than camel coats?). I suppose it would be worth investing in one of these– it will always be in fashion and is terribly useful for popping down to the shops for some milk in your flannel pyjamas on a wintry Sunday morning.


Alpine Appetite

I love skiing, I love everything about it– the cosy chalets, the fondue at lunchtime, the smell of the alpine air. Most of all, I love those cheesy sweaters everyone wears with the snowflakes and the reindeers under their ski suits. Every winter season, at least one designer always puts a fun spin on this festive knitwear. This year, while Dolce&Gabbanna sexed it up, staying close to the traditional print that I’ve known since my days in ski school wearing a florescent pink puffball suit, Givenchy used only hints of inspiration and went for a darker, edgier pattern (see how I’m totally getting this fashion lingo down). I also wouldn’t mind a pair of those high-heeled hiking boots making waves in the fashion glossies. They remind me of my father and his proud collection of LL.Bean outdoorsy footwear that took him up Kilimanjaro, Mount Olympus and on mini expeditions with my brother and I.


Bohemian Parisian

Ralph Lauren’s 2010 Autumn/ Winter collection has my kind of bohemia written all over it. When I was young and delirious, writing poetry about things I knew nothing about, in a hand-embroidered notebook that I bought from some Venetian market– this is the woman I wanted to look like. Slightly gypsy, slightly Parisian, slightly mad but nevertheless, desirable and unmistakably chic. Aren’t those two of the most important things to consider when getting dressed? That men find you desireable and women find you chic?
I was suprised to see the king of classic and heritage clothing come out with a collection like this. Perhaps he was influenced by the Parisian Bohemians of the old Marais quarter while he built his latest flagship store in close-by Saint-Germain. Whatever his reasons for the change, I hope he continues to diversify in this way because he has a talent for capturing nostalgic fashion that has yet to be matched.


Lasting Lace

I don’t think I can actually get bored of lace. Thankfully, neither has the fashion industry. It popped up all over the fashion week catwalks, allowing me to continue my obsession with collecting the same lace pattern in different colours, shapes and sizes, over and over again. It’s romantic, reveals just enough (of course please don’t follow the catwalk image here literally) and can be worn throughout the winter and summer seasons. After leggings, I think lace comes in second as the closet staple of the 21st century.


I’m sorry if you were led to believe that Messy Nessy was some kind of fashion-forward style guru. If you have any complaints, please refer to!


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