Mind your fashion manners, Cate...

23 September 2008

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In the Blanchett household, Cate's husband Andrew Upton refers to himself as ‘The Hand' - on account of the fact that's all you ever see of him in red carpet pics (editors crop him out to focus on his famous wife). Clearly Cate's son Dashiell is determined to avoid the same fate. When he joined Mummy on the Armani front row in Milan yesterday, Dashiell donned some statement shoes guaranteed to get the paps' attention - blue Crocs. We think he looks very cute (and how on-trend are those turn-ups?), but can you imagine the cries of ‘quelle horreur' if a fashionista over the age of seven sported a Croc during fashion week instead of something designed by Giorgio himself? A matter of manners, isn't it? With Paris still to come, here's how to mind yours...

Don't forget that fashion's a bit like Fight Club. The first rule of The Shows is - you do not talk about The Shows. The second rule of The Shows is - you DO NOT talk about The Shows. Because no one wants to tell the competition what they really think (or admit they weren't sure about those bun hairdos at PPQ either).

Do wear sunglasses on the front row if you're at serious risk of catwalk-induced eye damage (hello? Did you see how bright the lights were at Topshop Unique?). But don't sit there yawning, BlackBerrying, and counting tiles on the ceiling instead of key trends (we saw you at Temperley, Peaches). Sitting front row means adopting a neutral facial expression à la Anna Wintour.

Do wear flats if your feet are a little sore in London and Paris (the atmosphere there's a bit street, innit?). But bear in mind that it's more than your Louis Vuitton super wedges are worth to wear anything other than sky-scrapers in super-luxe big-business Milan. Even if you do get a heel wedged down one of the city's grates every time you get out of your car.

Always be more than ten, but less than 30 minutes late. Being on time suggests that you were NFIed to the previous show on The Schedule so, frankly, how did you get into this one?

Don't miss opportunities to network. By this we mean tell whoever you happen to be exchanging small talk with that their shoes/bag/scarf is fabulous. Unless they are Anna Wintour. Obv. She never does small talk.

Going to a mid-week show? Do accessorise with a Maltese pooch à la Daisy Lowe at Matthew Williamson (BFF Kelly O, optional). At the weekend? Rocking up with a cute child to show your I-can-have-it-all credentials is as de rigueur as a Twenty8Twelve leather jacket. In black.

Do ask people about their summer/opinions on Pixie's crop vs Victoria's/cures for fashion elbow in NY and London. But by Paris, remember it's not rude to ignore everyone, including your boss. You've been sat next to these people every day for the last few weeks - what's left to chit-chat about?

Don't commit Fashion Disclosure. Your Cavalli Latino print dress is accessorised by a (fab but thrifty) bracelet from New Look? No one, not even your mother, needs to know. And certainly not that skinny fashion assistant who is on first name terms with the Dellals and always nabs a Stephen Sprouse LV shawl before you. Nodding sagely and saying thank you to any compliment is the way to go.

Don't wear the designer unless you're a celebrity. And even then, only icons-in-the-making like Alexa Chung can get away with wearing Charles Anastase at his show, then changing into an Ossie Clarke for that an hour later.

If you've begged, borrowed or stole a ticket, do not get cocky and plonk yourself down between Leigh Lezark, Camilla Al Fayed and Lauren Bush in the front row. It will only end in tears and spilt Vitamin Water.  

Got it? Good!

- Suzy Cox & Melanie Rickey


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