Forget striving for the ‘London look’ create your own
As proven by my shameful activities last weekend when I was to be found installed in front of the television watching an On the Buses marathon.
As I watched, I kept thinking how of its time the series was.
Not just regarding its startling 1970s political incorrectness, but also in the fashions its characters were wearing.
The screen was awash with garish 1970s garb, in all its polyester glory, not least that sported by poor, put-upon Olive.
But, wait a minute, looking at her clothes with modern eyes, her gaudy style is suddenly all the rage. The woman is a fashion icon!
Her Crimplene-tastic 1970s wardrobe is back again as the height of chic.
Fashionistas would do a tug of war over some of her frocks if they turned up in a vintage shop.
And her frilly nighties are eerily similar to those for sale at high end lingerie retailer Agent Provocateur – retailing for upwards of £200.
One of my various hobbies here at the Post is writing about fashion.
I love fashion for its pure theatre.
Often, it reminds me of Greek tragedy with its combination of spectacle, high drama and outrage.
Heroes and villains are made overnight – their fate lying in the lap of the gods: the fashion illuminati.
A seat on the front row of a catwalk show means you’ve made it, adulation is yours, while relegation further back is social suicide. Oh the indignity!
I’ve been dipping into goings-on at the recent London Fashion Week to see what The Beautiful People are up to.
Plenty it seems. Especially Dame Vivienne Westwood who this week said: “People have never looked so ugly… We are so conformist, nobody is thinking.”
It seems our Viv is blaming disposable fashion for generating a nation of poorly-dressed, identikit clothes horses.
She clearly needs to visit Nottingham – we’re a whole city of snappy dressers here with every style from design classics to avant garde being strutted daily.
If the general clothes-buying public are choosing the cheaper (and therefore “disposable”) option, I’d say it’s because of the limits of their disposable income rather than any ill-tuned fashion sensitivities.
If you want to just say “no” to being a high-street clone, I suggest you become a regular at one of Nottingham’s great independent boutiques.
It’s sad to hear many are struggling under difficult business conditions, with parking and pedestrianisation wrangles – particularly those in Hockley.
Damn you, authorities, for making individuality increasingly inaccessible!
Nowadays when you walk through Nottingham, you could almost be in any town, anywhere, it’s getting increasingly generic.
So let’s do all we can to preserve and support the city’s creative set.
Nottingham’s also a vintage clothing hot spot with many traders who work tirelessly to bring us unique items.
If you’re not sure what vintage is, it’s a moveable feast as its definition will entirely depend on when you were born.
For example, to me, it means 1940s or 1950s fabulousness.
For kids today, it means 1990s grunge – doesn’t that make you feel old!
I suppose that’s what vintage is all about though – cherishing old things.
As my old mate Coco Chanel said: “Fashion changes, but style endures.”
So, in a nutshell, don’t throw anything out, not even your Olive-from-On-the-Buses gear as it’ll be back in vogue again before you know it.
Hang on though, don’t style gurus say you should never wear a trend that you remember first time around?
Ah, rules are made to be broken.
If you fancy it, there’s a good vintage fair happening this Sunday at the Albert Hall, in Nottingham (see www.theVintageFair.com), I might see you there.
So, forget striving for “the London look”, create your own “Nottingham look” instead and you’ll be ready for Nottingham Fashion Week, happening across the city in October.
I’m planning a combination of “flatforms” (flat platform shoes) for negotiating uneven pavements and tram lines, a waterproof hat for impromptu Market Square fountain moments and, in true Emperor’s New Clothing style, an invisible coat for Saturday night-on-the-town wear.
How absolutely fabulous darling! Mwah, mwah.
Following last week’s column on the lost art of letter-writing, my sincere thanks go to L R Torr and D Povey for your very kind correspondence.