Much has been written about tennis ace Serena Williams in the past few weeks, much of it focusing on her choice of outfit at the recent French Open - a black catsuit that she said not only helped combat the life-threatening thrombosis she suffered during the birth of her daughter Olympia a year ago, but also made her “feel like a goddess”. There’s precious little that makes a new mum feel goddess-like when she’s at work (which in essence Serena is), and as the outfit was clearly sports-wear the furore that’s surrounded it smacked of nothing more than sexism as it wasn’t as ‘pretty’ as normal tennis attire. With teetering heels and skirts a prerequisite in many places of work, surely the sporting arena is the one place where a woman can dress in what helps her perform at her highest athletic level, and not worry about appeasing an aesthetic level of others?
Our eyeballs may have become numb to the dental floss-sized offerings masquerading as bikinis on this year’s Love Island contestants, but they are only adhering to the strictest of rules laid down by the inventor of bite-sized beach wear himself. On this very day back in 1946, when French clothing designer Louis Reard presented the world with its first ever teeny tiny two-piece, he announced that there was one test the garment had to pass in order to be called a “bikini”. It had to be small enough to “be pulled through a wedding ring.” Let’s hope he was a man with substantially-sized fingers!
Next time you pop into your local charity shop to peruse the handbag section, relax in the knowledge that whatever your selected favourite costs, you’ve bagged yourself a bargain. Comparatively speaking anyway… as few bags can compete with the eye-watering price of the world’s most expensive second-hand handbag, which has been sold for £162,500 at Christie’s auctioneers in London. Made from crocodile skin and encrusted with diamonds, the pale-coloured 10 year-old ‘Himalaya’ Birkin set the European record for the most expensive bag sold at auction. FYI, a blue version of the bag sold at the same auction for a snip at £100,000. Yes, really.
Women have stepped out in menswear since fashion was a twinkle in a tailor’s eye; whether to make a political point, for comfort or because a woman in a suit looks pretty damn hot. Think Bianca Jagger and her crisp white 1970s suits, worn shirtless and braless, and just on the right side of classily sexy rather than tits-in-yer-face slutty. Ten years on, and Cindy Crawford sashayed the Ralph Lauren catwalk in an 80’s style oversized double breasted suit and flats, looking every inch the iconic supermodel. Kate Moss showcased shiny metallic and scruffy trainers in the 90’s, and Gwyneth Paltrow donned her slinky shorts suit in 2010. The latest celebrity to embrace the suit is the beautiful Blake Lively, seen this week in a Sonia Rykiel tuxedo dress. Sticking to the old rule of ‘bust OR legs’, Blake kept things buttoned up, with a crisp white Aritzia shirt and quirky Brackish Bow Tie. Chic Louboutin heels and endless tones legs? Tick. The lady suit circa 2018 has landed.
“I don’t know how she does it” is the general refrain when we see a fellow new mum who looks like she has managed to get a full night’s sleep, wash her hair AND make it out the door in matching shoes. And that’s two months down the line… “I don’t know how she did it” was the country’s consensus to the Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance on the hospital steps, cradling her newborn son a scant few hours after giving birth. Smiling, looking compos mentis, and managing to navigate steps in heels without falling over is something most of us can’t manage on a normal day, never mind that day. Some raged that she’d clearly had a team of experts rushed in to help her, others pondered over the need for any new mum, royal or otherwise to be paraded before the world’s press like something out of The Lion King. The rest of us just hoped that as soon as she got home, she ripped off her shoes, rubbed off the make-up and settled down with a plate of biscuits and a cup of tea, and managed to get whatever amount of sleep a royal mum of three kids under five allows…