Transform your handbag into a weapon; the fashion world is suddenly at war. Listen closely enough and you should be able to hear the sound of Vogue editors tearing out their hair in desperation. But why such drama? Well, some designers are claiming that the gothic trend is the only one to follow this winter, whereas others are advocating a new feminine chic. I’ve called Kate Moss to ask which trend she’s opting for, but she won’t give a statement in case she gets it wrong. The stress of it all has caused me to consider an early retirement from fashion, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my days reclining in false uggs. A choice must be made by all and sundry.
Because I’ve just thrown this choice at you without any warning, I’ve compiled a little quiz to point you in the right direction. Remember to be honest, as the quiz has a lie detector attached. One false answer and I’ll leap out of the computer screen and give you a quick bop on the head.
We’ll begin with an easy one. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
a) A delightful stack of pancakes
b) A mug of black coffee
c) A nutritious bowl of cereal
You’ve just spotted five pounds lying on the pavement! What are you going to do?
a) Spend it on a cheeky bottle of nail polish
b) Burn it, because money is the root of all evil
c) Pop it into a charity donation box
How do you spend your Friday nights?
a) Blaring out some of Beyonce’s greatest hits on karaoke
b) Listening to beat poetry at a speakeasy
c) Drinking a pint at the old local.
If you picked mostly As, then you officially belong in the Girly category!
Sit by my side and plait my hair as I give you a quick history lesson. Many years ago, a king decided that the symbol of the flower was representative of womanhood. This was a sort of consolation prize, what with the patriarchy already being in place. Things haven’t changed much and now the floral print is considered as a classic feminine design, and therefore features heavily in the pretty-girl trend. Don’t confuse your winter florals with your summer florals; the former is a whole different kettle of fish. The winter floral print is larger, darker and more species specific than its summer counterpart. Wear it on cotton dresses and cosy knitwear.
You can’t leave the house barefoot, so it’s time to give your feet a treat. And by treat I mean torture. You get my gist, both words alliterate. The subject of high heels seems to provoke a strong reaction amongst women. My personal reaction is to cry, as I lie bleeding on the pavement with a single stiletto heel stuck in the gutter. But for as long as heels remain in fashion, I will have no alternative but to write about them. Designers have finally tired of the flesh toned stiletto, and have started making shoes that have a purpose other than lengthening the leg. Shoes can now be works of art.
The catwalk has displayed wooden ones, metallic ones, and even little sculpture ones. I don’t expect you to buy these, but you could take this opportunity to exercise your DIY skills. Take an old pair of heels and do something wild, like strapping an old banana peel around the toe. You may fall, but it will be a fashionable fall.
Finish of your princess look with a generous sprinkling of accessories. Statement jewellery, feathered hats and pussy-bow collars are the non edible equivalents of the cream on the cake. Remember the wise words of Robert Harling: “the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorise.”
But perhaps you picked mostly Bs, which means that your heart bleeds Gothic fashion.
Congratulations, it is officially much easier to be a fashionable Goth than a fashionable girly-girl. Just leave the house with an early-morning scowl and you’re halfway there. Add something spiky to the equation, such as a cactus fascinator, and you’re practically a Satanist. But the main gothic twist on the catwalks is the reintroduction of leather to the modern woman’s wardrobe. Don’t start banging on about ethical implications. You can get cheap fake leather that doesn’t stick to your skin and make fart noises when you move. And now that everyone has forgotten about The Matrix, people won’t think you’re in fancy dress.
There’s also the recent flatform craze, which is a great alternative to the fancy heels I mentioned to the girly girls up above. The obvious choice here is creepers. I am yet to own a pair because I’m convinced that they will go out of fashion the second that I hand over my money. I do this a lot, and it has led to me missing out on a lot of fabulous trends. What I have done is gone for the more fashion neutral platform pump, which manages to be funky and ladylike at the same time.
Of course, your shoes won’t matter unless you have the right attitude. As every miserable person knows, there’s nothing more flattering than a healthy dose of existential despair. It’s totally slimming and it leads you towards some great literature. Don’t be a phony and just wear the alternative lifestyle on your sleeve. Breathe alternativeness like it’s oxygen!
If you’re still reading with your forehead all crinkled up into a frown, it’s probably because you picked mostly Cs!
I’ll be honest with you, my C-picking friends. I only put your category in the quiz to pad it out a little bit. I could hardly write a quiz with just two options, could I? What if you hadn’t had pancakes or coffee for breakfast? WHAT THEN? I was thinking of writing a little bit about how you can emulate both styles in a complimentary manner, but my nail varnish is starting to chip and I want to have a shower in the next three days. For these very valid reasons, I’m going to leave you to venture alone into the heady realms of sickly and scary. I have good faith that you will make the right choices. Perhaps you could put on a tutu and head to the pet shop to enquire about getting a pet bat. Perhaps you could dismiss all my fashion advice as being the puerile ramblings of an overtired student. Perhaps you could just take the goddamn quiz again and pick different answers.
Written by Phoebe Eccles