I'm not sure at what exact point I actually started wearing things I liked, the way I liked them. I didn't even realise I was getting that way till I went home for the holidays, and the inevitable Mummy Wars began. My mum is a woman who is a tad straitlaced as far as attitudes to clothing go. She wouldn't blink if I wore fishnets, but she really doesn't get why people mix up the things they wear. Or the aesthetic appeal of anything punky, grungy, louche, loud or otherwise unladylike, which is a bit annoying if one of your early heroines happens to be Corinne Day. She very definitely does not understand why messy hair can be considered hot. We're entering our fifth year of occasional bickerings over the nature of my appearance, which inevitably pop up every time I'm back from college- the last point of conflict was my fringe (too long and thick, said The Mothership: but it has to be, since I'd have to get my eyebrows done if the fringe didn't cover them, said I. Then there was a full-fledged debate about why I didn't get my eyebrows done any more). I do know some of the slightly odder clothing configurations that have emerged from my cupboard in these years- skirts as dresses, chopped-up sleeves and hems, weird hair ornaments, sneakers with anything and everything- would not have been possible had I been living with my parents all this while. It's a lot more peaceful now that I'm older, but I do sometimes wonder what I'd look like if I'd done just that.
In Mum's world, pretty dresses go with pretty shoes and other pretty things- she made that vision work excellently on me as a toddler. In mine, pretty gives me the hives if I don't tone it down with a good dose of ugly first. If we were shoes, I'd probably be a Doc Marten boot (or one of the Balenciaga 'goat' shoes of last year): my mother would most certainly be a stiletto. And just you try wearing both of those at once...
And it doesn't really work, telling me it's concept art and what not, because I do think the disclosure of a presumed par-human IQ level needs to be done via statements that don't sound flat-out idiotic. "concentrating on western wear in a vivid way" kind of took the cake in that department, really. WTF is it supposed to mean?
Which brings me to my next gripe, namely what Indian women want by way of clothes- or rather, since I'm not really a typical example of the species, what Sally Singer (and no doubt a whole lot of other people) seems to think we should want. I've been told I'm rather strident via the written word, so if that puts you off you don't have to read the rest of this, because it (the article) is patronising bullshit. I only put up the page I found most irritating, and all I really want to do is register my annoyance at Ms Singer's easy assumption that Indian women en masse want only to look 'pretty'. That we're not particularly fussed about looking intellectual (rubbish: why on earth do Sabyasachi Mukherjee's things sell like mad all around the year then? Besides, I kind of resent the generalisation including me, to mean that I'd like to look pretty and not particularly firmly in possession of a brain). I mean, I thought that whole eastern seductress stereotype should have died in the nineteenth century, and I do wish I was a bit more coherent than this (though admittedly, I'm a lot more articulate in the post than I was while reading the article: all I could think then was "oh, fuck off!").
Here's the cover, in both parts...incredibly dull, I thought.
Lily Cole, photographed by Bharat Sikka
Piv, photographed in Jaipur by Paolo Roversi
I suppose the best part about the way she wears things is the sheer coolness of it all, which probably comes from actually walking around the city (she got Facehuntered last August on the Avenue Marceau- picture above), as opposed to getting dressed up to walk a rat-sized dog for US Weekly. I'm all for trying, and having fun with the clothes, but there's a lot to be said for the point of not looking like you are actually thinking about your clothes once you've got them on- I loved the fact that her boots got a little dusty, and the scarf got uneven-ended, and everything just went a little all over the place but just held together at the same time, and she nearly always looks as if there may be a book- like an actual, readable, non-trashy book- in her bag, which she may pull out when she gets bored. And I realised, I am rambling. I should stop.
picture credits: fashion insanity and facehunter.
2. Does anyone else seem to think the models don't look terrifyingly skinny any more? I mean, they're still thin (this is fashion we're talking about, after all), but no one looks ready to drop. I wonder if it's a new trend or something- Karl Lagerfeld apparently sent a few girls back to their agency because he thought they were too thin. The last six words of that sentence...honestly, last year this time I didn't think it was possible to use them truthfully. I'm kind of hoping it sticks.
3. The best part of this post...a link to this. It's well worth reading (which is a not-so-subtle hint to GO READ IT), and I'm quite blown away. If you really need an incentive to follow the link, it involves a Beatle. Though the other party is the one who kind of blows me away....
Here's a sample, not in any order except perhaps how amusing they were:
1. bangs large nose
2. moonface enid blyton costume
3. removing closed toe from fishnet stocking (whoever it was, must've been disappointed)
4. shirt button stay closed
5. weasley twins scent
6. katie leung is skinny (not particularly, I thought)
7. cartoon of meg with long fingernails (could they possibly be referring to Meg from The Apathist?)
And then, well, there's the flat-out weird, which is not amusing at all:
tiny teens in stilettos (I refuse to dwell on it).
And to be absolutely honest, the whole bloody issue shouldn't even be an issue at all. Her appeal may be debatable (if one looks at it as part of the whole 'nu-rave'- awful word- package, which I kind of didn't), but honestly, if her ultimate employers- the designers- thought she suited the ideas they had for their work, why should a number affect that?It isn't as if twenty-four is over the hill. Maybe this whole ageism rubbish just has to stop.
b) extremely bad-tempered, and also
But back to my original question: where are the Indian fashion blogs? We have a population of over a billion, a whole pile of young people and fashion professionals with access to the Internet- I looked, and I haven't been able to see so much as a peep out of anyone in the blogosphere. If anyone knows of fashion blogs you like which are written by people living in India, please do leave the link in my commentbox.
(top to bottom: Balenciaga SS 08, Prada SS08, Dolce & Gabbana SS08)
A decent, nay, great if I may say so, cover out of Vogue UK...just when I was starting to despair of them ever remembering that good covers aren't a thing of the past. If the text and Adrian at Fashion Verbatim (which is where I borrowed the image from) didn't say so, I'd have just assumed that was Debbie Harry. In any case, this is so much better-looking than anything I've seen on the magazine for well over a year now. And well, it's Debbie Harry-ish, always a reason for loving it. Good one from the photographer, whoever it is.