A Lifelong Passion for Fashion

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 27, 2005 | Go to article overview

A Lifelong Passion for Fashion


Byline: By SARAH DREW JONES Western Mail

Fashion writer Justine Picardie has interviewed everyone from Donatella Versace to Coleen McLoughlin for Vogue, and has loved fashion all her life. Now the journalist, who spent her teenage years in Cardiff, has written a fantastic new fashion memoir full of stories from the catwalk shows, and lovely tales of her whole family's passion for clothes. WM's Catherine Jones met the fashion maven

JUST because Justine Picardie (contributing editor at Vogue and interviewee of the likes of Donatella Versace and Karl Lagerfeld) is an uber-fashionista doesn't mean she joins the ranks of sniffy commentators who have done down so-called chav Coleen McLoughlin.

In fact Picardie - author of a lovely new book called My Mother's Wedding Dress about clothes, fashion and family - launches a stout defence of our Coleen after doing the words for the now-infamous Vogue fashion shoot with Wayne Rooney's fiancee.

In a chapter called 'Chav Versus Chic', Picardie - who writing on the death of her sister, Ruth from breast cancer, has moved so many of us - describes the bewilderment of Coleen and her family at the vitriol which she has attracted.

'She tells me that she can't understand why one of the newspapers said she was 'The Most Hated Girl in Britain',' writes Picardie. "They don't know me, do they?' she (Coleen) says, her voice trailing away, 'those people that write that stuff'.'

Picardie says that she realises within a few minutes of talking to Coleen and her mother, Colette (who has an adopted seven-year-old daughter, Rosie, who is severely disabled and needs her full-time care) that the two are avid Vogue readers. Colette, her mum, and her aunt, Tracey - who is also at the shoot - are the ones, says Picardie, who save for the Chanel handbag or Yves St Laurent shoes. They are what keeps the fashion industry alive and at the same time they get the title of chav which is clearly, according to Picardie, just another word for 'pleb' or 'peasant' or 'prole'.

'And all of this is beginning to make me feel quite angry, which is also odd, because you don't expect to find yourself thinking about the inequities of the British class system at a fashion shoot,' she adds.

Vogue readers didn't need to fear a lecture though. After talking through her thoughts with the magazine's editor, Alexandra Shulman, Picardie is given the advice, 'You don't have to make her emblematic. Just let her be who she is...' (For the record, Coleen looked 'undeniably chic' in the monochrome outfits).

Perhaps what makes My Mother's Wedding Dress such a layered read - Picardie likens it to a cross stitch sampler, only making a whole once you finish it - is the author's effortless ability to see beyond the surface (which might surprise those who think fashion is merely frivolous wrapping).

It's also full of gossipy snippets. Like the time at a catwalk show where supermodel Erin O'Connor nearly passed out while wearing a 13 inch corset, 13 inch platform stilettos and a heavy hooped skirt (her arms turned blue and blood vessels started popping in her legs). Or the occasion Picardie's friend, Harriet Quick, the fashion features editor at Vogue, tried on a Biba jet-beaded top in a second-hand shop and saw a stranger's face, a woman with 'flame-red hair', staring back at her. And the memorable confidence from the newly-svelte Karl Lagerfeld to his muse, Amanda Harlech, who told Picardie, 'Karl once said to me that before he lost weight, he felt embalmed in fat.'

The book is described as a 'fabulous treasure-chest of a book' and it is - full of stories. There are the tales attached to Picardie's own clothes; her gingham school uniform, the black plastic trousers she wore to Cardiff Top Rank, her Nicole Farhi wedding dress, the 'Je t'aime Jane' jumper she borrows from fashion designer Bella Freud, the treasured black Gap jacket that belonged to Ruth, who died in 1997, aged 32. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Lifelong Passion for Fashion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.