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

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

War is declared on Britain


My attention has been drawn to to this piece in the Times today comparing British and American women's appearance:

I’m recently back from a two-month sojourn in Los Angeles and New York. Maybe I have come back with fresh eyes. Maybe I have grown accustomed to the effort American women put into their upkeep. Either way, you don’t exactly need callipers to figure out in which country the women look after themselves more.

An informal poll of my US female friends revealed that they spend roughly $700 (£350) a month on what they consider standard obligatory beauty maintenance. That covers haircut, highlights, manicure, pedicure, waxing, tanning, make-up, facials, teeth whitening etc. They will spend a further $1,000 (£500) a month on physical conditioning such as military fitness, spinning sessions, vikram yoga, Pilates, deep-tissue sports massage, personal training etc. On top of that, add the occasional spa day, a week-long “bikini boot camp” in Mexico at the start of every summer and seasonal splurges on personal shoppers and clothing. I’m not sure any of my British female friends spends £700 during an entire year on her appearance. American women see these costs as a simple and sensible investment in their future.
Hard to argue with our bad nails and eyebrows, but we lack here those Vietnamese walk-in nail salons who will strip down every follicle and push back your cuticles in ten minutes flat for $30. I don't quite spend £350 a month on grooming, but it's a lot more than £700 a year.

Tim Gunn, on the street

There are several reasons to watch this interview with Tim Gunn: one is to see the daughter of some friends of mine ask a pertinent question about skirt lengths, another is to hear his explanation of why New York is the most fashion forward city in America. It's about the street and the subways. They're runways on which people dress to be seen. And Italy, of course, with its highly ritualised passagiata, has the best dressed women in the world.

North


I am going to Liverpool, my hometown and 2008's European Capital of Culture for a few days. Blogging will be light and late today.

Thought for the day

remember us?

The same costume will be
Indecent . . . 10 years before its time
Shameless. . . 5 years before its time
Outre (darling) . . . 1 year before its time
Smart
Dowdy . . . 1 year after its time
Hideous . . .10 years after its time
Ridiculous . . . 20 years after its time
Amusing . . . 30 years after its time
Quaint . . . .50 years after its time
Charming . . .70 years after its time
Romantic . . . 100 years after its time
Beautiful . . . 150 years after its time

James Laver