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

Monday, 8 September 2008


A man in heels

AA Gill gets in touch with his feminine side. I've always had a soft spot for him, having shared a make-up chair with him a few years back:

The first thing that struck me as I opened the box was how excited — despite myself — I was to have got them, my first pair of patent red stilettos. I say excited not in the tumescent, opening-dark-closets way, but in the birthday-present, new-kit sense. The second thing I thought was, Christ, these are difficult to get on. You can’t just plunge your feet into them. You have to be sitting down. And then you have to be sort of erected, like . . . like . . . an erectable erection thingy. And third and finally, I thought, aaaaaaahhhh f***! The agony. The AGONY! According to internet facts, the pressure on the heel of a stiletto is greater than that of an elephant standing on one foot. How this was verified is unknown — who lay under the elephant, and then their mother’s heels, and screamed: “This one’s much worse”?
. . .
And not for the first time I marvelled at how much work and technique goes into being a woman. As opposed to just being a man, which means getting up and getting your zip on the right way round. There is so much more to master in being a mistress — all adolescent boys should be made to wear stilettos for a day, to teach them respect.

Anti-greige: a manifesto, of sorts

A few months ago, it was announced that Patricia Field would be designing a collection for Marks and Spencer. That collection opened, slightly oddly, in New York yesterday. It will include:

flirty, 1950’s-style, puffball dresses in scarlet polka-dot jacquard and rose-print taffeta, which will cost £75 and £99, and a turquoise, angel-sleeved, silk shift, based on the dress the actress wore in the “Baby Shower Scene” in the SATC film, which will also cost £75.

A black, sequined catsuit, at £99, and a skin-tight, black and white striped military jacket, £75, worn with gold leggings, were in the style of the sex-mad character of Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall.

Ms Kate Bostock, the executive director of all clothing at Marks & Spencer, watched the show from a ringside seat. She described the Patricia Field collection, developed with co-designer, David Dalrymple, as one of the most adventurous projects in the British high street chain’s history.

Field was at the show

. . . wearing a short blue Lurex mini-dress from her M&S collection, £60, and black, platform Dior stilettos which cost about ten times as much.

“If I can wear the clothes, anybody can,” she said. “Fashion is about enjoying clothes and having fun; it’s not about age.”

I slightly fear that the mad old bag look is upon us. It's such a tricky call, to go with the beige classics and die slowly inside, or follow the mutton route and be laughed at behind your back. I am starting to think that a touch of vulgarity, or blatant sex appeal, might be the hot chilli needed to spice up an outfit when you hit 50 (and Field is in her 60s, I believe)

On the other hand, some of the pieces look like 1980s market stall revival.