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