08 April 2010

Fashion and the Charlie Girl Obsession . . .

A Charlie by Revlon TV ad from 1979. Does that collar detail look at all familiar to you Hannah MacGibbon of Chloe?

Hannah McGibbon of Chloe has been watching Charlie TV ads on YouTube...

Girls, have you been looking in your wardrobe for trousers you don't own (yet)?

Are you suddenly hankering after a silken blouse in a shade of burnt toffee, pink or oatmeal beige that is a close match to your skin tone? AND looking to match your skirt/trousers and shoes to said blouse for a fabulous one-tone effect?

Are brogues your shoe of choice for Spring?

Is "looking like a career girl" when you go to work becoming an a.m dress-policy? 

Have you been swinging your hair about unnecessarily in the last few weeks?

Just in case you didn't catch it the first time...some more Chloe AW10 by Hannah MacGibbon

If you have answered yes to any one of these questions you are in touch with the new practical reality of fashion that is advancing onto a high street near you over the next six months, or has swung - see Zara now, and every label worth mentioning for AW10.

With the recession still biting, and many, many stylish young women loose on the job market, there has been a notable fashioning up of the daytime working wardrobe of every female I know aged from 20-50. Competition is rife for jobs, especially those in the media and I know I would go for the best-put-together, most professional and stylish looking young woman if I were hiring. The same goes across all professions. To be taken seriously now, you've got to look like you mean business.

This is why the catwalk designers - for years sending out a relentless army of red carpet worthy dresses - have suddenly gone all career-wear on us. It is also why I love what Jil Sander is doing for Uniqlo. That woman is so ahead of the curve.

For the first time in almost a decade, fashion is not about a fantasy night out "channelling" some A-lister, bygone icon or basing an outfit on a trend mood (eg "rock goth"), it is about actual clothes that are well designed, functional, elegant and with that long forgotten quality, panache.

The last time in my memory career-wear has powered up the fashion chart was in the late 1970's. I was just out of nappies then, but I do believe my future in fashion was sealed by the Charlie perfume TV and print commericals, some of which are shown here.

Charlie Girl had it all. A fabulous wardrobe, a successful career, men singing to her and fawning at her feet, and she smelled mighty fine. She was also terribly light on her feet, leaping from pavements at every opportunity. I love Charlie Girl, and every young woman born after the on-air date of these commercials will be seeing this look as if for the first time, and thanks to Chloe, Stella, Ferragamo and Celine, my prediction is she will love it all as if for the first time as the year progresses.

Bring on the bootcut trousers! OMG did I just write that????

 

- Fashion Editor At Large

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