Friday, 6 June 2014

The Power of Clothes: The Accessory Over Clothes Debate

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times, invest in jewellery, a few careful accessories and forget about clothes. Well, I don't think so, clothes can be a very good investment.

It depends on your personality, lifestyle and where you live as to what to spend your hard earned money on. Let's not kid ourselves, there is no one thing that has magic properties that will complete our lives or make us look like our favourite film star. Thinking that because we spent the equivalent of an entire average outfit on one bag or bangle that some celeb has had chucked at them by a designer's PR company will not make you look better or be happier. It's a snack, not a full meal, tempting though it is, you cannot skip the basics.

1. Unless you are going to walk around naked, you should invest in some decent clothes that will make a good impression at work and on future friends and practically speaking, make your shape work for you. Clothes can make you the centre of attention or they can bond you with a team. Either way, it's not the clothes or the jewellery you should notice first, it's the person. People start to express themselves at a young age through what they wear, how boring it would be if they all wore the pre-selected, brand-only pieces, people should know how to enhance themselves and they should know how to speak the language of clothes with their own voice, some people naturally need to shout to make themselves heard whilst others reassure with a whisper. 

2 Alas, there are plenty of places in the World where anything shiny is going to get someone into trouble and that includes storing and worrying about it at home. I had my eighteenth birthday present taken by some 'friend' of the family creep. He would have never have half-inched (pinched) my favourite coat. 

3. I don't know what some of you do to your clothes, but I have as-new clothing from ten years ago and more that I couldn't even afford now (I mean have you seen the prices of McQueen now? *Mops brow of sweat just thinking of it*). I am still the same shape and size and I still like the same things because I am still the same person. I'm so pleased I invested in clothes in my 20s. Yes, I'll buy perfect tees from Peacocks too, but I love my 'pieces', with their amazing material, attention to detail and such workmanship, the dazzling craftsmanship as much as any gem on my finger.

4. Having a good wardrobe already means you can be more choosy about which clothes you really do need, if any. Hence, you can then spend more on whatever later. Another reason why people should acquire stylish clothes that speak for them and not just fashionable wannabe 'stuff'.

5. Re-sale value and investment is overstated and overrated. People often want fashionable designer jewellery, those are always not the investment pieces that do best when it comes to resale. The real 'investment' pieces are the top-end, rare pieces that most of us couldn't afford new or pre-loved. New jewellery doesn't have a good resale return, yes it always sells, but as history has shown, if people are truly desperate you'll swap your piece of Cartier or VCA metal for a slice of bread if need be.

6. Never mind all these 'things', the most important thing is someone's health. Investing in shoes that don't deform one's feet and encourage someone to walk around are very important. Shoes and feet are very important for self-expression too, often denoting (or suggesting) the sexual politics of the wearer of the shoe. I'm 'every woman' unless one wants to live in Imperial China of course and then ouch, just shower me with diamonds and silk scarves and let me keep my big feet.

7. Fine jewellery or a eye-catching accessory dresses-up a basic outfit it's true, but crap clothes make fine jewellery look cheap and/or fake. If your clothes need to be cheap make sure they are not crap.

8. With all the discount shops, charity/goodwill stores and outlet sites you do not have to go around in a tracksuit when saving up for a decent whatever. Tracksuits, unless worn for sport, will make you fat and look fatter on the way.

9. There's no guarantee you will have daughters, your children will like your taste or love you when you're old so stop with the excuse your buying family heirlooms. If you want to stuff a VCA/Cartier bauble onto every digit and collect a rainbow of seasonal handbags stop using you future off-spring as an excuse for your class-A shopping habit.

10. Everything goes in and out of fashion. Find a style that likes you back as much as you like it, wear and enjoy forever (and don't forget to dry clean occasionally)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

First look: Gucci Resort / Cruise 2015

Stealth Wealth Plus Extras

Another ultra wearable collection from Frida Giannini for Gucci. Clean lines, hot colours, sunshine bleached and faded, worn with dense black, white, camel or orange, all accented with gleaming silver or the blackest navy. The well worn nautical theme came through very strongly, either in lovelorn favourite casual pieces or smart and Modern. Either way, precious embellishments or classically tailored, these are pieces that suggest you've had them for a while and promise you will be keeping forever.  

The once-staple of every woman's wardrobe the safari-style shirt-dress, gets a reworking with generous slashes to show a tanned leg, block heeled 'loafer' boots or cut in shoulders to show off beautiful toned arms (mental note to self, lots of press-ups and push-ups for a body money can't buy). Style note, shirts and shirt dresses were done up to the chin, made even higher with a silk neckerchief.

The print by Kris Knight is a modern Flora, unusual, edgy blooms that possess a beauty outside the usual pretty classic garden flowers.

As so often with Gucci, standard classics also come in leather and precious skins, the season will be no exception with sailors strides in the softest leather, touches of python in the palest shades to showcase the skin's natural markings. Similarly the ubiquitous Gucci loafer will be available bejewelled.

As so often it's the details will separate the Gucci originals from the many copies that will sure to be around, whether a leather collar or heavyweight gob-stopper buttons on a perfectly cut coat. As in previous seasons, the accessories were relatively low key for Gucci, preferring to foreground the exceptional leather and iconic features. 

The evening promises ergo-dynamic and sophisticated late-1960s sheath dresses with shimmering detail highlighting the cut-outs, and unlike for the day, shown with no extra jewellery and the hair simply worn down