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I spent much of the winter break shaking off a nagging shoulder pain. It pulsed angrily behind my left shoulder blade, occasionally radiating up and down my back. On bad days it would seize up completely, so that I couldn’t turn my head one way or other.
I’m not sure when the Christmas jumper first became a “thing”. Once upon a time it seemed only to be a feature of films, worn by Hollywood stars such as Macaulay Culkin in John Hughes’ Home Alone as he merrily detonated Christmas baubles to deter intruders, or corpulent John Candy-types as they made their flatulent passage across the US. In Britain, they appeared as significant extras in class-based seasonal tragicomedies starring Julie Walters or Jim Broadbent, where they were accessorised with glinting Santa earrings and coronary heart failure.
This morning’s news of the appointment of Johnny Coca as the new creative director of Mulberry ends months of speculation at the beleaguered British brand as to its creative future. More than a year since its previous director Emma Hill left, citing “disagreements with management over creative and operational strategy”, the news will be a welcome fillip to the house. The house issued a profits warning in October, with first-half sales down 17 per cent to £64.7m, and shares falling 10.1 per cent to 675p. Read more
How much time do you spend thinking about what to wear each morning? It’s a question that has taken on new significance in the past couple of weeks: especially for the menfolk.
You probably want to talk about coats, right? Forget about it. Talk of coats is quite ridiculous. I bought mine in August, and even then it teased me from the shop floor weeks before I made the purchase: my favourite shop assistant was tasked with sending urgent text alerts as the stocks dwindled to danger levels. As a rule of thumb, I like to make my most significant winter purchase on the hottest day of the year and then shop for increasingly thinner layers as the temperature drops. Now there’s frost on the ground, I’m thinking about a nice, flat, strappy sandal.
I celebrated a significant birthday last week by going through a checklist of all the things I have still failed to achieve (read War and Peace, win an Oscar, own an Hermès handbag), revising their potential as legitimate life goals, becoming maudlin and then forensically examining my face for signs of decrepitude. When that proved too depressing, I started forensically examining the faces of other women instead.
There’s something going on in the knicker drawer. After the cami, the big Bridget Jones brief, the Brazilian thong, the Spanx and the sporty, lingerie is going back to the 1990s with a boom in androgynous boxer-hybrids of the type not seen since Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg first flashed us their Calvins in 1992. Grunge-era underwear – the “grundie” – is back.
What is a gown? And where does such an extravagant garment belong in a world of denim and parkas?
One of the liveliest debates exercising the fashion world focuses on a suit. No, not the patchwork denim tuxedo modelled by Katy Perry’s new beau Riff Raff at the VMA awards last weekend. Nor the his ’n’ his black-lapelled ensembles worn by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey to present at the Emmys. Instead, a most ferocious debate has been unleashed by Mikey Dickerson and his decision not to wear one at all.
This September's Vogue Italia cover © VOGUE
Quite what the collective noun for models might be is debatable (a symmetry? A perfection?). But we should find one, because model gangs are owning the September issues. Read more
The news that the street-fashion photographing power duo Scott Schuman and Garance Doré were no longer romantically involved was announced, appropriately enough, via their independent blogs. “After seven wonderful years, Garance & I have decided to split,” Schuman wrote on TheSartorialist.com 10 days ago.
The Honourable Woman, the political thriller currently reaching its apogee on the BBC, makes a compelling case for the continuing influence of minimalist power dressing. Hugo Blick’s eight-part conspiracy drama, rather dishonourably squandered within the holiday doldrums of the summer schedules (and now airing to US audiences on the Sundance channel), features such sumptuously luxuriously spare tailoring, svelte silhouettes and form-skimming power skirts that one could argue that the Célinification (so named after the influential label headed by the 41-year-old designer Phoebe Philo) of the moneyed elite is now complete. At least onscreen.