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

Friday, 5 September 2008

The 30 most stylish british women


Reignite your patriotism here

We weren't interested in women who 'buy in' their style in the form of an expensive stylist. We were looking for women who dress themselves, and who dress for themselves - women who don't give a damn (or not much of one, anyway) about what anyone else thinks. They might be a Classicist (Jane Birkin in black), they might be a Maverick (Vivienne Westwood in red - dress and hair), but whatever their chosen style each of our 30 British-born women is true to who she is.

To my surprise, we judges found it remarkably easy to draw up our list. Many of them are names you will know, some of them you may not… yet. Do you agree with our choice?

A Republican handbag

The Peg

Don't my legs look long in these!

You know you are entering a dark tunnel when the general public is being sent to fashion Re-education Camp. You remember the great film The Manchurian Candidate when the US soldier was captured by South Koreans and brainwashed into believing he should kill the president (approximate plotline)?

This is what's happening to trousers this season. You know, I know, the whole world knows that trousers that balloon around your hips and thighs, cropped above the ankle to make your legs looks shorter are NOT Flattering.

This is why we have to be told repeatedly, that we are totally wrong and they are.

The Guardian today devotes a whole piece to them:

Bona fide peg-leg trousers aren't hard to spot. They usually have two front pleats at the waistband that are designed to add volume in the hip area, then balloon out in the thigh before tapering in again at the ankle. They can also be cropped on the ankle and high-waisted. Admittedly, they sound alarm bells for most of us - extra volume around the thighs is always a hard sell. What's more they look rubbish on the hanger. But, if you want to look on-trend for less than £50 this autumn, this is the only retail leap of faith you need make.

At the collections six months ago, the new trouser shape instantly stood out. At YSL, models wearing black bowl-cut wigs, polo necks and fierce ankle boots marched peg-leg trousers down the catwalk. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs paired them with rounded shoulders and spiralling headpieces, which sounds fearsome enough without the knowledge that some of these trousers were actually in leather. Challenging is perhaps the best euphemism for those particular peg-legs. Even Phillip Lim, the American designer who has won the hearts of women in search of wearable, fashion-forward clothes, showed a peg-heavy collection. The gauntlet had been well and truly laid down.



Here's my prediction. Women are now far more savvy about trends than they were even a decade ago, and we have the make-over shows to thank for that. Most women over the age of 20 are just not going to wear unflattering clothes. Most women didn't wear skinny jeans for obvious reasons (the clue being in the name). And after languishing a couple of years, of guess what, the boot cut is back. Why? Because they're the only shape that's flattering for pears. And there are more pears than beanpoles. Women are just not that stupid.