Sunday, January 08, 2012

Charmless garments: 6

Number 6 on the list, and what took me so long: animal prints (albeit this is, perhaps, a category error, a print not being a garment). They've been fashionable of late: I was reminded of my distaste by an email from net-a-porter about "this season's style safari". I've never been into prints all that much, but I will occasionally wear a discreet pattern of some sort; where I emphatically draw the line, though, is with regard to animal prints. The horror is perhaps borne of an instinctive dislike of the idea of wearing the skin of an exotic animal, mingled with my suspicion of those who opt for ersatz when they wouldn't tolerate the real thing (vegetarian bacon, I'm looking at you); but the overall impression of animal prints, no matter how expensively rendered, is all just a bit too Pat Butcher for my taste. (It also appears to be mandatory to adopt a sulky expression when wearing them, QED by the above picture, although Pat, bless 'er 'eart, is always smiling in leopardskin.)

The grandmother of a four year old girl of my acquaintance gave her a "sparkly t-shirt and leopardskin skirt" for Christmas. That this was seen as grossly inappropriate by everyone except (presumably) the grandmother illustrates the biggest problem with animal prints: after all it could be argued that Pat Butcher invests them with some sort of despite-everything dignity. However, they also appear to be the universal tacky garb of underwhelming would-be sexpots and hookers. Not, then, a look for a four year old.

Friday, January 06, 2012


Eve Arnold, April 21, 1912 – January 4, 2012. She was most famous for taking photographs of Marilyn Monroe, but this is one of my favourites. "It's the hardest thing in the world to take the mundane and try to show how special it is."