Kate Mulleavy –also known as “the chubby sister from Rodarte”– and I are totally best friends in my head. I could see us hanging out and talking about how old Agyness Deyn really is and how we love Kate Moss despite ourselves because all the other models do just as much coke and are STILL dead boring.
I bet she’d be a really good break-up buddy too, like I’d go over to her place and we’d drink way too much cava, watch Spiceworld and then sometime after the third bottle we’d try to prank call Victoria Beckham but not be able to carry it off without collapsing into piles of laughter. Then in a few weeks when she’s feeling down because Anna Wintour keeps bullying her to lose weight I’d pick her up in the Cadillac and teach her how to shoot a .44 and although Texas law prohibits shooting at paper targets with faces on them, I’d surreptitiously draw a severe bob on one of them and hijinks would ensue.
I also would talk to her about this:
Kate. This is not your best look. I’m not going to talk about the hair because I get that it’s a branding tool (although I will say it’s a leeettle mid-90’s Carnie Wilson for my tastes) but the rest of the stuff, which you’ve apparently made your uniform, is not working very well for you.
You’re an actual real-life fashion genius, so WHAT is this about? You’re better than this. You look like a secretary I had to fire once because she wouldn’t stop crying at her desk.
It’s not that you look actively bad, but you’re at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award, and you HAD to know you were going to win the big one, so black knit separates and a pair of skimmers (which is pretty much what you wore to last year’s CFDA’s)? Seriously?
The problem here isn’t that you look actively bad (which you don’t) or that you’re inappropriate for the event (which you are, even though I get this is your uniform) it’s that you’re committing three of the biggest crimes against style in the Big Girl book.
1) The bad bra. A big girl’s best friend is her bra, and yours could be better. I think we’re similar in that we don’t have hugely enormous breast so often we can buy off the rack (as it were) as opposed to our more massively-mammed sisters who, in trade for never having to buy their own drinks, have to get the army corps of engineers involved every time they need get their usuals in the upright and locked position. Everyone needs a well-fitted bra, but big girls need them the most, regardless of breast size, because we have to fight the battle of the schlub, and it doesn’t matter how great the outfit is; if you’re wearing the wrong bra, it’s a nonstop train to Schlubville Heights.
It just goes on and on, and your sister isn’t much better. Here’s a hint from the classical music world, before you go on stage, roll and set your shoulders back. It will feel funny at first but it’ll set your posture beautifully. Of course you could always get one of these or, better yet, just pay me to travel around with you and nag.
3. Injudicious Black. I love black. I wear a lot of it. I’ve got dramatic features and coloring and black suits me extremely well, but when I wear black, I decide to wear black. It’s not a default. It’s not slimming by default, it’s not chic by default and it’s not flattering by default. Attention must be paid, and it’s not just adding a pop of color, which would do wonders, but it’s about paying attention to line and drape and proportion. Especially if you’ve got a short neck (which Kate and I do) You’ve got to create some visual space to rest the eye. To put it in other terms: Your body and face is the painting, your clothes are the frame. The space you don’t cover is the mat.
I get having a uniform as a designer; Carolina Herrera has been working her impeccable shirtwaists for the past 30 years to great success (she’s also the only woman designer I can think of who was truly traditionally beautiful) and head to toe black is yours but maybe consider a little dash of something. After all, the uniform for the uniformly delicious New Zealand All Blacks aren’t even, well, all black.
(Helllllooo Kiwi thighs…is it warm in here?)
And by the way. Don’t think I didn’t notice you’re wearing the same shoes in every photo I’ve found of you, going back to 2006. I know, how hard it is to find cute flats and I wear mine into the ground too, but if you insist on wearing skimmers to Important Fashion Events, at least get some new ones. Every season Valentino makes incredible slippers in a sort of burnished silver. They’re TDF. Git you some. Fetch me one of those Kiwis while you’re at it. I’ll be right over, and I’m bringing wine.