I’m so happy. I can’t quite believe it, but a miracle has happened in fashion – or Styling, as I prefer to think of it these days.
The F word has been rather diverted by overpriced luxury status dressing and look-at-me-please-no-I-mean-it-I-was-a-middle-child-LOOK-AT-ME-PLEASE lampshade hat ‘street style’ weirdos, who are just desperate to appear on a blog, any blog (repeat mantra above).
Styling is about how we dress day to day. Not what we wear to put out the bins or lie on the sofa watching the BAFTAs (oh, wasn’t Cate Blanchett just heaven?), but when we are going out and about doing our thing, presenting our best image to the world.
The trends for Styling work a little different to the shouty TREND REPORT fashion trends which come barking at us during each round of fashion shows – and we are already into the next lot of those (Northern Hemisphere winter 2014/15).
Styling trends move more slowly. They’re not about the now now now, they’re more the now – which will also work then. Looks, details and garments which will look right for at least a year, longer if you style them forward with subtle new tweaks. It can be something as small as tying your scarf differently.
Anyhoo, the miracle I mentioned at the top there is this: the most on-trend (Fashion and Styling wise) shoes you could be wearing right now are a pair of trainers. Yes!
Not those Sarkozy lift shoes ones with the high heel hidden inside (which I have really come to loathe, much as I worship Isabel Marant who invented them), but proper spongy, walk forever old-school trainers. The most comfortable shoes ever designed, which don’t give you Birkenstock moisture-hoovering cork-sole parmesan-rind fissured heels.
The only proviso about your trainers is that whether you choose New Balance (my personal favourite for decades) suede and nylon, Nike power mesh or Adidas’s re-released old school Stan Smith tennis shoes, they must have a certain élan. An interesting combination of wow colours. Or one popping bright.
They categorically should not match your outfit, but stand out as a style statement which declares: these trainers are a Look. Not a last minute desperation choice running for the bus shoe. To emphasise this point they do need to be box fresh, in fact you will need to go out and buy a new pair. Or two.
This is not a weekend downtime look. Feature trainers are great with tailored pants, a cashmere sweater and a tailored man-style coat. The marvellous Celine-designer Phoebe Philo (see main pic, in Nikes, she also wears Stans and is famous for her New Balance fetish) is the patron saint of this look. It’s a very modern, practical way to dress and perfect for work in all but the most formal offices.
It’s Styling at its very best.
Can you imagine the joy of wearing trainers to work all day – not just for the commute? It makes me want to take an office job again so I can revel in it.
(Actually I would love an office job again anyway. After ten years of going solo, I’m really missing collaboration stimulation, so if anyone wants to offer me one, consider my hand raised. Just putting the word out, like.)
The trainer joy doesn’t stop at tailored pants either. They also look great with the other key piece of the new season, the midi skirt – but more of that and the other key Styling trends for the new season next time.