friend of mine, who was sat across from Birkin at that show, has been stewing over that sweater ever since. The way it was baggy but not too baggy, the way it was exactly the right shade of gray, the way it would work with absolutely everything she owned.
I know the feeling. I felt an almost spiritual connection when I first spotted Isabel Marant's 'Dicker' boots on Kate Bosworth a few seasons ago. So much so, thinking of them kept me up night and the mid-heeled boot would often come to me in a dream. They also became a family joke, so convinced was I that once I owned a pair, my life would be radically altered. And guess what? When I finally bought them (such items are typically hard to get hold of, that is part of their allure) it sort of did.
Inanimate objects do not possess magical powers, of course they don't. And yet, don't you have certain game-changing pieces in your closet, which, however awful you are feeling at the time, make you feel taller, cleverer, slimmer, more confident, more equal to the
world from the moment you put them on? And when they start falling to bits due to being over worn (which, of course, they always are) don't you always wish you'd bought them in bulk?
So then. How to update one's capsule wardrobe, make it more, yes, iconic? Well, basic rules still apply. We still all need The Utterly Perfect white shirt, the trench coat, the little black dress, the little white dress, the blazer and the black trousers. But maybe now we need to pad that capsule with a few more “utterly perfects”. Like biker boots. A leather LBD. A lightweight parka. An oversized clutch. Leather leggings. A pair of skinny jeans. Simple, throwaway,
anonymous even, on the surface of it, but mythically important behind closed closet doors. And every one of these pieces is considered and important and more than the sum of its parts. We're talking iconic here, after all. These are not mere items of clothing.
Iconic colors? Navy, white, black, camel, khaki, of course. The hallmark of iconic-ness, if there is such a word, is that everything should work with everything else. A white Helmut Lang tuxedo jacket with perfectly faded J Brand boyfriend jeans. A gabardine Saint Laurent trench with a white/navy/black silk Equipment shirt. A white Marni shift with a silver cuff from Anndra Neen. Or a combination thereof.
So, you get the picture. And isn't it fun, in a grown-up kind of way, being restricted to pieces that already work together? The only rule to this little game is that if you spot a potential iconic piece and it is actually available, don't buy one... buy several. Extravagance? Pah! Remember, ladies, we're talking Iconic.
THE CLASSIC TRENCH
Trans-seasonal; day to night; the most versatile buy.
THE LEATHER LEGGINGS
A hard-working staple with sex appeal.
THE WHITE DRESS
You'll pull this out as soon as the sun shines every year.
“Don’t you HAVE
game-changing pieces which make you feel TALLER, cleverer, slimmer, more EQUAL to the world?”