I’ve dabbled in some dubious trends over the years. At the ripe age of thirty one to still consider it appropriate to wear a ribbon in my hair, some may consider me to be a Lolita-inspired misanthrope harbouring some serious denial about my age; a trend some regard only worthy of such age-defying beauties as Zooey Deschanel or Emma Watson. But fashion mistakes are my forte. Like my favourite blogger, Man Repeller, I embrace fashion mistakes like I embrace my 24 year old teddy Dino; tightly clutched against my drooling face during a Sunday special dose of ‘The Fear.’ Spinach in my teeth? You think uncouth; I think trés handy. Withered sleeves? Stained trousers? Eye bags to rival the Black Sea? You think Bill Sykes, that vile crook in the musical Oliver. I think Bill Sykes, that stylish vagrant nailing poet-of-a-generation beatnik look reminiscent of one of my all-time favourites, Charles Bukowski.
Not only have I been known to sport Christmas ribbon in my hair, I have also donned garishly pink bows, silk turbans fit for Elizabeth Taylor, bejewelled bandanas perched atop my greasy mane, plastic floral garlands (the poor man’s version of a Chloé advert gone wrong) and a parody-worthy 3-d horse tiara on a day trip to the in-laws or the requisite mid-day trip to Lidl for the markdown extravaganza. I’ve even gone full Benjamin Button and worn a romper suit with some pigtails, gawky legs like lumps of luncheon meat, mottled pink by my inappropriate dressing for the Irish weather. Now, in the 90s, I may have thought crop-tops were the definitive way to that French exchange student’s heart; the naughties came and proved nothing if not that crop tops were indeed spawned by an evil genius determined to create and display as many muffin tops as potatoes in Ireland and a scarce collection of uber- smug washboard abs that seemed to taunt as well as tease. Now, I have learned that if you are standing on Thomas Street for a blog post and the temperature is less than 0 degrees celsius, your stomach seems to magically evaporate, much like a swimmer brandishing his manhood into a pair of unnecessarily tight Speedos at the men’s only Guillamene beach in Waterford.
I’ve always loved the long, billowing skirts of the Romany women and the fearlessness with which they clash prints, colours and textures. This outfit is a tribute to those women. I recently watched the E4 mini-series Glue, a murder mystery set in the English countryside. The story of Glue hinges around the death of Cal, a Romany traveller who has been brought up in institutionalised care. Created by 35 year old Jack Thorne, who collaborated with Shane Meadows on This is England 86, 88 and 90 and wrote the apocalyptic young-adult movie, How I Live Now starring Saoirse Ronan, Glue is a whodunnit story of young adults dabbling in drugs, drink and lots of sex. This was the first time I ever heard the Romany people speaking in an English dialect on television. The Romany writer Dan Allum was a collaborator on the eight-part TV drama and there is a distinct authenticity to the show that was really refreshing and new. The picture below is from a really interesting article about a Roma girl called Roxanna and you can read it here, via The Guardian.
My latest haul saw me rummaging through the prize jewels of Om Diva where I got this skirt. I’m a little bit obsessed with polo-necks and I picked up a mustard/lime green piece recently from their vintage section that screams Marcia Brady – my current style crush. That middle-parting, the endless supply of turtlenecks, the knee high socks, the effortless beauty regime, not a scrap of make-up just oozing South-Cal cool. I wanted to pair this skirt with a white skirt and channel Emma Watson at Prince William’s charity dinner but when you bundle a whole lot of clothes into a bag to change in a public bathroom stall, no matter how painstakingly you fold the shirt, it ends up looking more wrinkled than Iggy Pop’s age-ravaged body. I think this skirt will look absolutely stellar with a crisp white shirt with my hair slicked back.
Man flu virus contracted after standing in the cold: Free.