Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Fashion for life: Jezebel meets Annabel



By Mimi Spencer

"Kate Moss unleashes her Jezebel tendencies while Kirstie Allsopp channels her inner Annabel

Fashion, in common with all great sports, is a game of two halves. On one team, you have people like my friend Jezebel. She’s one of those women who rises late, reaches for her sunglasses and lights a Lucky Strike. Jezebel draws today’s kohl eyeliner over yesterday’s, and wears spike heels, clingy leggings, black leather and a heavy fringe, if only to put the cat out.

Even at the age of 40, she can lurk at the outskirts of a gig and not look as though she’s come to pick up her daughter. As you might imagine, she’s a bit Kate Moss, a bit Carine Roitfeld and plenty cool.

On the other side of the equation, you’ll find people like my friend Annabel. Annabel is what you might call a wafter. She smells of lavender cushions and mimosa, a bit like a plug-in air freshener, and wears prom dresses in floral cotton which have been around since the 50s but have never really left the building. And Cath Kidston. She loves all that never-had-it-so-good retro malarkey.

If Annabel were a shoe, she’d be a rose-print kitten heel. Annabel gives excellent cleavage, but never in a suggestive way; her chest always looks wonderfully capable, fit for feeding babies not fantasies. She reminds me of Kirstie Allsopp, with her cinched belts and her sure-handed prettiness, her safe, knee-length life.

The most recent catwalk diktat is a combination of hard chic and easy charm. Together. On one plate

Generally speaking, fashion deals with the Jezebels and the Annabels in separate cohorts, as if we’ve all been streamed for performance. You often see this division in the pages of fashion magazines – one shoot full of rock chicks with quiffs and sneers and sharp black tailoring, and the next featuring Lily Cole dressed as a wood nymph and tiptoeing through a misty woodland at dawn wearing a tulle petticoat and a hand-knitted bobble hat.

For much of the time, women are expected to find their category and fall in with it. I’d fall off my chair if Jezebel arrived for lunch wearing a hibiscus hair slide or a cashmere twinset in a lovely shade of framboise. Or if Annabel dropped off the children for a play date in spray-on leggings and a stud belt. But – and here’s the point people – this is precisely what is expected of the average punter as she picks her way through fashion’s new season. The most recent catwalk diktat, and one which looks likely to stick for spring, is a combination of hard chic and easy charm. Together. On one plate. It’s fierce but pretty. Tough but with a soft, fondant centre.

It’s a look promulgated across the board – in the delicate nude tones at ChloĆ©, Lanvin or Burberry, coupled with slashes and cut-outs and wicked heels; in the lingerie looks which have deluged the catwalks, all adorable silks and darling lace, but worn with swagger and attitude and masses of leg. It’s there in the bucolic fantasy at Chanel, the pretty frills worn with heavy clog mules and stocking tops.

It’s this clash of cultures which makes spring fashion suddenly interesting and new. It’s what will get Jezebel and Annabel into the shops – and, for the first time ever, they may be tussling over the same clothes. My money’s on Annabel to win."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1247952/Fashion-life-Jezebel-meets-Annabel.html#ixzz0myHhVDuC

I came across this article in 'YOU' magazine and I felt that it summarized my design aesthetic for my final collection as i am drawn to the combination of 'hard chic' and 'easy charm'. As Spencer says it is 'fierce but pretty. Tough but with a soft fondant centre'. Through my styling and juxtaposition of fabrics i hope to achieve such a look.

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