Remember the episode of Sex and the City where the girls go to ‘Shirtless Heaven’ and Carrie befriends Oliver, the handsome Aussie who has a key to Bungalow 8? Do you also recall the outfit she wore in that episode?
It was a white, sheer, stretch-jersey dress with pink flouro underwear visible underneath. I loved it, even though I felt that I probably shouldn’t. It sparked a fascination with sheer dresses and noticeable (read blatantly obvious) underwear.
Actually, being purposefully conspicuous about flashing your underwear to the world must be the only way to pull off such a controversial look. At the onset of summer I noticed an unfathomable amount of girls in London who were utterly oblivious that their thong was on show underneath their little white sun dress. Oops.
So I’ve been pondering what makes it work for SJP, Anna Dello Russo and Jessica Biel and this is what I’ve come up with:
- Be *ahem* ‘transparent’ about your intent to show your pants and bra, and do it with an air of nonchalance so that others will marvel at your confidence
- Wear nice underwear. Make it your statement as you might jewellery or other accessories. No thongs, no white or nude colours, nothing you’re at risk of slipping or spilling out of accidentally (that really ruins the aforementioned air of nonchalance)
- Be skinny. Unfortunately, like most women out there, this is not a look I should ever attempt, seeing as I’m larger than a clothes hanger. If you have curves you’ll look too sexy and people will only be able to focus on that when they look at you rather than noting your outlandish and daring sartorial choice (It’s the same reason models who go topless on the catwalk can still be seen as chic, as opposed to actual topless models who are viewed as hot at best or trashy at worst)
Not a look I’m going to be trying any time soon, but who knows…
When it comes to fashion I never say never.
Oh to be one of those women who can afford to spend a small fortune on underwear / sleepwear / swimwear…
If one day I grow into one of those women I’d like to think I’ll be sporting The Lake and Stars – the luxe brand named after the Victorian euphemism for a woman’s skill in the bedroom.
Designers Nikki Dekker and Maayan Zilberman fashioned their collection on their favourite accidental film heroines this season. The result? I like to call it delicate assertiveness; sheer fabrics in flouro colours with strong waisted belts.
Wear with the attitude of feisty Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.
(Buy The Lake and Stars at www.Apartment-C.com)
Lately I’ve been pondering style nostalgia. I’m not talking about the endless revival of trends past which comprise the cyclical nature of fashion, I’m talking more specifically about a desire to embrace things which evoke memories of childhood. Leggings (even better, velvet leggings), leotards, alice bands and most intriguingly clothes that resemble animals!
Let me tell you a little story…
Every year, for my Junior school’s annual May fair, the teachers would ask us to bring in donations to sell on the stalls. These donations – books, clothes, unwanted toiletry sets from The Body Shop that hadn’t been touched since Christmas – were stored in the corner of the classroom where they continued to accumulate until the day of the fair.
Inevitably our beady little eyes scoped out any items we might want to procure come the big event, and on one particular year me and my best friend had our sights set on the same thing – a teddy bear backpack. That is literally the only way to describe it. It was a brown bear with a zip across his back and two straps, and I wanted it so badly!
Come the day of the fair, my best friend and I walked to the school gates together in awkward silence – knowing one of us was to go home empty handed. The gates opened and we raced to the stall. If I remember correctly I reached the table first, but for some reason I hesitated for a moment. I don’t think I could cope with the idea that I would only be able to own the backpack at my friend’s expense. Unfortunately she had no such reservations and snatched the bear up immediately (bitch)…
I was so upset by the whole episode that my mum made me a hodge podge of a bear backpack, made from one of my old teddies, which she pulled all the stuffing out of, and the straps off a red backpack. Bless her! I wore it with pride.
Anyway, that is what this influx of animal fashion reminds me of. It makes me smile.
(The MiH office. Ridiculously amazing no?)
I must confess I’m not particularly feeling jeans at the moment. Partly because mine are feeling a little snug lately (it’s probably time to ease up on the weekend day boozing), and partly because the smart minimalism movement of AW10 has been such a revaluation that I find myself turning to simple t-shirts, blazers and chinos more and more.
But denim is big big news for summer, so when MiH invited me to come and check out the new collection I agreed – hoping to rekindle my waning relationship with jeans.
The story of ‘Made in Heaven’ alone was enough to spark my interest again. Set up in the 1960s by (current owner) Chloe Lonsdale’s godfather it remains one of the only premium British jean brands. The MiH legacy is an impressive one (these classic shapes were a staple of Jane Birkin in her heyday) and one Chloe strives to retain.
The painstaking processes the team employ to achieve the perfect wash and fit are almost beyond comprehension. These two jeans used to be the same colour believe it or not…
MiH’s lovely PR Felicity tells me the jeans get thrown in a washing machine with stones and golf balls. Sometimes the design team even wear the jeans and use sandpaper to make sure the whiskers are in the correct places (one of my biggest fashion hates is horrible faux fade effects, so this level of effort is something I truly appreciate).
The brand also experiment with different weaves – some so fine and soft they were practically masquerading as cotton. Double denim heaven!
To me doing double denim well is all about mixing different washes and textures. These two lend themselves perfectly…
I think it’s fair to say that MiH convinced me to give jeans another try. The Marrakesh cut is definitely atop my summer wish list – now I just need to lay off the vino and hit the gym to get a bum worthy of a pair!
(MiH are available from www.Net-a-Porter.com, and www.MatchesFashion.com).