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

Thursday, 10 January 2008

The Great Mutton Debate - yet more

Lisa Armstrong in the Times today writes about how to dress for your age. It's an interesting piece for me to read because I first met Lisa back in the late Eighties when she commissioned me to write for the newly-launched British Elle. She was in her twenties then, I was in my thirties. I have a huge respect for her as an incisive, intelligent fashion writer. Here she is on how to dress in your seventies and eighties:

By your seventies and eighties, you should really be enjoying clothes. Focus attention around your face and wrists with necklines and bracelets, get regular manicures, splash out on the status bag or suit you’ve always wanted, keep reading the fashion pages and never succumb to elasticated waistbands.
. . .
Keeping up to date with the big picture in fashion is a good place to start when it comes to tweaking — or revolutionising — your look. Fashion doesn’t become less important as you get older, it becomes more. One of my personal style mentors is Joan Burstein, the octogenarian owner of the influential Browns fashion stores. Always extrapolating the shapes — knee-length, loosely cut shifts, trouser and tunic tops in luxurious fabrics — from the coolest designers (current favourites include Lanvin and Fendi), she is eternally stylish, elegant and hip.
And here . . .

is a picture of Joan Burstein, aged 80 infront of Brown's, the legendary London store which she co-founded with her husband in 1970 (she discovered John Galliano and gave a teenage Manolo Blahnik his first job in fashion.) The picture goes with an interview I did with her. We had tea at Claridges.

3 comments:

Toby Wollin said...

Linda - Wonderful story on Mrs. B. Can't you see that as a movie? Oh, my goodness..the drama!! Reminds me of my grandad, who went bankrupt twice in the fur coat business and was still working in his 80s making fur coats for movie executives wives out in Hollywood.

materfamilias said...

I'm having to pull myself away halfway through your interview with Mrs. B. because I have a lecture or two to prepare but I've bookmarked this for reading later. This woman still looks amazing -- I love finding examples of inspiring possibilities for the next few decades -- thanks!

Bongoqueen said...

My wonderful 50-something ex-manager, chic and wonderful, once told me: "better mutton dressed as lamb than mutton dressed as mutton".
Indeed!