The F Word

I hope you’re sitting comfortably, for I am about to impart some breaking news.  Fashion is fickle.  Oh, you’re so shocked, I can see.  Fickleness is on my mind this week, the bi-annual edit.  It’s August now, so time to change.

You see, the multi-billion dollar global industry has a habit of pronouncing things ‘dead’, much like an insensitive coroner at a crime scene.  ‘Down with the sleeve!’, ‘the brogue is banished’, and – my personal favourite – ‘don’t even think about leaving the house in a midi-skirt’.  For obviously, that will cause a national disaster, and that wouldn’t do.  As it happens, Grazia just pronounced the brogue is back.  Sigh.  Tiring, isn’t it? But I suppose it depends on how affected you are.  Or certainly, on how affected you’re willing to admit you are.  For it isn’t always very chic to be fashionable.

The high street thinks it has us cracked – we’ll roll over at the very merry sight of a fad: the knock-off Dries Cobain print is having a moment, or perhaps that Roksanda-style skirt that I spotted in Oxford Circus this week.  The high street knows the pack mentality shopping of youth and the fashion-obsessed. It knows how we flock to ‘hero pieces’ – a phrase I’m sending to Room 101 – and gorge ourselves on momentary affectations that score nil points in the chic stakes.  I mean, just look at the peplum now.

As I cut and pasted from my spring summer edit and focussed on Pre-Fall, as that is now where we are, ladies and gentlemen – isn’t it terrifying? – I found pieces from last year that I loved and thought I’d lost: Proenza-inspired bold colours, the ever-fabulous COS coat that ripped the life out of Celine but found it replaced in my own style-soul, and all the heavier 60s A-lines that have been too hot for this recent weather.  They’re all back into the mid-section of the rail now, out of the hanging bags and back for daily appraisals.  Replace and reuse – isn’t that what fashion does, every season?

But it did strike me this week, as I hung my new kilt in the front row that there is always something.  There’s always an ‘it’ product.  With contemplation, I’m a little saddened by it.  For those fabulous shoes you bought in May and wore until your toes bled, will find themselves sitting behind four more pairs you’ll buy with your loan.  But only one lesson this week: don’t forget the classics.  Get hold of Hedi Slimane’s attitude française in a Saint Laurent piece (I wish), but remember who was there for you that day when it rained and you had to run for the bus.

That Whistles shirt, I’m guessing?  The timeless, silken creature makes you feel all bright and shiny again.  And that £100 is worth five times a street style snap.

Fantasy Pre-Fall picks: (left to right) The Row PF13, Derek Lam PF13, Jonathan Saunders PF13

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