Who merits your admiration?

Am I the only person who sees adverts for computer (well, playstation – or whatever it is now) games and gets confused? Some of them are amazing. If they were trailers for films, I would be salivating as much as I did prior to the release of The Expendables (don’t laugh – I can totally justify this fetish for 80s style action movies – and, anyway, it’s not exactly akin to the dodgy sexual proclivities of Formula 1 bosses, is it?) or as I was more recently whilst waiting for Due Date to come out.

Anyway, on to Fable III: the trailer looks amazing! It’s a mess / mash of imagery which seems to derive from the War of Independence and Les Miserables. The characters, the costumes, the sweeping vistas, the backdrops – all made of binary code! I have a new found respect for geeks. Obviously, I’m never going to play Fable III – I’d have to buy a ‘games console’ (technical term found on Wikipedia – get me!) and read an instruction manual. I’ve only just set up my combined TV/DVD player this week: I now know I need an ‘indoor aerial’ too – oh well, I’m sure I’ll get round to that in another year!

This is just a note because I’m starting to notice style in surprising areas. I guess we’re all a little bit inspired by things which aren’t exactly text book fashion references. While the 50s look has hit a high point this season, it’s been around – in the wardrobes of my friends, anyway – for a while. Michelle Obama does Capri pants a lot – and they haven’t even been explored by any of the fashion houses who’ve done Betty Draper style dirndls. They’re just her. My friends have loved prom queen style for a while – one even got married in a feather covered version in her Rat Pack style Las Vegas wedding. 

My own birthday is on the anniversary of D-Day and I’ve always loved 40s style clothing. All those beautiful tea dresses, knee length skirts, fitted blouses, wedges and shoe boots will pretty much always flatter. And I love hats, gloves and structured handbags just as much – even tho’ they can look a bit costumey for everyday. Altho’ the gamut of WWII style made for a brilliant 30th birthday fancy-dress party theme.

Or it might be a person – ASOS has a turnover of £165 million. Whilst the website has changed a lot now – it no longer focuses on celebrities – it built a solid business foundation on our love of other people’s clothes. Millions of people watch Cheryl, Alesha, Tess and Danni every Saturday night – and I watch Claudia Winkleman every day, virtually. We all look at their dresses and make-up and respond: just reflect on the fact that sales of false eyelashes and nude lip gloss are still increasing almost daily.

Films and TV have the same effect; Mad Men does it for loads of us (the lovely Sam actually was Joan – before there even was a Joan) but I personally look at Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU. It’s a lot more mundane but she’s got boobs and legs – two physical attributes I share. Plus I can virtually tell which season it is from her hairstyle – she seems to be totally copying me. Altho’ I don’t share her terrible taste in lip colour!

So…who do you look at and love? What dates inspire? And is it more complicated than just liking the look? Do you admire the person too? Amelia Earhart and Jackie O came up in my research and they’re both pretty good role models.

Perhaps I’ve read too much into this. For much of history, clothing was dictated by practicality, after all. But I can’t help thinking that Coco Chanel’s fervour for knitwear and costume jewellery have shown us all that you can be stylish and pragmatic.

Yep, she does it for me.


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