Tuesday 25 May 2010

The Right To Bare Arms

I noticed with the sudden flash of a few sunny days, every third female I passed was wearing a long dress. Indeed, if the promised hot weather does kick in, I imagine this fashion taster predicts yet another 'summer of love' fashion frenzy. Which is fine by me, I love round, metal-rimmed sunglasses and of course I already have a large-brimmed, floppy sun hat, several in fact, this face is never going in the sun again even with factor 50. However, I couldn't help noticing one beauty, hair flying in the breeze, clad in a particularly fetching halter-neck number, flashing perhaps a little more of her fabulous breasts than she may have realised, much to the joy of the passing gentlemen who parted in her wake and turned, eyes wide with delight. On the other hand she might just have decided to get her tits out for the boys, who knows. But it did pose the perennial question: how much is too much flesh to bare at a certain age? And is the long dress age inappropriate?

In my youth the long look was known as maxi, hot on the heels, so to speak, of the midi and mini skirts and there is a school of thought that says if you can remember it the first time round, you shouldn't be wearing it this time. But is that fair? With the stores over-flowing with floaty, flowery whimsical summer-wear, it's hard not to be seduced by the dippy-hippy look. And if the dress fits? Of course, size does matter and lets face it, baring arms, legs, backs and other bits is fine at any age if you have the body to back it up. I recently sat next to a fabulous fortysomething women at a dinner party who was from the waist up a dead spit of the young Susan Hampshire, demurely decked out in a high-necked, pale-pink polka-dot blouse and tiny, angora cardi; from the waist down she was Lady Ga-Ga, sporting a see-through, net tu-tu and French knickers. Not an easy look to pull off admittedly, but she managed it spectacularly and one imagines she will be turning heads long past her 50s.

Top tip: Fill a couple of 1.5 litre plastic bottles with water and hey-presto: instant dumb bells to work those biceps.

Friday 14 May 2010

Happy Daze

So, the Tories are back, hair is big, shoulders are bigger, The Stones are about to (re) release an album and Dr. Who is top of the telly charts.....20 years later........plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....as they say. And the thing is, I don't feel that different from the way I did all those years ago, when my days were shorter and my nights were longer, except without the hope of course. This is not helped by the fact that the world is wearing slash-necked, off-the shoulder sweater dresses instead of the silver-jump suits and the much-hoped for hover pack that we believed in my youth, the future held for all of us. Instead we teeter on rope-souled, strappy wedges not dissimilar to the ones we wore before we could shop-on-line, and chow down on bangers and mash, cupcakes and flapjacks. This is the food of post-war Britain. Where are the pills we were promised and the liquid nutrition we would suck from silver foil packets so often flaunted on the si-fi films of the future? The Barbican Centre with it's rough-hewn concrete and relentless orange is about as close as it gets to the promised land of 2001 Space Odyssey.....

Watching BBC 2's 'Worried About The Boy', I was briefly transported back to my heady days, and headier nights, at art college, where we learnt to abuse the grant system and rock against anything we didn't like. I can....just about.....still remember when Camden was a Palace and everyone went to Heaven on a Tuesday. I wore Christmas decorations as earrings, my boyfriend wore Y-fronts and everyone wore leggings. I saw Culture Club there (supported by Musical Youth....surely one of the odder musical couplings....) and my boyfriend was heard to remark 'that's an odd looking bird'. And indeed George was an odd bird as history was to prove; misunderstood genius? rock & roll causality? undone by love? The story continues to unravel. But it was top nostalgia telly for on Sunday night for those of a certain age, despite depicting this colourful moment in musical history as a bitter twist with a queer after taste. If nothing else, the soaring talent that is Mark Gatiss, giving us his Malcolm McLaren, was worth the price of admission alone.

Top tip:While we're still waiting for the sun to put his hat on, fill your heart with joy and go see a musical. Sweet Charity will put the rhythm back in your life.