The Patch

May 5, 2007

Saturday 5th May 2007- She’s in Fashion?

Filed under: Miscellany — Ames @ 12:41 am

In no way am I a fashion connoisseur. Not being the owner of a body made for following trends, my train of thought when purchasing an item tends to be along the lines of ‘does it look nice -> is price within my tiny budget? -> does it suit me’. The rarity of getting a positive answer for all three criteria means that I have little regard for whether the item is currently fashionable or not, the euphoria of finding such an amazing item meaning that I rush to the cashpoint, my debit card over the till before I have time to reconsider my purchase.  However, I cannot deny reading Glamour, nor lusting over certain items that hit the runway, fantasies surrounding such pieces are somewhat like imagining what it would be like to sleep with Johnny Depp: you know it’s never going to happen, but it doesn’t stop you imagining what it would look like in your wardrobe/ bed (I’ll leave you to figure out which way round they go). Yet however much I read the Times’ Style section, or countless other fashion magazines, I feel as though I’m stepping into another world. And what a strange world it is…

First there was the Madonna for H&M range. For this read: cream tracksuits. Watch me as I contain my excitement. Then there were the people queuing outside Sainsbury’s at 7am to grab one of Anna Hindmarch’s ‘I’m not a plastic bag’ bags. Sold by a company that contributes hugely to destruction of the environment, samples of the bags, in support of ‘ethical fashion’ were, according to Empire magazine, sent to editors using silver jiffys. Plastic ones. Moreover, at this time, the £5 cotton bag, supposed to encourage people to use it for their groceries, is going for £42 on eBay with 4 days left to go; they have been known to go for £150. The description in the current listing? ‘Fast becoming the must have trendy fashion accessory of 2007. Everybody wants one’. Oh, and ‘Not sure you will want to use it to put your shopping in, more like your sunglasses’. Clearly the ethical message got accross there…

New Look has also gotten in on the act, with Lily Allen launching an in-store range on the 9th May. Why someone would want to look like Lily Allen in the first place is anybody’s guess, but what makes it even worse is that the shapeless items that appear to characterise her collection seem to be carbon copies of the sorts of dresses you could find in every high street store, just with jacked up prices.

Yet none of this was quite so over-hyped, quite so ridiculous as the fuss surrounding the launch of the Kate Moss at Topshop range on Tuesday.

Now I may be no fashion insider, but I’d like to think I could spot something a bit different, a bit special, if I saw it. I got no such feelings about Kate Moss’s designs. Her t-shirt collection includes £12 plain vests that I’m sure I saw in Primark a few weeks ago. Her eagerly awaited range also includes waistcoats, denim hotpants, skinny jeans and £45 strappy dresses that look more like negligee than something I’d dare wear out of my bedroom, let alone in public. Basically, it’s a carbon copy of her own wardrobe. Which of course means that there is absolutely nothing interesting or unique about the range at all. Yet people still queued up to see what the model had in store for us, some even buying items as a memento of the opening, despite either not really liking the overpriced clothes (£30 for high-street-shop sunglasses anybody?) or being of the wrong gender to wear the items. It seems like a ridiculous price to pay to resemble a flailing, junkie supermodel, or to exacerbate the problem of Moss clones rife on our high streets, yet for many of those who aspire to be something in the fashion world this is the way to get there. Somewhat amusingly, most of the more interesting and well respected authors of fashion blogs are less than impressed by the model’s ‘creations’.

Still, it looks like Phillip Green’s £3million investment in Ms. Moss has, quite literally, paid off, even if many have been left baffled at quite how this has come about. Some people will pay anything for a taste of celebrity, and by this I mean twice the RRP on eBay. Still, that’s money away from Arcadia and into the hands of the general public. Looks like we can be winners in this fashion game after all. Unfortunately it means we’re going to have to put up with being badly dressed until the retailers can be bothered to come up with some decent collections of their own. That, or we could protest: baggy dungarees, shoulder pads and mullets vs. smock tops and celebrity fashion ranges? You know you want to. Although, knowing the fashion world, you’d soon see these items on their rails anyway, cashing in on the supposed ‘new trend’. Pat Sharp for Topshop? I wouldn’t be surprised…



  1. Of course, what’s even less ethical about these bags, apart from the odious display of pseudo-“with it” trendyism leeching out of every thread of the bag (which is a given in the fashion world), and the environmental hypocrisy (again, a given) is the fact that they were all made with labour in sweatshop conditions.–&method=full&objectid=18979085&siteid=66633-name_page.html

    Comment by freshlysqueezedcynic — May 6, 2007 @ 5:42 am | Reply

  2. I read about that, but the official statement is that this is untrue- didn’t want to be accused of libel now 😛

    Comment by amyfeldman — May 7, 2007 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

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