...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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October 01, 2005 || 7:31 pm
On shopping

In my quest for a worksafe wardrobe I have, over the last week, shopped the whole of Zone 1 London. I've shopped from Topshop to Selfridges, from Beyond Retro to Browns Focus. It's quite an interesting and at times depressing experiment - to take the pulse of the capital's fashion zeitgeist after a year away of living in cut-off shorts and t-shirts from the 50 cent rack in the thrift store, and still looking reasonably well-dressed.

Fashion, right now, is pretty dull. Topshop famously produces instant copies of everything that appears in the high-end stores, but the depressing thing is that you might expect the quality to be far inferior but in fact, the Marc Jacobs top that's appearing in the basement of Oxford Street isn't really that much better designed or, to me, desirable, than its cheap rip-off. Too many frills, buttons, 'frayed' edges, cropped jackets, full skirts, 'military' jackets that look no more authentic when done by Stella McCartney than by (I assume) a sweatshop in Taiwan. And looking for a truly interesting fabric, cut or concept is well-nigh impossible.

I was looking for clothes to wear to work, to make me appear a bit more professional without being boring, and without falling too deeply into architect/design professional cliches - Camper boots, knee-length tweedy skirts, a bit of diffusion Martin Margiela or something Japanese, blocky Scandivanian prints and too much black. I was not looking to look like an East End teenager hoping to be talent-spotted on the Lane, a secretary for a 'trendy' office, an electroclash club kitten or Eurocrat looking fashionably distressed and 'trashy' while snorting coke in Sketch. I'm not going to wear leggings under a denim miniskirt or stiletto-heeled boots with skinny jeans and a gold-trimmed gilet. Even my 'staple' stores were full of black and brown, pinstripes and tweed. I want something to make me happy, not bored. To excite my sense of shape, touch and sight, to make putting together an outfit something fun, not a capsule wardrobe mix'n'match.

What's a girl to do? in my case, panic. Buy a couple of things that are way overpriced simply because they're the only things I see that do excite me. Then buy too many things in Topshop that I now want to return.



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