Fashion Dummy Quits the Fashion Industry (kind of)

In I am... on April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I know I haven’t been doing as many articles on fashion as you might expect from a blogger claiming to write about what’s ‘fashionable, unique and chic’. But sometimes, you know what, the industry these days is just not all that inspiring and I’m having to look elsewhere for the things that make me tick. Here is what tiny fashion blogging sensation Tavi had to say about her own waning enthusiasm for the industry at present:

Fashion Week is weird. It is very high schooly. Someone will take that and decide that it means Fashion Week highschooliness is getting me down hard without realizing how highschooly what they’re doing is. I love fashion but it’s disappointing when you have to sift through a lot of junk before you get to, like, the clothes, and the whole point of it all. It’s more disappointing when the clothes aren’t very interesting.

Lately I’ve been looking to other places for a creative outlet and for inspiration. I miss following magazines and obsessively checking the way I used to but something is different about it now.A year ago I got to go to Paris to interview John Galliano at Dior, and a couple weeks ago today he said he loved Hitler and got fired … I only really miss being obsessed with fashion the way you miss any aspect of a former self, in a nostalgic way, not necessarily as part of a desire to go back. Now I’m more intrigued by mixing fashion with the other stuff I’ve been enjoying.

Perhaps this similar kind of sentiment is why I’ve shifted my focus towards other interests as of late, such as my obsession love for Paris, current affairs, lifestyle etc. Writing about classic style will never bore me, but there are many shapes and forms in which style can be interpreted. Sometimes I feel that an environment like fashion industry is the last place you’ll find any evidence of true class and style.

Anyhoo, on that note, here are a few rare and worthy fashion industry-related things which did catch my eye this week to make what now may become more and more, a rare fashion post on MessyNessyChic… (unless there are any objections– you know where the comment box is).

I do enjoy a short film in addition to your standard campaign photographs, especially when they feature style icons that probably can’t act, but certainly know how to float around in pretty clothes. Our first style icon on film is Kate Moss, who’s been designing bags for the classic French luggage house, Longchamp. She’s looking better than ever dancing around a Moroccan paradise looking like a sixties sex kitten– a very accurate chemical mix of one part Jane Birkin, one part Brigitte Bardot and one part Marianne Faithful. She’s making me want to get a full fringe again–eek! Check out the following three clips and try not to focus too much on the clothes because this is actually an advertisement for Lonchamp bags– a company that doesn’t actually sell Kate Moss-style clothes. So erm, well done to the marketing team at Longchamp on that one!


Alexa Chung – Superga

As I mentioned in a previous post, Alexa Chung is the new face for Superga– my favourite summer shoes in the world (available in every scrumptious colour on for a reasonable £40, although I bought mine in a Paris flea market for 30 euros!). Anyhoo, just incase you aren’t familiar with the brand, Superga began in 1911 and ever since, their iconic plimsolls have ranged from 1950′s retro chic to preppy pumps. So why choose La Chung? Because, dear readers, the brand are celebrating their 100th anniversary by reaching a wider UK audience, and who better to lend her hand (and feet) than self-confessed Superga fan and MessyNessy’s favourite English Rose? Well, exactly. What’s more, the ad was photographed in the picturesque Petersham Nurseries in Richmond (a previous MessyNessyChic suggestion for London summer al fresco spots) to capture that quirky Brit cool. Naturally, Alexa used her fashwan know-how to assist with the styling. Check it out!


You know how I love to get my teeth stuck into this topic! So let’s get straight into it with this picture I came across from a Victoria’s Secret photo call in Los Angeles….

Now what the heck is that? A lingerie brand promoting a healthy body image? You can count on this picture of Candice Swanepoel (pictured middle) going straight up on countless pro-anorexia internet sites as what they call “thin-spiration” for girls with eating disorders everywhere. Well done Victoria Secret! Along with your photoshop fail last month in which a model’s thighs were made to look like whittled-down tooth picks (see below), you’re on quite a roll this year!

Next up, No.1 street style blogger, The Sartorialist, received some criticism this week about a post he did featuring a female photographer at Paris fashion week.

Here is what he said (that pissed everyone off):

I saw this young lady in Milan several times this past season. She is one of the crop of new bloggers. I loved that she’s a bigger, curvier girl than most of the other bloggers who you see in the press and tend to represent the genre.

The subtle thing she achieves so successfully in these two looks is to complement the sturdy but beautiful shape of her legs with an equally strong shoe. A daintier shoe would be overpowered but these shoes create a beautiful harmony for the lower half of her body.

And this is the ‘bigger’ girl he was talking about:

Here is what one comment (of hundreds of angry comments) from a reader said:

Your patronising comments on her style, calling her ‘bigger’, ‘curvier’ and back handed compliment on her dress sense just serve to further alienate readers who are not a sample size, which I would assume is the larger portion of your audience.

I find the words chosen to describe this obviously fit and slim woman inaccurate, rude and offensive. You wield enormous influence in the fashion world and on women’s perception of what is or is not the norm. Please, choose your words when describing people’s shapes and sizes as carefully as you choose your subjects.

Regardless of her size, I find it unnecessary for you to comment on it. I have never seen you address how some tiny little waif did a kick-ass job of camouflaging her protruding clavicles.

Here is what I think:

That reader’s comment was pretty ‘kick-ass’ first of all! Ok look, I greatly enjoy checking the Sartorialist’s blog (and will continue to feature his work in my fashion posts), but I do think his comments were a tad patronizing. While he may have thought he was praising this woman for not being your average fashion waif, it actually felt more as if he was saying– “wow, well done to her for not looking like a complete heffer given the size she is.” No Sartorialist. As it so happens, for us non-waifs, or as we’re being referred to, “bigger” girls, it doesn’t require rocket science to get dressed in the morning and still qualify for ‘stylish’ or well-put together.

As for highlighting a girl of this particular size as “bigger”: let us take into account the context– he was comparing her amongst the array of eating disorders that hang around at fashion week. Nevertheless, most of his thousands of readers weren’t at fashion week and will be viewing this post far removed from the size zero bubble of the fashion world. And in the real world, for a very healthy looking girl, “bigger” is a very dangerous word Mr. Sartorialist, a very dangerous word indeed! You might have left it at “curvy”– a complement I’ll take any day.


Like leggings, there are some things you never thought would come back into fashion. I couldn’t be more thankful that my favourite item of clothing as a child has indeed come back in style– denim dungarees. Quirky Brit trendsetter, Alexa Chung (above) was already wearing them last summer and this year, you’ll notice all our vintage shops (the new high street shopping) are ordering an abundance of 90s denim dungarees into stock. Please whatever you do, don’t pair this latest re-emerging trend with platform stiletto heels or something silly like that. This is a casual trend, best worn with classic footwear such as simple white tennis shoes, espadrilles or even boat shoes.

Remember when we were all wearing flares in the late 90s? When the thought of skinny jeans was an unimaginable 80s horror? Well, against all odds, skinny jeans did take over, they even spread over to men’s fashion in extreme forms, and flares were once again as ridiculous as the Bee Gees. But last week, for the first time in almost ten years I donned a pair of old flares. And you know what, it felt great. Especially when I saw these very fashionable ladies with the same idea…

(Images from The Sartorialist – even if he doesn’t quite get the politics of women’s sizing, he’s still one of the best sources for style!)


Let’s just say I’m just a little more than enthusiastic about tennis shoes when summer comes along. Made by Stockholm based shoemakers, Gram, these modern take on a plimsoll totally caught my eye because of the fabric they’re made of. Due to the fact that the floral print is originally being used for large furniture the patterns on the shoes may vary immensly, giving each shoe a truly unique expression. While these kicks might be a little more expensive than most, I think the fact that you’re getting a unique, one-of-a-kind pair of shoes makes up for it. This pattern also comes in a men’s brogue for the guy that has just enough confidence and understated flair to get away with them (see below). To get more info on these click here.

Here is VOGUE stylist Giovanna Battaglia wearing a floral dress that really got my attention. Effortless South American chic is what I would call this. Note to self: must find something like it.


There’s quite a lot of shoe talk going on in this post, but I couldn’t round off this pre-summer fashion article without mentioning my beloved espadrilles, which I was lucky enough to break out of their shoe box in a spurt of good weather last week. Every year it is in fact impossible for me not to um, ‘invest’ in yet another pair of espadrilles. This year, I went for an unusual pair of tan leather espadrilles from Kurt Geiger (pictured above) and as well as an excuse to show off my latest shoe made of straw, I just thought I might put together a few suggestions price-wise, for your own espadrille desires this season.


Very Brigitte Bardot – Lanvin, £265



Colonial chic – Tory Burch, £85



Southern French countryside – NEXT, £15


Related Post: Fashion Can Be a Real Bitch

  1. I totally agree! It is impossible to find the fashion in all the Branding. The all important “trade marque!” has replaced design with identity. People know they are on a cheap ride. This will all end with the clash of classic vs. Hip. Hip always wins the sprint but may not always makes it to the marathon.

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