‘IN PRAISE OF STRANGE STYLE CRUSHES’
Do you have a style icon? Someone whose sartorial game you admire and use to inspire your own wardrobe choices? I’ve worked in fashion magazines for many years but I only found my own style confidence in my 30s, and for that I credit the fashion editors and stylists with whom I’ve worked closely. It’s great to share an office with fashion experts who must politely endure my endless requests for advice. I think our fashion director Shelly is already tired of me asking things such as, ‘Am I too old to wear leather?’ or simply, ‘Am I allowed to like this?’
But what I really get a kick out of is finding fashion inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. I’m inspired by a lot of men – I would pay good money for a rummage through Keith Richards’s 60s wardrobe. Or, probably the most random fashion reference buzzing around my mind, the mayor from Jaws. You might laugh, but I’ve spent years searching in vain for a blazer he wore in one iconic scene: pale blue with tiny white anchors. It’s nautical, it’s jaunty, it’s everything I love about resort chic! Even more obscure is my love for the outfits worn by Mrs Fox in the animated version of Fantastic Mr Fox. Her snug-fitting, but somehow still prim, day dresses are the stuff of my dreams.
So I was delighted to discover a brand-new unlikely style icon recently: Princess Anne, as featured on page 38. In a world obsessed with the every outfit choice of the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex, we could all be forgiven for never thinking of Anne when we think of fashion. But when The Mail on Sunday’s editor was rifling through photos of Prince Charles for a 70th birthday special, he found a stunning picture of her, resplendent in a head-to-toe white tailored look. Complete with a chunky metal belt, she could have stepped off this season’s Gucci catwalk. That one picture sent us down the most enjoyable rabbit hole, mining the archives for more, and we were not disappointed. If the Princess Royal were a young woman in the 21st century’s digital age she’d have the world’s media salivating over ‘the Anne effect’ on clothing sales the way they do about Meghan now.
So whose style do you admire enough to emulate? Anyone weird? I’d love to know, so do email me at the address on the right. We love opinions here at YOU, which is why we’re delighted to introduce you to a new regular voice in the magazine. Writer Elizabeth Day is frank, funny, forthright and now she is our new columnist. Turn the page for a fantastic introduction to what I know is going to become one of your favourite Sunday reads.
Enjoy the issue.
Below: the mayor from Jaws in my lust-have blazer and Mrs Fox in a frock that totally rocks