If you like to take your bedroom fantasy into your everyday wear, you could do worse than take a page out of designer J.W. Anderson’s book. His gorgeous French Maid Dress, above, brings to mind Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary: the high-necked restrictive frontage is supremely sexy (especially when coupled with the promise of such suggestive buttons) while the naivety of the white Pilgrim collar and cuffs are prudish and forbidding – and thus tantalisingly thrilling. This is an outfit you could easily wear to work, feeling trussed up and constrained but looking business-like and focussed, whilst a whole other world of sexual expression lies simmering just under the surface, waiting to be unbound…
Yes, young Brit fashion hotshot J.W. Anderson launched his eponymous collection for Topshop today, and true to form his clothing is classic in inspiration, but fashion-forward in its creation. Eminently wearable white shirts and Breton striped jumpers rub against quilted silk paisley skirts and trousers in Anderson’s trademark tartan – even tortoise print jeans and zebra striped iPad cases have a place here.
As the designer himself said: “[The J.W. Anderson girl] lives in the clothing, it’s not too pristine. They’re all over the place, these girls. They might boil over but they don’t – they hold it in.” It’s unsurprising then that his mix-and-match spirit has been so embraced by the fashion world – and by a far broader audience to boot: by 8am this morning many of Anderson’s Topshop items had already sold out in the more popular sizes.
As Jonathan William Anderson himself states: “You can make it whatever you want: I want my clothes to live and interact with other garments.” High fashion just went High Street, and in a most invigorating way…
This piece was originally posted on Cliterati
These fabulous white cowboy boots come from a vintage-clothes-cum-antiques store in Hastings old town, and not only do they fit me, but they’re actually a bit too big – unheard of for someone with my hulking great UK8 (European 41/42) size feet!
What to wear with cowboy boots? Well, a shirt and some denim, of course! So here I am in a pair of Topshop cutoff shorts (with obligatory pockets peeping through), and a cotton Topshop shirt: I may have never dug the double-denim look, but I do love a crisp white shirt!
The pully’s a Primark special, whilst the jacket is leather and silver (my favourite combination!) from a thrift store in Brighton. Cowgirl heaven indeed…
I am genuinely beyond stoked that I managed to get my hands on a Mary Katrantzou Balloon Dress from her Topshop collection.
Just look at this work of art: it’s something other-wordly, of true beauty and colour, something seen in magazines or V&A exhibitions, not an item a mere mortal like myself in the suburbzzz could ever possibly hope to own.
So: how did I get my sticky paws on such a special dress? There were two contributing factors:
1) My credit card (obviously).
Impractical Items Of Great Beauty Unjustifiable In Their Expense, henceforth known as IIOGBUITE (catchy, don’t you think?!) are the stuff of which credit cards are made. They are certainly not bought on a money per use basis, so one will never see a healthy return on them.
However, like all IIOGBUITEs, this dress will bring its owner unexplicable joy and pleasure just from the sight of it, through the monthly repayments and up to the point of baliff visits and all-too predictable property repossessions.
2) The fact that the day the Mary Katrantzou collection went on sale at Topshop my daughters woke me up at 5.30am.
This should not have made a difference. After all, one would assume that any selling of such stupendously fashion-forward gear would begin at a normal shop-opening time on the appointed day. Say 9 or 10am. But no, the night before this collection went on sale I googled its Topshop online store start time, but to no avail.
As I lay in bed at 6am being jumped on by small people, I thought I’d just check for news on the store’s website on my iPhone. And lo and behold, would you Adam and Eve it (that’s cockney rhyming slang for ‘believe’, for all you non-Brits out there), not only was Mary Katrantzou’s clothing line on sale online, but the jersey dress I’d also been wanting was already sold out. ALREADY?!
This I could not believe. WHEN DID THIS DAMN SALE START? And WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME?! I’m guessing (and am happy to be corrected – please feel free), that it started on midnight on said day, and not at a more reasonable time of 9 or 10am! Anyway, I was annoyed, as not only was the jersey dress £100 more affordable, it was also infinitely more wearable (thereby negating the IIOGBUITE issue above, but with equal joy imparted).
The Large was, well, too large, whilst the Medium was slightly tight (which means I can’t wear my M&S Two Sizes Bigger Bra underneath it, although it is nice to know my natural boobs are good for something!), but all in all the Medium was a better fit. After all, it is called a Balloon Dress, so the boned balloon shaped skirt does nicely cover my ample bum whilst making my ‘I’ve had two-kids’ tum look tiny in comparison. And it’s beautiful. Did I mention that? Truly beautiful. I had no idea that in real life this dress would move me so much. The prints are so vivid they almost glow, and the shape is just something else: if you could buy it in every size, there is no body shape it couldn’t flatter. No wonder it’s been so popular with celebrities – it takes the heat off their chest size and the tightness of their buns! OK, so it’s a cliched IIOGBUITE, but it is worth every penny because it’s a work of art in itself, and I am happy every time I see it hanging on my husband’s clothes rail (my rail’s fit-to-bursting, natch!). The only thing left to consider is what shoes to wear with it. Hmm… I can feel a whole new blog coming on…! September 2012 update – Unfortunately, due to financial reasons I’m now having to sell this dress. It’s in a Medium size, has been worn once, and is in perfect condition. So if you’re interested in buying this piece of fashion history, please contact me below.