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

Friday, 3 October 2008

Harry Revisits Highway 61

The other day I was on a mission to find a polka dot shirt.
Having tried Beyond Retro, a cavernous vintage store south of Oxford Street, I continued on to Carnaby Street. There has recently been a bit of a retro /mod revival and a few stores can be found in its environs. Sherry’s in Ganton Street had a large mod roundel outside so that helped me identify it.
‘I’m looking for a polka dot shirt’ I explained to the pleasant young man ‘for someone a lot smaller than me ( ie thinner) who wants to look like Bob Dylan for the evening.’

He was able to produce one straight away. It had a button down collar, and when I enquired whether they did any with tab collars I got the expected answer: No.
I was just musing as to whether said shirt was authentic and stylish enough when the assistant told me something moderately fascinating. The US magazine Entertainment Today had recently been doing a photo shoot with Bob Dylan, and their stylist had contacted the shop to get them to send over some polka dot shirts, just like the one I was holding. 'How cool is that ?' I thought.
A few moments later he was wrapping the item and then proceeded to tell me that Liam and Noel had both been in recently and bought the identical shirt.
Well, of course, we are all so familiar with the Gallagher brothers from Oasis that I guess first names only are de rigeur.

Later, over a cup of coffee, I interrogated the story that went with the transaction. And on reflection decided that it was extremely unlikely that the esteemed Bob would ever put himself in the hands of a stylist from Entertainment Today.
But as sales patter goes, I thought it was inspired.
And sometimes , maybe, it’s quite enjoyable to be gullible.

There are perhaps a couple of questions prompted by this post .
Why is someone I know wanting to look like Bob Dylan?
And why can’t one get hold of a tab-collar shirt?
I’ll answer the first question in my next post.
And I will ruminate on the second very soon.

Election rally

Fashion is no longer fashion. . .

. . . It's conceptual art

Off piste, off trend

I suppose it must be the economy, but equally I think it's fashion's own desperation and exhaustion: I am truly bored with 'trends.'

Here's the Guardian with a list of what we're to expect:

Strong-shouldered jackets
Massive shoulders at shows like Balmain mean the style will last way into 2009.

Skin-tight trousers
This silhouette rules for next season - bodysuits at Jil Sander and Balenciaga, and tight pants at Givenchy.

Painful shoes
If your heels are huge, like the YSL Tribute boots, then a scrum will form around you, looking for the sort of killer shoes that saw models tumble at Prada.

No bag
When Carine Roitfeld began arriving at the shows carrying her phone and nothing else, the big-bag trend was over. If you must have a bag, then make it a clutch, like those that were just seen at Balenciaga.

I am going to be following none of these. I was at L.K Bennett yesterday taking back the shoes which Av had deemed not right for my dress and I was only offered an exchange or credit note. It was a real struggle to find any non-stilettos (I don't wear flats) and in the end found a pair of square-toed purple patent pumps with a stacked heel. When I got home there was an email from a fashion editor friend telling me her day-in-day-out shoes are stacked heel platforms by Stewart Weitzman from Russell and Bromley. So even the fashion editors aren't wearing these sky high shoes. Walking through Hanover Square yesterday I saw three young women who were; they were chatting on the windy street before turning and trooping painfully back into Vogue House, headquarters of Conde Nast. Their bosses know better.

I confess I have been on a buying spree lately and this must be the last gasp before the retail economy contracts and we start to see bankruptcies. I bought a scarf and a necklace yesterday. I could still be wearing them at 80 and might have to.

We know there must be fashion even in a slump. That's what fashion is, that's what fashion does, it rises above. One of my favourite films is Preston Sturges Sullivan's Travels, about the necessity of laughter. But fashion needs to remember that in a depression we're all going to need cheering up, and art school clothes that belong in an art installation, self-referential and ultimately quite boring, are literally museum pieces.