Fashion Statement is still scratching its head at the puzzling news that Ugg – purveyors of furry boots to the masses – is teaming up with Jimmy Choo – purveyors of slinky heels to the, well, moneyed few. We’ve never been fans of the Yeti-footed look, and we really can’t imagine how buy Ugg could possibly be happy bedfellows with a brand not known for its love of the flat sole. Furry kitten heels? Quilted stilettos? Only time will tell. Apparently there will be five styles in multiple colours starting from a startling £495, but Fashion Statement for one doesn’t plan to set its alarm clock early on launch day.
The news got us thinking of other fashion marriages that ended in acrimonious squabbles – or at least bargain bucket clear-outs. Celebrities loom large: Madonna for H&M – cut-price shiny black catsuit, anyone? – springs to mind, as does Lily Allen for New Look, which distinctly underwhelmed anyone not looking for a cheap and cheerful prom dress.
None, however, quite plumbed the depths of the recent Ungaro debacle. The fashion world did a collective (though terribly chic) double take when Lindsay Lohan was announced as the company’s new artistic director. But after all, CEO Mounir Moufarrige was the man replica Ugg who bought Stella McCartney to Chloe, so surely he knows a talented designer when he sees one?
One catwalk show later, it seemed that someone had pulled the (no doubt cashmere) wool over his eyes. Women’s Wear Daily proclaimed the show “an embarrassment”, both “cheesy and dated”. The founder of the company, Emanuel Ungaro, also proclaimed it a “disaster” – probably while sobbing into a silk hanky over that decision to sell the business and his name.
In December, Moufarrige resigned, while Li-Lo put her wardrobe for sale on her website. But despite an almost universal panning, Li-Lo is still in the role. Here at Fashion Statement Towers, though, we are worried that her noble quest to singlehandedly end child trafficking by harnessing the twin powers of Twitter and television might not leave her quite enough time to brush up on her design skills. Only time, and February’s show, will tell.With all the inevitability of the tide, the nautical trend just keeps on returning from the deep. Vogue’s January Blueprint shoot raised the alarm, and now we’re all reaching into our wardrobes to drag out the blue-and-whites again. Not that we think it’s a bad thing; we liked Pirates of the Caribbean, and we think silly hats can look good (not on you, Lady Gaga, you’ve gone too far). Importantly, we also like rum.
The truth is, though, that nautical-inspired fashion is based on fantasy. Real sailing gear is about as glamorous as a verruca: see authentic seafarers’ website Nauticalia if you don’t believe fake Ugg us. If you’re not careful, you can end up looking like a burly old man who’s been beaten about the head by the colour navy. So it’s a good idea to ease yourself into this one gently.
If you’re just toying with the trend, these socks from Topshop are a bit of fun, and only £3. If you prefer something a little more visible, these bobby pins, £10 from Johnny Loves Rosie, are the ideal way to wear tiny sailing knots in your hair – you know you’ve always wanted to. Another thing you’ve always wanted, surely, is a bag made from recycled sails. Well, lucky you! We’ve found one, complete with a big old anchor symbol, at Fashion Conscience for £110.
If you prefer to wear your trends a little more literally, what better than an actual sailor-girl outfit, on sale for £231 – we’re just sure you’ll get your money’s worth out of that one. Of course, you’ll need a coat as well – this oversize doublebreasted jacket from Burberry, £495, has plenty of room for layering up big cosy jumpers inside.
While we’re firmly lodged in old-school mode, try out this fitted navy blazer by Paul & Joe, which has been knocked down in the sale to £294. If you want some more budget stripes, A-Wear’s cute cardigan is a snip at £20.
And finally, if you’ve been entirely won over by all things nautical and now wish to run away and join the Navy, then you’ll also need some tattoos like these. Print out a design, go down to the docks, and get yourself inked by the biggest, meanest man you can find. Then, and only then, will you be seaworthy.