How hard does life need to be? Not that hard at all, as shown here by Claudia Schiffer on the school run on a wet day in London.
Very scarily for the other mothers, Claudia’s kids go to the same Notting Hill school as Elle McPherson’s, Trinny Woodall’s, and Stella McCartney’s. Just a bit of school gate fashion pressure, then.
The best accessory I can think of for that ordeal would be Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility, but those girls have to do it under full fire of eyes from all the other celebri-mums – and the paparazzi. And then people like us ha ha ha.
Elle gave in to the fish tank pressure a few weeks ago, when we featured those pics of her school running in sprayed-on jeans and skyscraper Louboutin heels so torturous she was papped shortly after taking them off and rubbing her sore tootsies. She doesn’t normally go that far, but boy, does she look amazing. Imagine this sight greeting you in the morning. I’d never leave the house again.
Top marks to Claudia, though, for this object lesson in how to look mama chic in a completely relaxed way. She looks great, but she doesn’t look like she’s trying. Double win and all the more impressive as she doesn’t have a track record as one of the more instinctively stylish celebs.
She’s not a Kate, or a Sienna, with a natural born instinct how to throw together an outfit that’s original and inspirational. In all truth, Claudia generally tends to get by on the strength of having one of the world’s more perfect bodies – even after three children.
But that’s not the deal with this look. Of course, it’s always a sartorial advantage to have the physique of a semi-retired supermodel (rice sacks would look good, food wrap a daywear option…), but any of us could wear this with pride. Really.
The foundation of the outfit is that most classic item of outerwear, the trench coat, currently riding high as both timeless and totally on trend, something that really doesn’t happen very often.
And while we’re talking about the trench, please note how Claudia’s belt is tied, not buckled. I know I keep going on about it, but that detail is crucial to the throwaway chic of this ensemble.
But the real secret of this look is the overall simplicity of it. With all those flaps and buttons, the trench coat is a busy garment in itself and needs little more than a nice bag and a decent pair of jeans to look fabulous. The shades in the rain add a nice shot of glamour too.
It was clearly one of those warmish wet days, so familiar to the Aussie reader, where an open shoe is the best recourse and Claudia scores for choosing a pair in the same neutral palette as the coat and bag, but this outfit would look just as good for a cooler day with boots. It would even work with full-on wellies, on a seriously wet day.
(Pause for another gratuitous pic of Elle McPherson…)
Of course, as well as the supermodel genetic advantage Claudia has going on here (and also, obviously Elle, but this is about Claudia…), there is the noble ancestry of the individual items. The trench coat looks very much like an actual Burberry and the gorgeous suede bag is definitely Ferragamo, but the added glory of this outfit is that one just like it could be put together so easily anywhere down the fashion price scale.
So we can all afford a version of it – and it would look good on everybody. It’s a veritable fashion miracle. Could it be improved? A bright vintage silk scarf, Hermès or other, knotted at the neck and well tucked in would be a nice touch, and a bit of a comfort if it’s windy. And personally, I always wear the collar of a trench coat flipped up, more keenly to seek that elusive Parisienne insouciance.
But really, I think Ms Schiffer has nailed this look with her rational German practical chic. See you at the school gate.
And just for the record, here’s how Elle deals with extreme weather, in this case, snow. All together now: sigh…