From Vetements’ sold-out diaper butt jeans to Ashish’s dreams in sequins, embellished denim has never been hotter. The patch is your new badge of honour in the style stakes
Adding to my denim arsenal has never been a problem. Denim is my go-to solution for all sartorial dilemmas. Like the strong, older brother I never had, it is my protectorate, warding off any unwanted attention, its tough, impenetrable fabric protecting me from the elements and stretching in all the right places (brothers do this too, right?). With the resurgence of normcore (and everyone’s favourite sub-trend ‘Strangcore’), the reign of peacocking looked like it was fading into the ether. Cue the much-needed emergence of eclectic fashion’s newest poster boy, Alessandro Michele, who was appointed creative director of Gucci after the swift departure of Frida Giannini early last year. Resurrecting this bold trend, the Roman-born designer decreed maximalism to be fashion’s new Lazarus. Like a Phoenix from the ashes, the bold, the bright and the beautiful began to rise. Gender bending became the order of the day and everyone whispered in not-so-dulcet tones ‘Menswear or Womenswear?’ when Michele sent androgynous models down a shared runway in pussy-bow floral blouses and masculine suits. The term ‘flea market chic’ entered the radar. And lo and behold, the return of patches, denim’s long lost friend injected some much-needed spice into the League of Jeans and usurped skinny jeans as the race leader.
While Alessandro Michele can’t claim full credit for the return of the patch, he most certainly paved the way: At Gucci’s spring/summer showing, biker jackets were given a glam update with jewels-a-plenty and serpents wormed their way onto pants and into shoes. Marc Jacobs gave us a lesson in 90s Americana with his spring/summer 2016 collection where swans were stitched onto sailor suits, denim maxi skirts and jackets were embellished as hell and varsity jackets had pins and patches to rival the geekiest girl guide for a distinctly DIY feel. Ashish didn’t stray too far from his signature style with sequins galore and 90s-inspired heroines making their way down the runway on skateboards, embellished Canadian tuxedos aplomb. And over at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton designed a fully coherent collection that proved her creative reign is only growing from strength to strength with every new season. The starting point for the collection was the arrival of the Huguenot asylum-seekers to Spitalfields in the 17th century. Armed with little more than the clothes on their backs, their pockets were often filled with wildflowers and seeds, reminding them of their rich botanic heritage. This was reflected in the collection with 3-d floral appliqued leather and denim, even further proof that this trend is growing arms and legs for the season ahead.
There’s a moment in Iris Apfel’s documentary Iris where I broke down crying. As sentimental as I am about romance, when it comes to fashion I am maudlin. When Iris finally found a piece of jewellery that would fit her plastic dog, I nearly died. That moment when you finally find the key piece that ties an outfit together is magic. When I finally got my hands on this Bella Freud Jordan’s Eyes jumper, I almost cried. It’s impossible to wear Bella Freud’s fun quirky designs and not feel happy.
I’ve been spending a lot of time in gym gear lately. And no matter how nice/coordinated or stylish it is, I still feel like a boiled potato. I love comfort, yes but give me an hour to get dressed for a girl date or a weekend jaunt and I love to curate my sartorial choices by what makes me laugh. Unforgiving spandex – Creatin = rage-filled face. Winged eyeliner boobs + half-eaten apple earrings – gross arch-supported runners = gas ticket. It’s simple arithmetic. And there were so many happy mistakes on this shoot. Like when I picked up this hose and accidentally blew its lid, my face says it all really. Or when the photographer Sean suggested I clean the walls and I literally threw him 50 shades of resting bitch face. I’ve been told I have a rubber face. Maybe it’s time I really put it to good use?!
Anatomy of the shoot:
Photography: Sean ‘The Hair’ Moore
Hair/makeup: Katie at EF Creative Studios
Jeans: Pull and Bear, in store. Online, similar here
Shoes: River Island
Bag: Lulu Guinness