Our ar­biter of style on Cal­i­for­nia dream­ing, six-fig­ure bags and Kate’s Bowie trib­ute

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Magazine - - Upfront -

WEST IS BEST At this time of year, our eyes are ac­cus­tomed to be­ing trained on LA: af­ter all, ’tis peak awards sea­son. But the city is also on the style radar for rea­sons that ex­tend be­yond the red car­pet, or whether Cate Blanchett will wear Armani, Givenchy or a swan cos­tume in homage to Björk. LA has long been called ‘the world’s fifth fash­ion cap­i­tal’. The ques­tion on ev­ery­one’s lips: is it fast be­com­ing the fourth? When Tom Ford staged a fash­ion show in LA shortly be­fore the Os­cars last Fe­bru­ary, his front row was sprin­kled with all the stars in town, few of whom resur­faced in New York or any Euro­pean city in the en­su­ing weeks (A-lis­ters aren’t hugely keen on fly­ing any­where in th­ese se­cu­ri­ty­con­scious times). A few months later, Burberry staged a one-off show in the Grif­fith Ob­ser­va­tory, while Louis Vuit­ton chose Palm Springs as the lo­ca­tion for its Cruise col­lec­tion. That might have been the end of it — cities go in and out of fash­ion like hem­lines, af­ter all — only it wasn’t.

Last week, Stella McCart­ney broke with her habit of show­ing Pre-Fall in New York and de­camped to Amoeba Mu­sic on Sun­set Boule­vard. Per­for­mances from Mar­i­lyn Man­son, Pink, The Beach Boys and, er, Johnny Depp were watched by a co­terie of pals in­clud­ing Gwyneth Pal­trow, Katy Perry, Kate Hud­son, Mary J Blige and Jamie Hince, with whom the sunny weather pre­sum­ably agrees, since he was wear­ing a green satin MA1 jacket and a ca­nary yel­low jumper. Whither the black clothes now, Jamie? Stuck back in High­gate, be­ing worn less in­sou­ciantly by the Count?

More sig­nif­i­cant still is the news that Hedi ‘Is He Leav­ing Saint Lau­rent Or Isn’t He?’ Sli­mane has opted to move his Au­tumn 2016 menswear show from Paris to LA next month, straight af­ter the menswear leg of New York Fash­ion Week and just be­fore the Gram­mys. That he will also show ‘part one’ of the Au­tumn 2016 wom­enswear col­lec­tion there is more in­trigu­ing still. His wom­enswear shows are one of the hottest tick­ets in Paris, giv­ing the fash pack even more in­cen­tive to jet to LA in a mas­sive FOMO panic.

Sli­mane has long ro­man­ti­cised the Cal­i­for­nian life­style, mov­ing Saint Lau­rent’s key op­er­a­tions to West Hol­ly­wood shortly af­ter tak­ing over in 2012. De­sign­ers will go where they are in­spired. BAG­GING A BONUS ‘Sell ev­ery­thing!’ screeched an RBS an­a­lyst re­cently, fore­cast­ing 10 to 20 per cent stock mar­ket falls. Well, not ev­ery­thing, you silly man. Af­ter com­par­ing the per­for­mances of gold, the S&P 500 and Birkin bags to see how their worth had changed over the past 35 years, re­searchers found the clear win­ner to be the Birkin, whose 14.2 per cent in­crease in value trumped the other two. Which only goes to prove what fash­ion devo­tees have known all along. No, we are not stupid and friv­o­lous for splash­ing out on ex­pen­sive hand­bags, thank you — we are canny in­vestors. Al­though not as canny as Her­mès, whose fas­tid­i­ous­ness at keep­ing the Birkin scarce (wait­ing lists are years long) is pre­cisely what in­flates their value. Last year, a Birkin sold at auc­tion for a record $223,000. And you thought a Chanel bag was ex­pen­sive. BOWIE TO A T ‘Words are very un­nec­es­sary,’ sang Depeche Mode, a mantra with which Kate Moss has long been in agree­ment. No ‘gut­ted’ and ‘in bits’ tweets from Kate when David Bowie died — she sim­ply stepped out wear­ing his T-shirt. Ob­vi­ously, it was the right T-shirt, not a naff one fea­tur­ing the lyrics to ‘He­roes’, nor a pris­tine thing that looked as though it might have been hastily pur­chased from a stall in Cam­den Mar­ket. As be­fits a long­time fan (one who in 2014 col­lected Bowie’s BRIT award wear­ing one of his ac­tual Ziggy Star­dust cos­tumes), Kate’s Bowie tee looked suit­ably rad­dled, like some­thing that had been lurk­ing in the bot­tom drawer for years. I’m no fan of the Grief Po­lice, but I’m an ac­tive mem­ber of the Band T-shirt Po­lice. This is how all band T-shirts should look: faded, frayed at the neck, well-loved. ES

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