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

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Cultural turkeys

Prospect Magazine asks various movers and shakers which were the most underrated and overrated cultural events of 2007. I, somewhat laconically, chose the film of Ian McEwan's Atonement as most overrated and am pleased to find myself in the company of Antony Beevor on this one.

Me: Overrated
The film of Atonement: a shallow adaptation of a much more interesting and ambitious novel. Too Gosford Park for its own good.

I was deeply disappointed by the film Atonement. Perhaps my expectations had been too high, having greatly admired the novel. The film certainly opened well, but the vastly expensive Dunkirk sequences—a massive self-indulgence on the part of the director—wrecked what might otherwise have been a great success.

However I cannot fault Keira Knightley's green dress

Great Mutton Debate Part 2163

Amanda Harlech, 40-something muse of Karl Lagerfeld

Because of my trip to Liverpool last week, I missed Sarah Mower's second column on the Great Mutton Debate:

I am becoming impatient with all the crossness and whingeing about how difficult it is to dress past a certain age and about being sidelined. I particularly despise the lack of self-esteem being paraded in this debate. To my observation, things can get better as you get older - especially if you're a British woman.

This was illustrated to me to perfection last week at the Chanel Paris-Londres show that Karl Lagerfeld brought to town. By a miracle of good timing, I ended up alone with him backstage, and the conversation - which started with a discussion of Coco Chanel's penchant for Englishmen - turned to Daphne Guinness and Amanda Harlech, the merry divorcées of British high style.

"They look like life should be," he said. "They are stimulating, sparkling, not just clothes horses. They're clever, civilised. They read, they have lives, children.

"And you know," he added conspiratorially, "these kind of women exist only in Britain. Not in France; after a certain age, they just…" He didn't finish, but it was obvious what he meant: run to beige. Which, of course, is very French.

Several people in the comments have made the point that Sarah Mower has missed the point. It is never hard to dress well at any age with a model-thin figure and unlimited income. The difficulty is finding clothes that fit well and flatter within your budget when the shops are full of mini tunics with no sleeves.

London sales

London sales date here

Hello Armani Collezioni.

Thought for the day

What would a man be - what would any man be - without his clothes? As soon as one stops and thinks over that proposition, on realises that without his clothes a man would be nothing at all; that the clothes do not merely make the man, the clothes are the man; that without them he is a cipher, a vacancy, a nothing. Mark Twain