Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Influence of One Woman

For those who thought Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge was going to shun the high street and take to couture fashion houses once she got the title - well you were wrong; I was wrong.

What commoner turned princess would not just for a second come to the beautiful realisation that she can and is very much allowed to walk into Chanel, Miu Miu, Burberry and come out with whatever she fancies?
She can call up Karl Lagerfeld, Matthew Williamson and Sarah Burton whenever she wants and one off pieces are never off limits.
If I was her, a shopping spree with the dollar signs to match would be my first priority (hmmm, I don't think I would make a very likeable princess...)

Kate really is trying to play the common princess. We cannot help but make comparisons with the late Princess Diana as she gracefully took on the role of "the people's princess". It is not surprising considering her background, the fact that she is married to William who has always been described as down to earth – Kate almost seems destined to emulate Diana.

Kate has always looked good. Her dress sense is suitable and her outfits are always neat and presentable. But it is this which concerns me. She is a princess for crying out loud – not just some generally stylish woman. I know she is trying to appeal to her public, she is trying to portray this picture of the common woman and she is sticking to her roots but come on! She knows that what she wears will dictate the taste of the nation and because of her simple style; soon we are going to end up with a very very generic society (one that already lacks excitement and individuality).

Her recent visit to meet President Obama and first lady; fashion icon Michelle (who I might write about later) saw her wearing a simple beige Reiss bandage dress and black heels and a less than exciting black clutch. Reiss, as you guessed is a British high street chain store and yes, the dress was so Kate - flattering cut, one block boring colour and her brunette hair freely flowing – so very typical. Despite the simplicity of this dress Reiss is being inundated with countless calls, the dress is sold out and their website is currently down due to the endless numbers of budding Kate’s clicking away. A similar event happened a second after the engagement announcement as fashion label Issa shot to stardom for a simple blue jersey wrap dress.

Yes, it may be her duty to look the humble, proper and approachable girl but would it really hurt to mix things up! Her wedding dress was perfect she showed the world she can play the part in that gorgeous traditional gown and yet there it was hidden ever so slightly – the detailed structured gathering on the bodice was a sign she was that little bit modern, that tiny bit daring. Since then, I have seen little to impress.

Kate has not yet changed and I think she never will. Snaps to her but honestly I don’t think it would hurt to mix high and low fashion, to be a little more daring and to wow your subjects with a little bit of pattern and colour? They will not turn on you if you are spotted wearing Laboutins or you are seen browsing in Hermes. Just look at Diana, she favoured Christian Lacroix, Versace and Ungaro. Plus a word to the trend setter – Kate honey, don’t you want to look individual? Do you really want to see millions of copies of yours truly? Embrace your Duchess title – show us you are more than a common girl, we should be dreaming of your stunning outfits, not simply smiling at them with a mediocre approval. And I think you can achieve this through exciting the crowds, don’t always play it soooo safe! Your style is nice, but nothing outstanding, I know understated minimalism is all the rage but why be in vogue when you can make the world gasp! Do you want to be remembered as a sweet girl, or a riot of a girl? Who really will remember a beige dress mass manufactured? A duchess should be allowed to feel special!

And a word to the followers – firstly, in some little way we are all followers but to those who race to get that exact dress to get her hair, her shoes think again!
Why would you want to look like someone else, who will soon look like everyone else? Why not embrace you, embrace your own style and if you think you have no style then look to someone less high profile or better yet don’t worry! Being you is better than being someone else. If you copy another, then you are living a lie, you are playing a part. Isn’t it much more rewarding to simply play you?

Monday, 16 May 2011

Winter is on our doorsteps!

Italian made tights, cashmere jumpers, beautifully cut jeans, diverse coats, woollen vests and leather boots. How these items just sing to me as I anticipate their arrival for another year. I know I go on about Brisbane being flooded with bogans and I’m not going to contradict myself but I am going to give winter a good name.

The season of winter provides Brisbane with what I like to call – mistaken style. Warm clothing means you are less likely to see thongs, singlets and clothing a little too short for the general public. It is much more difficult for winter fashion to become a horrible car crash. People can put on jeans, a long sleeve top and simple jumper, jacket or coat, a colour block scarf and closed in shoes and I would not shake my head in disapproval. It might be plain, but it will not be unflattering or inappropriate. It might not be colour coordinated or even fitted well, but an oversized jumper looks better than a too much cleavage for your age top and mixing enemy colours… well there are sins much worse. So, in winter, someone with very little personal style or fashion sense can easily look presentable (without even trying).

Winter fashion for me is pivotal to my happiness because I simply prefer it! Layers of beautiful materials draped luxuriously on top of one another, jumpers woven with the best of hands, light coats with gorgeous button detailing and stiff collars and boots so leather soft you could be content with staring at them for hours. One of my favourite things about winter – the tights! I think I have a slight addiction to them, the promise of Italian wool, cotton or thick rich nylon against my legs – complete and utter bliss. The best advantage about these magical garments: they flatter your legs like no salad can. The fashion industry understands their demand so we consumers are spoilt for fashion tights from the plain yet elegant blacks, navies and greys to the intricate weaves and patterns, the unusual two tones and the excitingly vibrant colours.

Echoing back to a previous post, Brisbane winter means more suit jackets! O joy of joys thank you lord! They might not be the best of suit jackets but at least they are around in higher numbers. As I said, they still flatter and appearance is key in this shallow and prejudice world.

Not only does winter advance Brisbane style, for me it means clean crisp air which befriends my skin – no more clogged pores or breakouts for me. Brisbane winter is actually (almost) just right, the nights are cold enough to snuggle under your warm doona, the mornings have a chilly bite, but nothing too hard to handle and the days are perfect for a nice warm jacket, maybe a scarf but nothing too heavy duty.

Winter and I go together like chocolate and orange, like bread and butter, like Romeo and Juliet (without the dying). So thank you winter, I cannot wait to see you very soon, autumn – you aren’t too bad yourself BUT winter – you are my definite favourite.