Dedicated follower of… style

In Celebrities, Jewellery, Style icons, Trends on November 30, 2013 at 10:22 am


I had a most enjoyable time on Thursday chatting with Tony Delroy on his late night ABC radio show about trends for the Aussie summer – which starts officially on Sunday.

Also on air with us was Glynis Traill-Nash, fashion editor of The Australian, and it’s fair to say the two of us agreed on every subject, which is always pleasing.

Tony introduced the segment by playing that Kinks classic ‘Dedicated Follower of Fashion’, which gave me the opportunity to sound off on one of my favourite themes, which is that I don’t really like the term ‘fashion’.

It’s all the connotations of pushing mindless consumerism through manufactured novelty that put me off – what gets me excited is style. Which doesn’t necessarily involve buying anything new, it’s about how you put your look together

As requested by the show’s producer I’d prepared a list of the key style trends for the season and as we couldn’t cover every single one on the show, I’m going to post them on here – and they apply just as well for this Northern Hemisphere winter, just interpreted with a little more skin coverage.

There’s a lot to say – really, I’m loving this season to bits– so I’m going to spread the news over a few days.


Olivia Palermo
My main tip for this season is just to wear whatever she wears. I study hundreds of celebrity paparazzi and red carpet shops every week for my Fairfax Media column, The Rules and I could pretty much write it about her every week.

As well as being naturally beautiful and poised (a very underappreciated attribute these days) Olivia is the reigning queen of self styling. It’s not just what she wears, it’s the little details of how she puts it together. Just look at these pics. She even looks amazing walking her dog…


Alexa Chung is the one everyone goes on about, but I find her styling pretty specific (Knowing Urban Kook…), and it wouldn’t suit anyone without her coltish limbs, whereas we can all pinch ideas from OP. I know I do.

She’s knocked Kate Moss off the top spot in this discipline. (Although I could use pics of Miranda Kerr the odd week as well…)


Feature Jewellery
Mahoosive, blingtastic necklaces and chandelier earrings, as over the top as you can possibly imagine and more, featuring huge multi-coloured fake stones.

These pieces instantly wow up the simplest outfit and are very flattering the way they reflect light on to the face – and distract the gaze from bothersome body bulges. This is a smackeroo of a trend for the older babe (like me ha ha).

The chain stores have amazing ranges right now. I had to walk myself smartly out of River Island’s Oxford Street flagship the other day, lest I buy the whole lot.


I particularly love them with very plain athletic wear pieces (see below) – a look I will be wearing to a friend’s wedding party tonight. A navy sweatshirt, a navy sequinned tube skirt and a bling a ding ding necklace.

Also look at new genres of jewellery, such as ear cuffs – earrings which fit round the curve of the ear – and knuckle duster rings which go over several fingers. And consider different ways of wearing regular pieces, such as identical chunky cuffs on each wrist, or rings on your forefinger (if you have nice fingers, I so don’t).


Athletic wear
Classic sweat shirt styling – the stitched v at the neck, ribbed cuffs at the wrist, neck and bottom – but in lighter weight fabric, kaboomed up with crazy sequin appliques, or pop art prints.

river island big

I did let myself buy this in River Island last week… I work it back with a pleather pencil skirt from Zara.


Here is another sweatshirt I bought recently.

boomAnd wrote about it here

Simple grey marle T shirts (Gap’s are great this season), or singlets work a similar look for hotter weather. I love the style clash impact of a plain grey T and low crotch carrot chinos, with the legs rolled up (a styling detail…), paired with a WOW necklace. It’s all about the styrony – style irony.

If you have the long lean leg length, I also love a fitted athletic jogging pant, preferably grey marle for maximum styrony, with a high-heeled sandal (gold?) and a silky, sleeveless top tucked in and wackadoo with a big old ear cuff and two chunky wrist cuffs. Think Rihanna.


More trends to come soon, meanwhile, you can hear Tony, Glynis and I chatting on the subject, via this link.

  1. While I agree Olivia Palermo looks lovely and such nice legs too, please tell me you are ‘aving a laugh with the other photos. This surely is not style. It’s not pretty, feminine, alluring or anything that young gorgeous women should be wearing. It’s not head turning in any way. They look drop dead daggy with miserable expressions to match.
    Peggy on the other hand looks darling even with a Frida Kahlo mono brow and whiskers.
    I do like the jewellery.

    • We’ll have to agree to differ on this one! Thanks for kind words about Peggy’s monobrow, I split myself when she got off the train x

    • Hi, love your work Maggie! I do look forward to your posts immensely…
      I do agree with Annabel in her comments regarding most of the outfits…track pants have never looked good, not matter what they are called or who makes them. I am not sure about the current trends in jewellery with all those huge and obviously fake stones. They definitely do not suit petite or fine bones ladies…I am sure a lot of them will be on the sale racks before too long! Aren’t I awful? Just my view! 🙂
      Keep up the good work! You are fabulous!

      • We are all entitled to our own opinions – that’s what gives us our individual styles. I’d hate everyone to be the same. The track pant thing is at the farther end of the spectrum, I agree, but the big necklaces are very popular… I think they look great on all women, the more unexpected the better. SOmetimes it can take a while to get your eye in with a radical new look… x

  2. I heard your Tony Delroy discussion and really enjoyed it.

    I wear plus size clothes and have for years become known for my necklaces and brooches. More recently I have bought rings. People do look at them first and hardly notice what you are wearing.

    In Australia now we have several shops selling jewellery (Diva, Lovisa, Equip, Collette) in every shopping arcade. As well as that most clothing shops carry a small range. I get a few odd looks when I enter a trendy young person’s boutique to find their jewellery display. And there is Tree of Life selling what were called hippie clothes when I was at uni. They have interesting big jewellery too.

    And of course it is relatively easy now to buy semi precious stones to thread up yourself. Many stones are fascinating.

    And I have a row of pearls which are the size of golf balls.

    It is really a question of getting the right match with what you’re wearing and then boldly stepping out. And I sometimes wear a scarf with my necklaces. Once again it is a matter of getting the feel right: colour, texture, size, length, occasion and mood I suppose.

  3. I am sitting here wearing my lovely new Elk necklace – big smooth ovals of frosted perspex that look and feel like river pebbles. It was a present last weekend from my friend Kaye. She also blessed me with another Elk necklace a few years ago – a deep red stained wooden minimalist sculpture of a bird. The kids at school love stroking it (so do I).

    I have quite a few chunky creations. These days, delicate ones don’t really suit. As I am a bit chunky, the jewellery has to match!

    I agree re Olivia Palermo – do like her style. Thanks for posting the cool brown skirt ensemble. I would have loved wearing something like that back in the day; now my daughter would look gorgeous in it. She has style – she can ferret out vintage and new and it all seems to come together most of the time.

    Alexa Chung irritates me a bit – it’s that perpetually cross legged pose that she affects for photos, I think. It looks like she needs a good wee.

    Glynis Traill-Nash is someone I usually read on the weekend (along with you). I’ve often thought you should join forces with her – have a bit of an international link going for The Australian! Woolnough is a good laugh, too. Now that would be a great triad!

    Thanks for the late night read – a welcome treat. xx

  4. Get this – “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” was going through my head whilst reading your new post and lo and behold, The Kinks just popped up on Rage (for non Aussies, it’s a late night music programme that’s been going for years).

  5. Thanks Maggie!
    Great column as always. What is your rec for sweatshirts? I’m keen on navy and grey.
    Love your work 🙂

  6. Totally agree about Olivia Palermo. I think she should win every ‘best dressed’ award going. Love how she embraces flats – tottering around in ridiculously high heels is never stylish. It looks like she’s wearing the same shirt in pics 1 and 3 as well. Oh, and bliss, no (obvious) tattoos!

    Also agree, Miranda Kerr gets it right most of the time too.

    • She’s really really got it going on – although was disappointed to read Kate B (above) saying she was a horrid on a reality show. I’ll just keep looking at the pics…

  7. Ah the bliss of a good skirt in summer! I can’t believe the absolute lack of wearable everyday skirts this year whether short or close to the knee. In my search to replenish there is only an endless sea of shorts of many hues, fabrics and degrees of tailoring.

    • Really? that’s disappointing. There’s a bumper crop in the UK chains right now, so I’ve stocked up on my favourite tube skirts, ready for when they go out of ‘fashion’ again. Mind you, they are easy to make…

  8. Indeed, it’s all about style. Really, what I have discovered is that it doesn’t matter what you wear, it’s about wearing it with confidence, pose and aplomb. If you feel happy with your outfit, it will look good. Feel like a dork, and you will look like one.

  9. Outstanding column, for the first time in yonks, I feel excited about the inspired styling opportunities of the warmer months.

    That is so often all it takes, fresh inspiration to make one look in to the wardrobe (and accessories drawer), in a light. It doesn’t always mean spending more! 👗

  10. Thanks Maggie for the style update.
    Lots I agree with. In particular loving the bold jewelled necklaces. Just ordered a stash from Jcrew and Anthropologie and love how they make casual t-shirts and shirts much more stylish. Love a bold cuff too but sadly the ear cuff doesn’t cut the mustard for me as A) I’m too on the other side of 50 and B) have tiny ears. Daughter can carry it off thought like all get out as well as channelling a good deal of Miss Palermo’s looks.
    I think she is flawless old Olivia but after watching her in some reality show being a proper vacuous mean girl I am not a fan of her personality.
    Kate Bx

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