Sunday, 30 March 2008

Trial by Changing Room: Giles for New Look

Hello internet friends,

While Tor holidays in Dexter country (Florida, USA), I am visiting my grandparents in Ashford, Kent. Commonly known as 'Trashford' to discontented teenagers county-wide, I nevertheless view it with rose tinted contact lenses. For one thing, it's got its own tank.

That's WWI right there! In your stupid heritage face, Canterbury!

For another, it is in fair proximity to Bluewater, shopping mall o' American-like proportions and noted favourite of our nation's greatest export: Ms Victoria Beckham. Bluewater is home of every high-end high street shop, designer boutiques and is packed with hilarious mall art. For added value it looks like a space station of the semi-dystopian future.

I've never seen anyone over 30 in there. Just sayin' (10 points + cookies if you know what I'm talking about)

My point, and I do have one, is that Bluewater also houses the oft-dissed 'Gold' Giles Deacon for New Look collection, this year modelled by Agyness Deyn.

I've long been a fan of the Giles Deacon diffusion collection. There's a 1950s sauciness that runs through most of his New Look stuff that I rather enjoy. I also have a huge soft spot for New Look and its sparkly, shiny tickety-tack. I am in the biggest fattest minority on this subject but there it is. So when beloved mother and I pootled up to Bluewater (being a non-driver is tres glam, non?) I was excited to schlep it on upstairs to the changing rooms, ready to brave the sub-tropical temperature engendered by massed teen bodyheat for Sweet Lady Fashion!

Look 1 - Corset Zip Top that I May Have On Backwards

I'm going to charitably say that the hips this top gives me remind me of Jean Paul Gaultier's leather corsets for Hermes. I'm feeling exceptionally generous because I think cheap-looking domanatrixes should exhibit an amicable attitude to life. Still, look at my boobs, right? That's some mighty Marks & Spencer scaffolding at work there. Plus, if I'm always on a backwards angle, it makes me look thin. Life is so much sexier at 45 degrees, people. Grab a protractor and grab some ass, is what I say.

Look 2 - Line-y bondage dress

Y'see, one of the great points in New Look's favour is its democratic approach to sizing. Unlike the Kate Moss @ Topshop debacle, I'm not invited to look in the mirror and feel shame at my non-Mossian jellified, hair-spackled form. In this dress, as denoted by my High Klass modelling 'Rargh' face, I actually feel quite sexy.

Klassy Modelling Face No.34

Look 3 - Flagship Pink

Codename "Exception to the Rule". Even bloggers who hate the Gold colllection have a little crush on this dress. Sherberty pinks and tiny ruffles? Very punk princess. The moment I saw it, I knew it was going to make me look like a coked-up socialite, three months pregnant and in total denial. Which in itself is kind of ace.

Y'see? I love it, my belly loves it - everybody's happy. The little ruffles don't like curves so much and rise up to meet you like little puppy tongues. Fans of my near-constant knicker flashing will enjoy the back shot:

Yes indeed. File it under 'Size 10 or under'. Or embrace the belly and the drunken falling. It's a lifestyle choice thing.

This is my drunk and inconsolable paparazzi look.

Look 4 - White Jeans (Making Elizabeth Hurley Proud)

I have never partaken of this nautical/Notting Hill trend before. However, an endorsement from "The Cheap Date Guide to Style" ("weirdly flattering") and the fact I was feeling a little bit trash, led to the donning of white denim.

To be fair to La Hurley and Cheap Date, paired with my silk M&S tuxedo tunic they do elongate my legs a treat and gave me a different bum entirely. Check it:

However, and almost equally pleasingly, they're totally white-trash pant and buttock revealing with even the slightest bend groundwards. I felt gloriously Jerri Blank in those puppies.

If you're stil looking for the right 47 year old junkie crack-whore to worship as your God, may I humbly suggest
Jerri Blank.

Look 5 - Sequinned Green
Yes the corsage is playing on the wrong side of hideous but like all sequin-y dresses, it was kinda fun and squeezed me into a shiny earthworm shape.

I had fun. And for bonus, the sequins didn't threaten to serrate my Face/Off when I removed the dress.

Look 7 - Corset Top and Frilly Skirt

Okay, the dresses are all fine and good and more unflattering than not. This one, however - I love it. The skirt was all kinds of adorable: 100% Silk with lace inserts. Look how happy I am! I wiggled my bottom like a child.

More and more I began to feel like a slutty cheerleader from a 1987 teen movie. A really bitchy and periphiral one.

People bitch about New Look's trashy vest tops but this one was a soft cotton blend and very long. I enjoyed it way more than I had envisioned.

Go 1987! Woo! Yay! Etc!

If the Gods of Finance were on my side, I would have totally purchased this outfit. Verily, it put hustle in my bustle.

Please concentrate on my sultriness and not on the debris the teenagers before me left in the corner.

Nautical Rope Heels
Bit of a cliche this season but I still enjoy the rope feature and giant golden buckle. I was also plesed that the heels didn't instantly cripple my high arches the way most high street shoes do. That said, if they weren't carrying the mild Giles Deacon-ish prestige, I doubt I'd enjoy them much at all - I'm not a fan of stitch embellishments and the heel isn't high enough (it's about 3 inches) to generate the nerdy 'fierce' factor.

Wow -- only one shoe. Wigmore & FabFrocks brings you nothing but the deepest class. You wouldn't believe the amount of black changing room filth I had to Photoshop off my feet.
Jesus wept.

Neon Flats

Bit grim, innit? There's nothing special about these flats except for the colour which, in person,
is bright enough to sting my mother's eyes. The clear PVC rim is a fine showcase for my sweat condensation but little else. Yeuch. Too grimey cheap even for my taste.

Wow. I'm at a loss, even with a heapin' bag of irony at my disposal.

If Giles was doing some kind of multi-accessory transparent Mr. T tribute thing then at least I could understand it. But no. It's just that key. That heavy plastic key. I don't know. I just don't know.

Woo. Not a note to end on. That's depressing on a Joss Whedon level. Let's cheer ourselves up with a bit of rip-off chic:

Whew. Neon green is such balm to the troubled soul. In conclusion, the collection is patchy and much less cohesive than the previous 2 efforts. Still, at heart I am a John Waters trash maven and so some pieces (the bitchy cheerleader ones) really did speak to me.

Speaking of which, if we fattened and ugg'd up Agyness, wouldn't she make the best John Waters character with that bleached hair, black eyebrows and cheap Giles getup?

Divine et al in Pink Flamingos

Cast of Cry Baby

Hey Deyn, eat some pies and call my people. We'll talk.


Thursday, 20 March 2008

B&T meet Kate Moss in a darkened Topshop

Hello All!

Sorry for my long long absence. As Becky quite rightly stated in last weeks posts, what with my jobs and my thesis proposal, I am an extremely lazy Tor. However, on Wednesday I did find the time to meet the lovely Becky for a sandwich and a cup of tea, and a wander around Topshop.

For anyone who doesn't recieve overly enthusiastic 'Topshop style notes' in their inbox twice a week, the Kate Moss summer range was launched on Wednesday. Now Becky and I both describe Kate Moss's offerings for Topshop (often simultaneously) as Blah, with a capital B. However, as we were in the city sitting opposite Topshop, we decided to keep our minds open and (for the sake of you all) pop in and have a look.

Armed with Beckys super camera, which is approximately 10 times better than my own, we each took the 5 items we liked most into the changing rooms and tried them on. The results were less than impressive; in fact, there was nothing in the whole range I would wear if it was being given away (and free is my favourite price!) If you can bare to see the sad faces and bulging flesh then here they are:

I think my face says it all. As you can see, I couldn't fasten the zip around my bust; having said that, even if it had fastened, that would have been the least of my worries. The dress was made of 100% silk, so it felt really nice on my skin, but the fit was horribly unflattering. The oversized handkerchief skirt made me look wide and I felt unsexy and like I was wearing maternity-wear. Definitely not a good look. These next 2 items are the most scary an unflattering of them all; be prepared:
I am a pretty standard size 14, but both the jacket and the dress felt horribly, horribly tight. And my poor poor swished flattened boobs didn't know what to do with themselves:

Jacket (£65)

Flatter than two bulging lumpy pancakes. And to be honest, even if you jacket hadn't hated my upper body, I still wouldn't have worn it. The embroidery was uninteresting, and the pin-stripe didn't inspire me at all. And if the tightness of the jacket is making you wince, wait til you see the dress:

The '80s style Madonna-eque triangle boobs were definitely not made for me. However, I did like the stringy neckline, and again the material felt really nice (although in this case it looked really cheap) I can see this dress looking fabulous on someone tall and slender; Kate Moss maybe, but it definitely wasn't designed with curvier girls like me in mind.

Enough of this torment! I think its time to look at the only thing I tried on that I didn't actually mind (which is the only faintest of praise I have to give this collection):

The tiny star pattern is pretty, and the A-line shape is one that always looks good on me (even if I do say so myself!)
----END TOR----


I'm going to have to impinge a little on Tor's commentary and it's all my fault. Co-bloggers should have a seamless photo-passing system and unfortunately our system was derailed primarily because I was distracted making many cups of tea. Caffeine is my co-pilot!!! as the the bumper stickers say. With that in mind, here's a picture of my gal in one of the key pieces from the collection (at least the one in all the KM promotional ads) - the star shirt.

KM on the beach w/aforementioned shirt (£35)

My gal in the changing room, boxed out of her brains in the boxy box shirt showed previou

Seriously, what is up with the uber-square cut? If you have to shore up the sleeves, ditch your bra and undo all but one button to make a garment work then surely it misses the classification 'shirt' but some margin. But hey, 'Supermodel Endorses Scarf with Arms' is hardly a Grazia-worthy headline.

Gee, and do we really want the whole 'supermodel endorsed' look? I think the diminishing crowds ceasing their rioting outside Topshop have shown that we've realised as a collective that little vintage-esque frocks and skinny jeans with the KM logo don't exactly, y'know, spin you round the telephone booth and transform you into a paparazzi-ready megablonde bazillionaire. Telephone booths are in short supply these days. Good thing that Tor has the ability to wear the clothes and look just exactly like her fabulous self and not a bit Kate Klone. I'm also loving the optical illusion on her bosom. She is just the cutest pie.

Stripey Cardigan, (£40)

Now prepared to be near-blinded by the whiteness of my winter skin. As my own beloved says, I'm not the beautiful milky pale of the Irish but instead the sickly pale of one allergic to the sun. Either way, Vogue endorses my look, so he can suck it. Here I am, gleaming in the Scarf Neck Dress (£40)

It be cute, I guess but not £40 cute. It's £15 H&M cute. Plus, not only does it has the accursed racer-back but also a chronic case of BBT (bizarre buttock tailoring)

Flickr has taught me that there is quite the fetish base for VPL and Gentlemen Perverts, in this and subsequent photos, I think you'll find your needs catered for and amply.

Peacock Party Dress

Racer-back again, kiddos. Being an unexceptionally dull-witted young woman, I put the dress on back-to-front and I don't know about you, but I prefer it that way. I like my bling below my chin and wide crazy cut-outs for armholes.

Maybe you prefer the boob squidged dumpy 'right-way-round' version. That is your privilege.

Now onto the ubiquitous floral dainty-twee frock, this season represented by the Daisy Print Teadress (£60)

Not the greastest image ever but all I have to offer. It's not badly constructed, what with the side zip to facilitate a figure-hugging silhouette but my boyfriend took one look at the pic and gravely pronounced: "It looks like you're wearing a giant blue labia".

Then it was all I could see.

Still, I had more luck with the casual stuff. Say what you like about me, I know how to wear a cape. It is one of my chief talents.

Sequin cape (£80) & butt-ugly KM t-shirt (£20)

Seriously, why would you commission a t-shirt that makes you look like the album art for a cut price Guns & Roses tribute act?

Seriously y'all. Compare and contrast.

That said, as with all the KM casual wear, vests and tees alike, it is made of a nice soft cotton and is nicely cut to fit around curves. Still, for £20, you'd expect that, wouldn't you?

Hmm. So this collection is pretty much a dud, except for the fine discovery of a pretty star dress for Tor. I liked the cape and appreciate that all the sequins were hand attached. Have to say that we were hardly transported to "Ibiza, Miami, India and beyond" as the press release claimed. This so-called eclecticism was all very well-worn ground and in terms of the Kate Moss collections so far, was all much of a muchess: sequins, lurex, short shorts destined to make a permanent home all up in the crotch. At least the materials have improved.

Now the Topshop/Kate Moss design team need to acknowledge the breast and stop repeating their basic shapes/patterns and we'll be getting somewhere. My buttocks, however, haven't forgiven them for the first collection:

Wigmore, in the size 14 pant. 8.30am, 1st day of 1st Kate Moss collection. May 2007.
Good times.

Becky & Tor.