• how to wear

    FASHION AS ART

    LOOK FOR BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED

    PIECES THAT TRANSCEND THE SEASONS

    THE MUSEUM-
    WORTHY KIMONO
    Embroidery this exquisite is timeless.

    THE TALKING-
    POINT BAG
    Cost-per-wear? This will deliver for years.

    THE DISPLAY DRESS
    Wear this and adornment isn't necessary.

    of the clearly 'Non Sensible' buy gave me a huge amount of pleasure, it still does. Yes, clothes are made to be worn – but they are also (the good ones, at least) made to be adored, admired and stroked, are they not?

    Everyone always talks about ‘investment pieces’ and ‘capsule wardrobes’, including me. How you should ‘invest’ in the perfect little black dress, a crisp silk shirt and a pair of tailored black pants, and how everything else is simply icing on the cake. The only problem is, isn’t the icing always the best part?

    I’m thinking here of an oversized white Afghan coat from Alexander McQueen I got about eight years ago. Impractical? I only have to look at it and it gets dirty. Invaluable? Well, Renée Zellweger complimented me on it at that year’s Baftas, so in terms of value, that makes it a bargain, right? Long live the mad pieces that make your heart flip.

    So, The New Investment Piece, Fashion as Art – that is what we

    are talking about here. These are the stars of the runway, the feats of sewing engineering or Christie’s-worthy craftsmanship that will always be talked about, both now and in a decade’s time. The pieces that, were you to own a museum, you’d have to catalogue and exhibit them for others to enjoy.

    You might also label these pieces ready-to-wear couture, which sounds like an oxymoron, but is exactly what some of the creations sent out on the SS13 runways should rightfully be called. Take the intricate, almost oriental beading on Peter Pilotto’s warrior-like frocks, or the spectacularly crafted modern ‘patchwork’ effect employed by the Proenza Schouler boys. The final dress that graced

    “Yes, clothes are made to be WORN, but they are also made to be adored, ADMIRED and stroked, are they not?”

    their runway – the ‘kids’ digital-print one, intricately overlaid with pink ‘Smarties’ studs and a sea of tiny silver eyelets – was apparently inspired by Gerhard Richter, but for me, is more 21st century Édouard Vuillard. See how The New Investment Piece can kick off a lively debate in a way the classic white shirt cannot?

    So, what will I stroke and admire long beyond 2013? A money-bill dress by Mary Katrantzou? Or one of Alexander McQueen’s prom-like dresses adorned with bees? Maybe Pucci’s kimono dress, exquisitely embroidered with golden tigers? Or perhaps even an accessory, like Nicholas Kirkwood’s lace-up heels? There ought to be a Fashion Frieze for such an oeuvre, which, come fall, you can encase in Perspex to display on your coffee table or in your guest bathroom as a witty counterpoint to the scented candle and family photo.

    Which reminds me: those spectacular gold boots circa 1975 I wore maybe once, I wonder where they are? I’ve got just the place in mind for them…”

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