London Fashion Week 2014
(All photos of this post courtesy of the Internet 2014)
Motherhood’s Fashion Blackhole
Please excuse my fashion. I have been in a Fashion BlackHole (B-hole) for the past four and half years since the advent of Motherhood. Motherhood should come with a warning attached to it: Warning: Motherhood will take away all your fashion sense & flair. I had heard rumours about glamorous, immaculately dressed women becoming mumsy after motherhood, but never had it occurred to me that it would actually happen to me. But then Motherhood and the BlackHole happened.
The Fashion B-hole sucks any kind of energy or time dedicated to fashion, as early as three months pregnant until, realistically the school years or perhaps the nursery years (if like the French, your child starts doing full days from the age of 3, that’s why they always look so polished). During pregnancy, when your body starts to change in alienating ways, fashion becomes high elasticated waist bump covers from Serpahine and more elastin that you’d ever worn before. Post-pregnancy, the B-hole sucks all the time or energy for: 1) Reading fashion mags and following ever-changing trends 2) Shopping for these ‘trendy’ clothes seen in those glossies 3) And if you manage points 1&2, after a night of waking up 6 times because of your baby’s teething or snotty nose, there is nothing one wants more than the comfort of sweatpants to curl up and cry from exhaustion. Toddlerhood is not much better, when your silk trousers and cashmere sweaters are ruined by your little one’s sticky chocolatey or chips & ketchup fingers, or your baby’s poo/pee/vomit residues (and I would just be too ashamed to be one of those women who pushes their child away to save their Balenciaga blouse).
Victoria Beckham: An example of what I am not.
Work, the saviour of the B-hole
The only women who seem to escape the Fashion B-hole are women returning back to work soon after the birth (and of course, a special breed of NHYMs, which I am clearly not part of, like V-Beckham above). Some of these women actually go back to work just so that they can ‘dress up in my work clothes, wear some heels, and feel human again.’ Every woman I know that quickly returned to work mentioned that work clothes make them feel good, and fashion does just that for women. It makes us feel better when we dress up and get other women to notice us.
Melissa McCarthy vs Cara Delevigne
These days, I feel more Melissa McCarthy (of Bridesmaids fame) than Cara Delevigne. Except maybe for Cara’s eyebrows, since I never have time to trim, cut or tailor mine anymore (blame it on the B-hole). At least I have a good sense of humour about it all, I have an award-winning muffin top which has reliably become my best friend (we spend all our time together, and no matter what I do or say to her, she will always be there for me), and I have spent the last four years wearing my fashion-less clothes with pride. But thankfully, the magnetic pull of the Blackhole is waning, and I am starting to feel like I am emerging from it (thanks to nurseries & schools!), actually caring about coordinating and matching, accessories and trends. The fact that I know that Fashion Week is starting today is a very good sign of my Fashionitis recovery.
Speaking of Cara D., she is everywhere. She is the model ‘du jour’. All of the fashion world is clamouring for a piece of her; Burberry, Mulberry, Tom Ford, Topshop, so I figure, all you have to do to be fashionable is to copy what she is wearing, right? What I do like about her is that she isn’t afraid of being herself, of having character, whether you like it or not, and being damn silly. On top of being a model, Cara has just become a bag designer at Mulberry with her ‘Cara’ bag, which just launched last week. And the great thing about bag fashion is that one size fits all, so I don’t have to try to fit in my not so skinny skinnies (or should I just call them my ‘fatties’). I last ran into Cara in July at the Serpentine party sporting her Cara bag, looking oh-so glamorously beautiful in a classic black gown. I could do that, I thought to myself. Her bag is being publicised as a ‘practical,’ three way bag that can be worn as a rucksack, across the body or hand held, in which you can throw your whole life into. To be frank, my fashion mojo is just not quite ready for the rucksack style yet, but I hear it is doing exceptionally well that Mulberry may soon run out of stock.
Kate Moss carrying a Mulberry Willow
Bag – Love: Mulberry
Not only is Cara Mulberry’s newest designer, she is also fronting their new campaign, which is rather beautiful, shot in the Scottish highlands (I much prefer this ad campaign to her previous high-tea-with-puppies ads), and throwing fab, fun parties at the Wilderness Festival (no, I don’t know this festival either, blame that on Motherhood). Mulberry has had it tough lately, but it’s always been a brand I liked, especially the Mulberry tree logo and for making beautiful leather goods (I can’t bring myself to spend £750 for a parachute bag of plastic coated canvas, thank-you-very-much). They have just come out with some new items of ‘affordable luxury’ like the Tessie, which is uber practical and I could imagine some mums wearing on the school run without attracting too much attention like a Hermes Birkin. School run ‘bag etiquette’ is quite unique in the world of the NHYMs. Ever since I saw a Birkin making an appearance on the school run and another mom whispering ’She looks snooty and unapproachable with her Chanel outfit and her Birkin’, I have kept mine far away from the school run. And the Bottega Venetta Intretaccio, seen on every NHYM’s shoulder, has become rather unoriginal and too ‘normcore’ to do my fashion comeback with. The Willow and the Lily are two beautiful Mulberry bags that have gone under the radar but that I could definitely add to my wish list. Then again, perhaps I should just get a Cara, in hope that her fashion shine will rub off on me and I will feel a little less Melissa and a little more Cara.