Take me to La-La Land

The Guardian:

So we’re reaching the end of a fashion season defined by “the lady”. Good. For all its Nancy Mitford-inspired tea dresses and vintage fur tippets, the actual reality of the look was less than fabulous. Less Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary than Maggie Thatcher. In tweedy old pencil skirts and pussy bow blouses, women looked itchy, uncomfortable and, somehow, both bossy and wallflower-ish at the same time. To me anyway.

You see, I have a secret. I may have been jigging the jig in favour of twin-sets and pearls by day but behind closed doors I’ve shunned the Bloomsbury-set frock and taken off in a different direction. To a place where mahogany-bellied heiresses wear low slung velour sweatpants, fluffy boots and midriff-bearing tees. It’s wrong, I know, and don’t think I haven’t felt the guilt. Kicking off my ballet pumps each evening and throwing my pearl-adorned cardigans to the floor, I’ve replaced them with my Ink & Paint diamante-Donald-Duck-encrusted hoody and tracksuit bottoms while racking my brain as to where my new fashion movement has come from.

But then one evening, I came in from putting out the rubbish (the one time I allow myself and my guilty secret out, getting a little frisson from the risk of being seen) and it was staring me right in the face. Not my well-thumbed magazines, but another well-thumbed instrument beside it, contradicting everything they were telling me. The remote control. Those glossy pages may have been shouting about bow belts and antique lace, but E4 was giving me Paris Hilton’s low-riding Juicy Couture trackie bottoms, Pucci headscarves and layered C&C California tank-vests. It wasn’t pillbox hats I wanted, or cashmere cardigans, it was Hilton’s fuchsia heeled flip-flops, Nicole Ritchie’s caramel fake tan, Jessica Simpson’s hooded tops, her kid sister Ashlee’s thrifty T-shirts and Marissa from The OC ... well, her everything. I’ve been drowning in a 3-D world of California cool, missing in my life since Cher from Clueless had me dressed in plaid pink miniskirts, pink patent dolly shoes and white over-the-knee socks to a Blur concert. I feel like Ritchie (minus the garish lime-green eye-shadow), constantly trying to live-up to Hilton and all I want to do is step out for Starbucks and be papped with my teacup Chihuahua chatting away on my jewel-encrusted cellphone. Despite Mary-Kate’s anorexia and drug-addiction rumours, I still hanker after her quirky style. “She can be wearing scruffed-up jeans with a white vest and green Balenciaga bag looking just great,” a friend says. “And she’s got the most perfect butter-blonde hair I’ve ever seen.” But according to Warrington, her assistant Henry Holland shares my shine for Mary-Kate. “I guess Ashley could be seen as a little too perfect and glamorous whereas Mary-Kate’s the grungy one who shows what the dark side of the Olsens might be like,” says Warrington. Dark side, any side! If only they would do the decent thing and get themselves a reality show. Girls, we need you.