Generally I’m not really one for competitions. I suppose it comes from the disappointment of never winning the primary school raffle – and being deprived of that wonderful pair of plastic high heeled shoes. Such a tragedy.
So when I saw the competition run by Look Magazine, the prize being to blog from the front row of their Show, I initially dismissed the idea – not because I wouldn’t love to but rather because last year’s winners looked so young! So, I flicked idly on through the magazine and then realised that something, or rather someone, had caught my eye. Erin O’Connor. She was pictured on the runway looking fantastic and I thought to myself “Blimey, if she’s there actually participating, maybe my presence won’t be so noticeable on the front row (providing that I don’t smile too much.)”
So, having read the terms and conditions, just to verify that there wasn’t an upper age limit for entrants (which was lower than my own age) I decided to go ahead and enter the competition. So here I am, writing a blog post as to why I should be blogging away from the front row at the Look Show – and this what I concluded.
Like all other entrants to the competition, fashion and styling are my passions in life (as well as my husband and three children of course – just in case they read this). However, I see myself as championing the cause of women over 40 who want to be stylish, fashionable, edgy or whatever and who are not yet ready to be consigned to a twin set and pearls. Being more mature (well, in some ways at least!) I can offer a slightly different perspective on the clothes being shown than some of the younger women out there – and there are a lot of them (young girls, not clothes that is – but in reality probably both)!
I see my role as identifying which trends are to be embraced by the 40 plus market, which should just be given a nod to and which should be left alone entirely! Brothel creepers anyone – no, maybe not.
The High Street doesn’t really see fashion for the over 40’s as being “sexy”. In some ways I can understand that – shopping for clothes which have enough length to cover knees which are no longer what they once were, or finding tops to disguise a “Mummy tummy” is hardly the thing of which multi-million pound ad campaigns are made. However, there are lots of us over 40’s out there and we hold a large proportion of the nation’s wealth – not me personally you understand, unfortunately – but as a whole and I would like to represent us, in our entirety, including the extra bits that we have acquired with age.
On the day, I would have an eye to which brands suited which body shapes and which brands had clothes which were cut well and which looked as though they cost a lot more than they actually did. Anything which looked as though it had been designed by Phoebe Philo would get my vote, as would anything which looked as though it was from Marni, DVF or Miu Miu.
The UK is known to have one the best High Streets in the world. Blogging from the front row of a Show which showcased some of those brands would be incredible. I must confess to knowing all of the brands well – some I would say even intimately – even Forever21, as I spent many hours styling a young girl in there recently.
Watching the Show first hand to see how the brands have evolved to capture new markets, to see how each one goes about meeting the needs of women, what they have done to create their own niche and to see how they interpret the designer trends would be a fantastic experience. Stars, spots, 1960’s, 1940’s, colour blocking, the boyish look – the list goes on – I have no doubt, will all be there to be blogged about.
As a final thought, I am sure that the other skills that I have acquired with age could also be put to good use. If anyone needed guidance, a shoulder to cry on, a spare tissue or a friendly ear, I could be that person. I may not be smiling (n.b. see the comment re lines above) but inside I would be over the moon to be present.
P.S I would also relish the part of the prize which involved going to the cinema (without having to watch an animated film) going bowling (without having to use the special equipment for three year olds) and drinking cocktails with gay abandon!