Monday, July 7, 2008

Simon says: Three routes to eccentric

I love things ethnic and deco; if I adopt Simon Doonan's typology in his new book, Eccentric Glamour, I'm a Gypsy, likely of the Euro-Glam phylum, with a touch of Hollywood. He calls this "a great look for the chunky, glamourous eccentric."

Ouch, I resemble that chunky-funky label.
Pictured, the epitome of senior Euro-Glam gypsy, Contessa Marta Marzotto, in a sable-trimmed coat- Madonna!

If I'm dressing to please myself, this is my skew, but more low-key
- after all I'm a Canadian of more modest means. Raccon's a stretch, never mind sable.

Doonan makes his point: bland conformity of the In Style school does not serve to develop an identity, and results in the cloney-bony Rachel Zoe look.

Doonan says the second of his three Style types, the Socialite, "with its carefully crafted cocktail of minimal eccentricity and designer fashion (Valentino, Escada, Chanel) is the only style for the professional woman."

I work with women in full-sleeve tattoos and vintage, in Rick Owens, in Talbots twin sets, and each considers herself as professional as her Hugo Boss-suited banker sister. Socialite is safe; I wear it for my haute-corporate gigs. A uniform that establishes status, Socialite can sometimes stifle- at it's worst, an overdone, ostentatious security blanket.

Existentialists, the third of the Glamorous Eccentric types, are minimal, architectural and intellectual or gamine/garcon charming minus the romanticism of the Gypsy.

Doonan's style-typing can read as cliched (Audrey Hepburn is a Gamine Existentialist) and oddly out-of-it: Amy Winehouse is classed as an Existentialist of the Ghoul subtype. Where were you in the 60s, Simon? Amy is simply channeling Ronnie Spector, who may have once married a Ghoul but is not one herself.

Doonan breaks a heel stomping on Ho attire, a crime against the aesthetic environment. But any woman who can read his indictment without moving her lips will know exactly how dressing like a pole dancer is likely to be read, and choose accordingly.

You can pretty much get the book, minus the photos, in
this online Elle feature. I hope Doonan, after this salvo at bland and safe, returns to his great gift: the creation of fabulous windows and displays for Barney's.

You want eccentric today? Check out the two lovely Casady sisters known as CocoRosie, musicians bending every idea about clothes and makeup, while they perform their affecting folk-influenced songs.

3 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Ah duchesse! Great minds think alike...I was just working on a post about this book. But yours is far better than what I've come up with, so I'm just going to say "what duchesse said."

:-)

materfamilias said...

oh dear, she says, chuckling . . . I haven't read it yet, but have ordered a copy for my contest -- I guess if I draw either of your names, you'll be wanting the Sedaris!

greying pixie said...

Isn't Marta Marzotto wonderful? She only wears kaftans it seems, but what kaftans - beautiful exquisite fabrics and colours. I think she must be nearing 80 by now and just looks so elegant and natural. I've seen a few interviews with her and really do believe her grace comes from within. And her jewellery is to die for!

With Marta as a role model, who cares about growing older? I'm almost looking forward to it!