Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Great Class Mates

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Great Class Mates

Article excerpt


I ONCE had a crush on a boy called Kenny, who I considered to be the most dazzling 12-year-old in the youth club thanks to his black-and-white chequerboard V-neck, which had been lovingly hand-knitted by his gran. Kenny was a Mod, and I'll wager that Alexander McQueen was, too, since his autumn collection features the same chequerboard pattern with such wild abandon.

Or maybe he is just a fan of Bridget Riley.

The op-art look is just one component of fashion's current love affair with black and white. And while it might be too bold a style statement for those of us who didn't spend our adolescence listening to Madness (I was a goth, so I couldn't possibly wear it), fear not - there are myriad other black and white options this winter.

Celine does a nice line (or squiggle) in zebraprint bags and skirts, while Armani has a fetching array of blackand-white eveningwear.

Ever since I saw a theatre performance of My Fair Lady, I have always imagined black and white to look really elegant. Eliza Doolittle looked so ladylike in the famous Ascot scene, despite being common as muck, and when endeavouring to make like a lady at snobbish fashion parties I will often resort to black and white to minimise my humble Scottish beginnings at KilCraikie Castle.

Posh people seem to worship at the shrine of black and white, possibly because it looks neat and smart while cleverly negating the issue of whether they are any good at colour-coordinating their clothes, which they often aren't, because they grew up on their country estates layering jumpers over dresses over jeans in a haphazard way quite peculiar to the posh, and it was only when they got their first fashion job in London that colleagues pointed out they looked a little crazy.

Anyway, here are some pictures of posh girls looking elegant in black and white. I'm not sure if Laura Bailey is actually posh, but the other two are, and Laura Bailey once snogged Richard Gere and has the right sort of hair and limbs. Be inspired. And don't be ashamed of your roots, because elegance isn't about breeding: it's about taste, and money doesn't always buy that.

REMEMBER in primary school, when your mum sewed nametags into your knickers? …

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