With harder times close to our heels, Vogue recently re-instated a feature they started and developed in several books in that glorious cash-strapped era the late 70s and early 80s. “More Dash than Cash”, aimed at the discerning fashionista with a vertically-challenged bank balance, is a high street/low end designer photoshoot, and feature follows on with trend advice, but more interestingly, customising and creating at home the kinda thang that was just showcased. Favourites so far include shoulder pads (buy ’em at J Lew) encrusted with jewels (snapped up cheap at Primark and sewed on with your mum’s best needle ‘n’ thread). Now you can look hot to trot with nowt costing more than a fiver*!
Amazeballs in a publication known best for all that is Pricey and Exclusive! Not only for the affordability, but also unusual is the Women’s Institute ring to the do-it-at-home approach. Indeed, knitting circles are in right now; the Musee Jean Moulin in Paris is currently running an exhibition on Parisian style under naughty Nazi occupation (Accessoires De Mode Sous L’Occupation @ Musee Jean Moulin, 20 May – 15 Nov 2009) and it was all about staying individual and slick through the power of the handstitch (think hats and turbans to hide dirty hair).
Reading this kind of article in Vogue, even if you never end up making a sodding thing, gives you the feeling that together, we can fight this recession with good ole family values and some damn hard work, looking beautiful all the while. And high street does seem the only winner here, with Asos crunch busting double in profits from last year, while Lacroix sinks goodbye. But with the phenomenova of Grazia and high street weeklies radiating through the magazine sales, I think there may be a touch of biting back in Vogue’s seemingly retro gesture.
*=a fiver in this case standing for $150. No single item displayed in Vogue magazine costs less than $20 minimum. What were you thinking??