In fashion journalism, as in everything, experience counts and sometimes the absence of experience (aka being young) can be a real disadvantage as it was in today’s Times T2 fashion pages. Let me say, first, that I love The Times fashion coverage (and second, that as a fashion editor who is capable of making any number of mistakes, I am offering an Everest-sized hostage to fortune in pointing out this error); I think Lisa Armstrong is one of the most brilliant fashion editors around. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion; she is witty, funny, astringent and – best of all – lives in the real world and knows what real women are prepared to actually wear. Luke Leitch is also an unexpectedly brilliant fashion writer and all across his subject, as – normally – is Carolyn Asome and the rest of the team. But Ms Asome’s otherwise comprehensive and exemplary report of the New York autumn/winter 2011 collections was seriously marred by her premise in the first para that the 70s was the “decade that style forgot”.
Oh dear, no, Carolyn. The 70s was never dubbed the decade style forgot. That epithet irretrievably belongs to the 80s – the era of shaggy perms, overblown quiffs, mullets, clown-size jackets and vastly exaggerated power shoulders. The 70s, by contrast, was the vibrant decade when the clothing of the 60s was polished and refined, and given extra pzazz.
It is no surprise at all that designers are borrowing from that decade to create the most desirable and deliciously wearable, clothing, like the big collar belted coats of Diane von Furstenberg, the neat little hippyesque suede waistcoats and floral pussy-cat bow blouses of Tory Burch, the peplums and spots at Marc Jacobs, and the wide-leg trousers and maxi knits everywhere.
Tell us if you think the 70s or the 80s was the decade that style forgot.