Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

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.


Pink Ladies

In Celebrities, Pink, Trends on October 31, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Ciara 3

Rule: if you’re going to do a trend, really do it

Got all your new pretty-in-pink clothes yet, then? That’s what we’re all supposed to be wearing this season, although I confess I haven’t run out to snap any up yet.

The idea just seems a little gimmicky to me and will date so very quickly and expensively – especially if you invested in dusty pink tailoring, which all the fashion mags are urging us to do. I’m just not sure yet.

Not that I don’t adore the colour. I think pink in all its shades is very uplifting. I have quite a bit of feature shocking pink around my home and have fond memories of a pale pink shift dress and jacket arrangement I had years ago, which always felt cheery and chic at the same time.

It’s also a colour loaded with post-modern ironic feminine power messages, so I’m all for thinking pinking as a general plan, but at the same time there’s a warning voice in my ear whispering a name… and that name is: Miss Piggy.

I fear that dressed in pink head to toe I could resemble Mademoiselle Cochon emerging naked from a hot tub. Particularly if I chose to invest in the particular sweater shown above on singer Ciara.


It’s by a Belgian designer called Doriane Van Overeem (this season, of course…) and while I know it would look like plumpy plush piggy flesh on me – it does look really amazing on the artiste frequently referred to as Cici (as opposed to the rather better known Riri).

In fact I adore her entire porcine pink ensemble and it was the first picture of someone sporting this trend which has made me think, hmmmm, maybe…

What made me sit up and take interest is the bold way Ms Ciara has embraced the pink. Rather than making a weak token gesture towards it (as I have pathetically considered doing) with just a pink scarf, or other small (i.e. ‘cheap’) accessory, she’s embraced it with fearless enthusiasm. And a large measure of camp.

Pink is the campest of colours, particularly in this sugar shade, and she’s pushed that way further with the deliberate Pink Ladies mood in the pencil skirt and fluffy sweater combo, accentuating the 50s feel even more with her kitsch white Miu Miu extreme cats eyes sunnies and fabulous beauty queen white stilettos (exactly the style of shoe I’ve been going on about for weeks…).


But her master stroke is the shiny vinyl pink skirt from TopShop. The shape is classic 1950s (Rizzo herself would love it…), but the fabrication is totally 21st century. I had a similar skirt in the 1980s, but it was black which now seems so boringly obvious, although it was quite daring at the time. It’s the combination of slightly sick pink and vinyl that makes this one – and with it, the whole look – totally new and now.

I really want that skirt.


The only problem is what I’d wear it with, because I’m still not sure I could go head to toe bacon – and what other colour to put with it? I absolutely loathe this pink with black, unless it’s part of a humorously kitsch retro bath product range.

So I’m forced to conclude that that this pink is a kind of prime number of colours, because it doesn’t go with any of the classic neutrals (grey would be way too 80s…)

Really, the only other colour you can wear this pink with is white and as I know that would make me feel like a rasher of best streaky, I’m not going there – even though I’m very glad Ciara did. And she looks amazing.

But I want this skirt in navy blue.

PS I originally wrote this for my Age/Sun Herald/Fairfax Media column ‘The Rules’ but we couldn’t use it there because of issues with the photo – so I’ve used a screen shot from the website Red Carpet Fashion Awards, which you can look at properly here:

And you can find The Rules, every Sunday here



Eight pairs of shoes…?

In Actors, Celebrities, Shoes on June 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm


I was gripped by an item I saw this week on the Daily Mail’s website in which Emma Watson says she has only eight pairs of shoes. Eight!

The comment was inspired by her glimpse into Paris Hilton’s actual wardrobe, which the heiress allowed Sofia Coppola to use in her film The Bling Ring, starring Watson and based on the real-life spate of robberies of Hilton and other young LA celebrities, by a group of spoilt teenagers.

Despite being in command of her own £26 million fortune, Watson was astonished by the sheer volume of designer gear Hilton had – much of it unworn, tags intact.

It’s ‘consumerism as a form of kleptomania,’ said Ms Watson, who is clearly as smart as someone accepted by both Brown and Oxford universities should be. Almost as smart as Hermione Granger.

But back to the eight pairs of shoes… EIGHT?!?! I’ve taken that many on holiday with me – and then I bought two more while I was there.

I’ve got so many pairs of shoes I honestly don’t have a clue how many there are in total. I think I will count them, out of interest, but not right now – I’ll get back to you with that number. Meanwhile I’m doing a mental tally, to see how I square up with Hermion-emma.


Quite a lot of my shoes are in permanent storage on top of a cupboard. There are at least six pairs of really old vintage treasures up there – the oldest from the 1920s – which I bought at jumble sales in the 1970s. Haven’t worn them for thirty years, but can’t part with them. Too special.

There’s also quite a collection of really fabulous (and generally rather camp…) serious designer shoes that I don’t wear any more, but which – along with the vintage ones – I’m saving for my daughter (probably condemning her to size 12 feet in the process).

And out of for nostalgia. I don’t want to forget the season of the Prada d’Orsay pump…oh, happy days in Milano. I bought two pairs. Impossible to walk in, but such things of loveliness.


The next level in my shoe hierarchy are the ones I wear occasionally and like to keep around, just in case and because they’re also beautiful objects to look at. But when I do a rigorous inventory of the shoes I really wear, it comes down to just over twenty pairs, which quite surprises me.

So then I start to wonder, when Emma W. said ‘shoes’, did she mean absolutely every pair of foot covering items she owns, or just ‘proper’ shoes?

Was she discounting her practical utility footwear which, in my case, includes Havaianas, Converse, Nike neoprene mesh trainers, Ugg boots, Hunter wellies, snow boots and espadrilles? Some of them in more than one colourway. Well, all of them actually, except the snow boots.


Then there are my two most-worn  pairs – the annual Birkenstoks (this year’s are apple green patent) and my 20-year old conker brown RM Williams riding boots – which both sit somewhere between utility and proper shoes. Do they count by the Hermion-emma standard?


And how about my Sperry deck shoes and purple suede Fairmount driving shoes? Cowboy boots?

I don’t think any of them can be classed as ‘shoes’, as in feature accessories. They are necessary life aids and iconic items which everyone should have acquired by my age. So if we agree on that, this leaves two more categories of real shoes: day wear and evening. Both of which are subject to seasonal adjustment.

For winter day I’ve got my 15-year old Paraboot brogues, navy brothel creepers, patent loafers, black RM cuban heels, black brogue ballerinas and pointy black Prada pumps.


For summer day it’s Sambag snakeskin ballerinas, smart espadrille wedges and red patent glamour slides.


For evening and best I have vintage croc pointy pumps, very special woven leather Prada pointy pumps, gold Prada sandals and glittery Repetto tango shoes. I’m not showing off, I’ve had all of them for yonks. I look after my footwear diligently, with shoe trees, re-heeling, toe taps etc and they pay me back in years of wear.


So now I’m thinking, did Emma Watson really mean she only has eight pairs of shoes for this season? As in the fashion season.

Working on the latter calculation, I’ve only got one pair of shoes I bought for this summer: divine lilac Sperry nubuck oxfords with fluoro pink and rope sandwich soles.


I feel better about that now.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?

See the mice in their million hordes

In Bowie, Celebrities on April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm



I went back to the Bowie exhibition. I had to. I couldn’t stand that feeling of unfinished business – and I’m so so glad I made the effort, because I’m now even more in love with him than ever. Which I didn’t really think was possible.

This time I got there early and the crowds were much less intrusive. Then I sped through the first two rooms which had irritated me so much last time.

I still found the headset maddening as it kept slipping in and out of spoken word and music, but I soldiered on and found myself fascinated. First by a computer program Bowie has developed to do his random cut up lyrics digitally, rather than his earlier William Boroughs inspired analogue version with bits of paper and scissors.

But the thing which really stood me still was a notebook with his tailor’s measurements. In 1972 his waist measured 26 and a half inches. Next to that was a highwayman’s coat of tattered Union flags, which was made for him by Alexander McQueen.


It was amazing, but what really moved me was to see the note Lee McQueen had written to Bowie, apologising for being a bit late with it.

Imagining what it would have meant to McQueen – the gay son of brutal father, who grew up in London’s tough East End – and to start a letter, ‘Dear David…’ brought tears to my eyes.

The next great thing, as with my first trip to the show, was just standing and watching a video of the man, doing what he does. It was Boys Keep Swinging, from 1979 – and I’d forgotten how amazing it is. The way he dances! Soooo sexy. And the way he dressed as three women. One of them clearly an aged Marlene Dietrich.

I watched it three times, constantly thinking: ‘1979! He did this in 1979!’ It would be fresh if somebody did for the first time right now. He did it thirty four years ago.

The next area had more video of him performing and more costumes, which was all pleasing – but then I got to the really good bit: the Berlin room.


That was the one section of this exhibition which was more than the sum of the parts. Using a mixture of artefacts, Bowie’s own paintings – including one of Iggy Pop – and a brilliantly randomised mash up of film footage, including Bowie talking about why he moved there, stills from the session for the Heroes cover, clips of 1930s Berlin – created a sense of total immersion.

Without knowing any more details of his life there, I felt as though I had, just for a moment, been there with him (and Iggy…). It gave me the flavour, the feeling – without destroying any of the mystique. Brilliant.


Being able to stare at the Thin White Duke’s actual trousers, helped too. And I didn’t even mind seeing the keys to the apartment… They were properly Berlin-y looking keys and I’d rather see them than pictures of the rooms.


Next to that was the other triumph of the expo. A cathedralic space where, with some delays between transmission, to build expectation, they showed footage of Bowie live, on huge screens, with the actual costumes displayed around – backlit, with the lights going on and off so now you saw them, now you didn’t.

We gathered, lounging on the black benches, and shared the experience, which was a triumphant antidote to the competitive jostling to scope the tawdry micro-memorabilia of the first two rooms. And they played each track in full and really really LOUD.

I stayed until I had seen it all through twice and even then found it hard to tear myself away. In one clip – I think it was from the Station to Station tour, but I can’t remember which song it was – as he shrugged off his trench coat, standing high on a gantry, I couldn’t believe anyone could have such sexy shoulders.

A fairly early film of Jean Genie was captivating and I had to hold my legs down to stop myself getting up to dance. What would have happened if I had? I wondered. Would anyone have joined in?

I just might have to go back and find out…

We’re all going on a summer holiday…

In Celebrities, Famous people on April 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm


I was listening to Oliver Stone being interviewed on the radio last night and thought: ‘I don’t think I’d like to go on a caravan holiday with him…’

Can you imagine? The confined space, the rain (inevitable on the caravan holidays in Wales of my childhood) – and the endless conspiracy theories.


You’d get out Monopoly or Risk, to pass a wet afternoon and he’d be off.

Obviously I’m unlikely ever to be in a caravan with Mr Stone (who I do deeply respect for his commitment to Big Serious Things), but this is one scale on the measure I generally use for assessing how I feel about people I’ve never met.

Another is: Would I go on a villa holiday with them?

jeremy clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson is a definite no on that one. He’d just grab the biggest room and would order all the wine at dinner without consulting anyone else. From the pointy end of the wine list. Hugh Grant, on the other hand, would be terrific fun in a villa.

I’m sure he’d be up for all manner of after dinner games, moving on to the full demolition disco (when you take it in turns to DJ and everyone dances wildly round the pool…) and would be perfectly happy to drink the house wine – or would offer to pay for all the drinks. Proper villa holiday etiquette.


He’d also understand, without taking offence, that not everyone in the party of ten would want to do everything together. The natural ebb and flow of different groupings setting off for the local market, visits to ancient rubble, or a nearby spa for a massage, would happen without tension, with everyone happily regrouping for pre-dinner drinks.

(I’ve never been on a group holiday where this was the case, but I’d like to think it would be possible.)

On an even more elite list are the people I would love to go on a camping holiday with. David Sedaris features on this one, partly because I think he’d hate every minute and would be so funny about it. I would also enjoy his commentaries on other campers nearby.

David Walliams, while hilarious and adorable, I think could be a bit me, me, me and exhausting in the close confines of the canvas getaway.


I’d jump at the chance to go camping with Kate Moss though. While it might be a bit hard to deal with how good she’d look climbing out of her sleeping bag in the morning, I know (from first hand experience and general reports) that she’d be a good laugh and I have the feeling she’d be cool about not being able to wash much for a few days. Essentials for a camping partner.


Although I would have to ask her not to smoke in the tent, so she might not like to go camping with me.

So that’s my scale for how I’d get on with people. Now tell me: who would you go camping with – and not?


In Celebrities on January 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Phewee, what a flume ride, I’m exhausted but although it was scary at times, I’ve learned a lot from this experience.

I’ve learned a lot about what people get out of burlesque and why they love it. I’ve learned that people feel very strongly about their right to wear very high heels and a strong individual look. I’ve learned that there is a self-defined proud ‘vintage tribe’.  It’s been really interesting.

But the best thing of all was finding out – when I got up this morning and opened the comments, almost scared to look – that there are a lot of wonderful people with strong opinions, who are willing to have a conversation and talk things over. Who would rather come to an understanding than keep slugging it out.

Thank you so much for that. It’s really strengthened my faith in human nature. There are far far more nice people  out there than nasty ones.

I’ve now amended the post, taking out the specific term which caused offence and which I honestly didn’t know was a derogatory term. I’m so grateful to Indiyesreally in comments for spelling that out to me.

I’ve also edited the rest of the piece in a way which I hope makes the points I was trying to make clearer and takes out some bits of nonsense that clouded the issues.

Next time I’m going to post about fluffy kittens (in killer heels…)


Why Miss Piggy? She’s the only woman, er, pig, more glamorous than Dita von Teese.

Rule: flatter shoes can be as chic as towering torture chambers

In Celebrities, Famous people, High heels, Shoes on January 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

BLOGGER’S NOTE:  this post pissed a lot of people off, so I’ve amended parts of it – on the specific advice of the people who got in touch and told me what they didn’t like and why. I’m very grateful to them. I stand by my opinions, but I would never knowingly use offensive terms about particular groups of people.

I’ve also nipped and tucked it in a few other places, because if so many different groups of people got the wrong idea, then that means I didn’t write it well enough in the first place. I think it’s clearer now.

I’ve never thought of Dita von Teese as a bastion of women’s rights. In fact I’m proudly old school feminist about the whole ‘burlesque’ revival. It makes me really uncomfortable. It’s just a fancy name for striptease, which encourages the acceptance of looking at women as objects. I don’t accept it as ‘stylish’.

In fact I’m convinced the whole thing is part of a New World Order global conspiracy of Stepford Wives fundamentalists (a word which, I now realise, spookily contains the sub words ‘men’ and ‘mental’…), who are also behind the current trend for very young women to wear the style celebrated in TOWIE, Desperate Scousewives etc – more make up and hairspray than a young Priscilla Presley (below) and higher heels than the most outrageous drag queen.

Well, obviously not, but I do wonder why we have casually allowed these repressive looks back into the lexicon of style. I really worry about the human Barbie dolls currently being held up to my little girl as the ideal of female aspiration. And not just for looks – for life.

All up, I’m really looking forward to the backlash to the false lash, when we’ll all be challenging 1970s Lauren Hutton again, rather than 1960s Danny La Rue.

Phew, glad I got all that out, now back to Dita. While her choice of career confuses me, I have always admired her style. She’s one of the most elegant and immaculately turned out women in the world. But my respect for her chic ranked up a whole new notch, when I saw the picture at the top – and others – of her wearing her signature groomed style, but with shoes you could drive a bus in, let alone run for one. And not in a caught coming out of the gym way (although I believe she was fresh from pilates in some of these…), but as part of a gorgeous planned outfit. Hurray!

Not because I don’t love high heels – I have a large collection myself – but I can’t wear them all day every day and I feel intimidated by the pressure to do so. At the Paris and Milan fashion shows (which I covered for many years as a magazine editor-in-chief and later as a newspaper fashion writer) it’s almost like a gladitorial contest, who can wear the highest shoes for the totter from the limo into the venue and out again.

So to see Dita wearing flats with all the elegance she wears her heels is a real inspiration.

And she gets another big gold star for the bag she’s carrying in the top photo here.

It’s the Saigon style by venerable Paris luggage brand Goyard, (older than Louis Vuitton and much more discreet), which is a great choice in itself and she’s had it amusingly emblazoned with her monogram. So that’s all good, but what I really love is that there are loads of pictures on the internet of her carrying this particular bag with different outfits.

She’s using it as an investment piece, her go-to bag, that she carries every day, just like a real person – rather than yet another cashed-up meta-consumer showing off yet another of her box fresh Birkins. (Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter, Tamara, has a special room for hers…)

Flat shoes and cost-per-wear? Dita, you’ve won me over.

Rule: It really can be this easy

In Celebrities, Famous people, Mothers, Supermodels on June 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

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…


Rule: all white is tricky

In Actors, Celebrities, Famous people, Fashion shows, FIlms, Weddings on June 23, 2011 at 9:52 am

The white dress is a big fashion trend right now. In particular the white lace dress, which made the Dolce and Gabbana runway for this fashion season look like a cross between a convention of oversized girls taking their First Communion and a granma underwear parade.

But I can see the appeal. It’s a fresh idea and a welcome and witty change from the Little Black Dress to the Little White Dress and lady slebs have embraced it keenly (left to right: Kate Bosworth, Anne Hathaway, Blake Lively, Diane Kruger, LeAnn Rimes).

But there are very good reasons the LBD has become one of the all-time fashion classics. It suits everyone, is very forgiving, doesn’t show where you’ve accidentally dripped your dinner down the front and is generally hard to get wrong.

The only way you can really stuff up an LBD is to overaccessorise it. Or drop a lot of yogurty dip down the front.

But a white dress, which is the equivalent of carrying around a bill board saying ‘Hey! Look at me!’, takes a lot of chutzpah to carry off. Also a lot of dry cleaning. And a lot of control underwear, because any kind of white fabric is completely relentless about showcasing the tiniest boofle of flab. As you’ll know if you’ve ever spent time on a treadmill behind someone working out in white gym leggings.

The other risk with the white dress is of looking like you’ve lost your way on the way to the wedding reception. You may be surprised to hear that Elizabeth Olsen (sister of the more famous twins…), seen above, is not leaving the ceremony after just marrying the dude in the sand shoes.

He’s Sean Durkin, the director of her new film ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene’ and this is the two of them at its Cannes showing. (The film, a thriller about a girl getting out of a religious cult, sounds interesting and he won Best Director for it at Sundance.)

This bridal appearance becomes a risk when, as Ms Olsen shows here, you opt for a demure, full-length floaty version of the white lace dress. All that’s lacking from this picture is the lily of the valley bouquet. She’s even got veily things going on in her hair.

The other way to wear the white lace dress, to shift it from Here Comes The Bride, to The Girl Can’t Help It, is showcased here by Uma Thurman, also at Cannes, with fellow jury members, Jude Law and Robert de Niro.

Ms Thurman’s Versace frock is crisp Broderie Anglaise, rather than Olsen’s much more bridal soft lace and its fierce cut is worthy of Mad Men’s Joan Holloway.

Look at how she’s standing – caramba! – but it would be impossible not to sashay in a dress like that. It would also be impossible for most normal human beings to pull it off.

So that’s the challenge of the white lace dress. If you want to make sure you don’t look like a 21st century Miss Havisham, or a prissy 1960s bride (Rachel McAdams below, left), you’ll have to be up to looking like Uma Thurman.

I think even Uma looks a bit bridal in her all-white Chanel couture and Versace red carpet numbers, also at Cannes, below.

And I’ve put these pics in just because I love the body language between Uma and Robert de Niro. They so obviously had the best time judging together.

Iggy Pop

In Celebrities, Famous people, Men, Rock 'n' roll on June 13, 2011 at 9:52 am

Thanks so much to my Twitter pal @oneplanetmikey who sent me this video link, after I tweeted a reference to Iggy Pop last night – and now also Regina Pritchard and Naomi Lee for putting me on to the other version now at the bottom of the post – Iggy live on Countdown. One of the funniest things I have ever seen. Where are those children now? It would have changed your life forever…

On a very dreary, rainy Sunday night, with my husband glued to some ghastly Grand Prix, I posted: ‘I’m the Chairperson of the Bored’, as in Mr Pop’s genius song ‘I’m Bored’.

I’m sick of all the stiffs
I’m sick of all the dips
I’m bored.
I bore myself to sleep at night.
I bore myself in broad daylight.
I’m boooooored.
I’m the Chairman of the Bored.

It’s youthful angst distilled into one perfect three minute pop song.

Watching this clip reminded me of why I was fairly obsessed with the Igster from about 1977 on. And I needed reminding because I have been very very cross with him these past few years for doing those terrible insurance ads.

How could he sell out like that? The Ig?

I can’t bear the thought of those advertising wonks even listening to his music, let alone appropriating the anthems of my rebellion to advertise one of the more evil institutions of the SYSTEM.

I might have to put my Seditionaries anarchy shirt on to express how it makes me feel. Shame I sold it in a broke moment in 1980. (And it wouldn’t fit over my head if I did still have it.)

I wasn’t remotely surprised when John Lydon AKA Rotten, started advertising butter a few years ago. While I was a massive fan of the Sex Pistols back in the day, John was never cool. It was one of the things that made him so great.

He really didn’t give a shit what anyone thought about him – and watching him on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here a few years ago, he still doesn’t. I love him for it.

Iggy, however, was on a level of cool all his own. He didn’t have to try, he didn’t aspire to cool and work at it, he was born that way. He didn’t become cool, he defined how we now understand it.

I’ve been reading the very interesting oral history of punk recently, Please Kill Me, which is a collection of quotes from a very disparate range of people who were there, collated into a historic narrative.

Iggy and the Stooges feature right from the earliest late 1960s genesis of what we came to call Punk Rock and it’s fascinating to read about the young James Osterberg (his real name). He didn’t adopt an on-the-edge persona, or lifestyle, he lived it. It’s just who he was.

I’ve also read about his later LA years in Danny Zuckerman’s gripping drug memoir Wonderland Avenue (which I am eternally grateful to Mia Freedman for putting me on to years ago).

Although I must say here, that Iggy’s drug abuse and dependency was always the least interesting thing about him. That was never what made him interesting to me – he was amazing despite the drugs, not because of them. And for surviving the stupid things he did to himself.

That aside, reading about the early years confirms that what you see when Iggy is leaping around isn’t some kind of stage persona, it’s the direct expression of the his life force. He was born with that body (and allegedy the biggest donger in rock and roll…) and he was born with that style.

And you just have to look at the blokes in his band in the live clips, to be reminded that was what even rock ‘n’ roll dudes looked like in the late 70s – so dorky – and to appreciate just how radical Iggy was by comparison.

So watching those clips has reminded me why I hitchhiked round Britain following him on his 1979 tour, to be right at the front watching him roll around in broken glass.

And I’ve forgiven him for the insurance ads. Just.

PS Note the non-sock action with the lace up shoes and suit in the top video clip. Guys doing that now think they’re radical…

Now here’s that famous Countdown appearance. I’d love to hear from any of you who saw it when it was on TV and hear the effect it had on you. I think this is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He’s like an insane labrador on coke, then the total lack of pretending to sing live, with the microphone down the pants. Heaven. His body reminds me of Nureyev. He could have been an amazing dancer, all that natural strength and bendiness.

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