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If Only: Outfit of the Day 33#

Maybe it’s because it’s September, maybe because it’s school season, and I suddenly find myself once again wondering whether I am invisible to anyone under the age of sixteen as children leave school on their scooters, ramming the front wheel into my ankle, running their bikes over my toes, headbutting me in the thigh, their screeches of laughter and shouts to each other ringing through my ears, disturbing what was just a week ago a very peaceful route through the quiet residential streets of my neighbourhood. Maybe it’s the first crisp, falling leaves of autumn, but there is definitely an element of back-to-school chic intertwined with an autumnal colour scheme for today’s look. Slightly-clashing patterns, block colours, lashings of accessories and a hit of grown up lace lingerie peaking through a shirt… yes.. I like this one very much.

12-sep

1. Isabel Marant Eddie Striped Cotton Shirt. £185. Available here.

2. Malene Birger Linah Felt Midi Skirt. £210. Available here.

3. Stella McCartney Georgia Bodysuit. £125. Available here.

4. Christian Louboutin Fred Metallic Leather Brogues. £495. Available here.

5. Valentino Rivet Colour-Block Leather Shoulder Bag. £1550. Available here.

6. Karl Lagerfeld Nadine Leather and Cotton Bow Tie. £95. Available here.

7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Obi Leather Belt. £265. Available here.

8. Finds Shore Projects Watch. £115. Available here.

9. Aurelie Bidermann Postiano Bangle. £300. Available here.

10. Valentino Cash & Rocket Studded Leather Wrap Bracelet. £170. Available here.

11. Finds Petite Grand Bracelet. £120. Available here.

12. Maria Black Set of Three Midi Rings. £115. Available here.

13. Maria Black Lilac Gold-Plated Ring. £65. Available here.

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The Curvy Ups and Creepy Downs of Optical Illusion Fashion

At school, I was always the kid who sucked at spotting the hidden tigers and butterflies in the Magic Eye books that would be shared between us beneath the branches of the willow tree that stood in the corner of the playground. Though I’m not entirely sure that my friends were being honest when they’d swear that they could see the possibly non-existent exotic animals hidden between swirling lines of ‘grass’.

So when the trend for optical illusions reached fashion, I loved it. Why strain yourself searching for pointless pictures of exotic animals hidden in a pointless painted jungle, when we can put the age old tricks to good use? Now a simple bodycon dress can give the impression of curves in all the right places, balancing out those somewhat un-proportioned figures. A godsend if, like me, you have what I would call a ‘crazy pear’ shape going on. While I do love my ‘curvy’ bum and my clothes-sit-well-on-me boobs… dress shopping can be a nightmare. Bodycon’s are a no no, unless I’m deliberately going for the ‘two aspirins on an ironing board’ look teamed with the ‘will that bum fit through the doorway’ look. The basic bodycon is a cruel illusion in itself, exaggerating my proportionate differences. That’s fine, I can rule out bodycon’s from my wardrobe. I can be a pear-shaped quite happily. After all, to be a perfect hourglass, with my waist and hip measurements, I’d need 30F boobs (according to a quick online calculator) – no thank you!!

So I’d resigned myself to a lifelong bodycon ban, sticking to a rule of baggy tops with pencil skirts or fitted tops with flared skirts – both fine, cute, easy enough.

Then I saw Kate Winslet in that Stella McCartney dress circa Autumn 2011.

I’m not saying this was the first optical illusion within fashion. I mean, look at corsets! And my ‘baggy/pencil skirt, fitted/flared’ rules But for me – and most women worldwide, judging from the stir that this dress caused – it was a definite moment of ‘yes – finally!!’

Before this dress popped up on every celebrity with boobs, there was the interesting Viktor & Rolf dresses of their Spring 2010 collection.

And since, there are been so, so many adaptions of the Stella dress (who made several restyles of her own), that I could dedicate an entire blog to each design.

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Alexander McQueen

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Stella McCartney

However, yesterday, this trend took a strange turn for me. It was a first – never has a photograph of Keira Knightley ever sparked such creeped-out horror to my eyes. Nor has a photograph featuring Chanel couture – and especially never have I disliked a combination of the two, as much as I do in this moment.

I give you, the weirdest ready-to-wear optical illusion outfit I have seen to date:

It’s like… Chanel’s version of the Skittle family of Toy Town.

Optical illusions should be used to flatter our curves, and create them when we have none! It’s about making a woman more womanly, more beautiful. Not… separating our upper and lower half, burying our natural curves beneath swathes of shapeless fabric and wrapping a teeny tiny waist until it no longer looks slender, but sickly.

And for this outfit to be Chanel… while I get how this outfit fits perfectly with their theme of the ‘incredible lightness of being’, I’m disappointed.

Then again, I saw their Pre-AW14 collection. Cowboys and Indians? Really? That’s the look you’ve chosen for this season, Mr Lagerfeld? Ok… you’re the boss.

Please, please, please.. no more scary illusions, ok? I know that the hourglass enhancing bodycon dresses of Stella McCartney’s collections are three years old now, but you know… if it’s not broke.

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Chanel Couture SS13

Apparently the inspiration behind this collection was a ‘gothic Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and quite frankly, I would give anything to have been there and seen it for myself.

Vogue’s description: We stepped into an enchanted forest beneath the dome of the Grand Palais and into a world seemingly straight from the pages of Shakespeare, a wooden auditorium surrounding us, and edgy fairies about to come to life before us.

I am waiting impatiently for clearer photos of the rest of the collection to appear online, but I love what I am seeing so far! Black feather eye makeup has been teamed with more black feathers woven into their hair or placed in a bunch precariously above the eye see here. Again it sounds like they have stuck to the monochrome colour pallete that they are so damn good at, with splashes of colour such as this dark floral dress, which really ought to belong in my wardrobe.. as do those boots! Those boots are incredible, and I need them!

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Chanel Couture SS13

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