Since One Day’s screen version came out in August 2011, and the book appeared everywhere, I’d been making a conscious effort to have nothing to do with it. Neither the film nor the novel. From all descriptions I had heard, it sounded as if Nicholas Sparks had re-written the Before Sunrise trilogy. Sacrilege, I know. Sacrilege, cheese and tears.
This book made me happy and angry at the same time.
On one hand, it’s delightful: smart, witty, and insightful. It’s refreshing to find someone who loves fashion, but can take the piss out of itat the same time – a rarity in a world that generally takes itself way too seriously. And it takes the skill of a Guardian columnist to write a funny little book about frocks and socks that also mentions Ukip and Derrida
If you’ve got more money than your body has cells, there’s plenty you can do with it. You can order a huge, diamond-encrusted dress to wear for an oligarch’s birthday party on the roof of his Miami residence, and then regret picking something you can’t sit in. You might as well buy a bit of spiritual enlightenment to hang above your sofa – a $87 million Rothko, anyone? Or you can have it both ways and invest in pieces of Zen that are also wearable. Two in one, such a bargain!
Karl Lagerfeld isn’t the Kaiser for no reason: of the hundreds – yes, hundreds – of collections he has delivered so far, I can safely bet not a single one was ugly. Whatever he comes up with is stylish, relevant and intricately detailed. This perfection could easily be boring, except that often it’s anything but.
The first two things that I heard about this show were that is was ethnic-inspired and that Raf Simons finally decided to cast black models. Oh no, thought I. Another instance of people of colour being treated as exotic curiosities rather than actual human beings.
Remember the costumes in The Great Gatsby? Of course you do. Such stunners aren’t easily forgotten. But not everyone was equally in awe of them – Miuccia Prada faced some criticism over their historical inaccuracy. Were the naysayers right? Yes and no. Yes, because no one with basic knowledge of fashion history could mistake Daisy’s dresses for authentic 1920s designs. No, because the pieces achieved the desired effect – one that more “realistic” styles would not.
Today a classic, The Devil Wears Prada got savaged by critics when it was first came out. 10 years ago. Predictable, they deemed it. Cliché-ridden. As stupid as the world it portrays. And Lauren Weisberger, who had worked at Vogue before publishing her debut novel and greatest hit to date, was accused of ingratitude. Because, you see, a million girls would have killed for her job.