Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

The It-Bag Parade

The Telegraph also has an informative piece by Judy Rumbold tracking the development of the It bag, from the Fendi Baguette to the present (the YSL Downtown). As she points out:

They transcend tricky divisions to do with weight, age and social status. In short, bags are not just for skinny bitches. There is no such thing as a size-zero bag.
I have two of the bags she mentions, the Baguette (actually, I have two of these, one in red and one in purple suede) and a Leulla Giselle. When I bought the latter, a couple of years ago at a Vogue sample sale in aid of Turkish disaster relief, I was dithering between the Giselle and a Marni, until Alexandra Shulman, editor of UK Vogue, and my oracle at all times of hesitation, came over and told me what to do. 'That bag's a classic,' she said, pointing to the Giselle,'I've got the Marni, the clasp broke.'

I don't use the Giselle all that often but I agree, if you buy a classic bag, even if it once was an It bag, it will come round again. I am not too proud to carry my little suede Baguettes at parties, they are the perfect evening bag, sitting snugly under the shoulder. I just cannot see the point of the bloody clutch. I already need two hands, one for the glass of champagne, the other for the canape. I know you can wedge them under the arm clamping the thing against your rib cage, but that's just more Chinese foot-binding, as far as I'm concerned.


My piece on Lanvin is in the Telegraph today:

When Alber Elbaz took over as the head of Lanvin in 2002, marking a sensational comeback for the half-forgotten house, few people remembered that during her heyday in the 1920s Jeanne Lanvin had rivalled Chanel. The name conjured up for me an expensive, decorative sophistication. I saw her as a designer who clothed women of a certain age. Hers was a label you might aspire to but never quite reach. In fact, I have, unknown to me, been wearing a dress based on Lanvin's landmark shape, the robe de style. My version is by Ghost, but the silhouette is more or less identical. It consists of a dress with a full skirt gathered from a slightly dropped waist, with flat panels at front and back, the hem falling a little above the ankles. Softly feminine, universally flattering, it acknowledges that a woman has hips and a stomach she doesn't want to exaggerate with bunched-up fabric. The robe de style was the look of the 1920s for women who could not wear the tubular lines of Chanel. Move the waist up, and it prefigures, by a quarter of a century, Dior's New Look, launched the year after Jeanne Lanvin died. And, of course, in fashion there is nothing new under the sun. The robe de style was itself based on what had gone before, Infanta frocks, Camargo frocks, picture frocks, portrait frocks - all those bouffant styles are what a woman needs who wishes to conceal the flaws in her figure. . . . Read on

Thought for the day

Paloma Picasso

Fashion can make you ridiculous; style, which is yours to control individually, can make you attractive - a near siren. Marianne Moore