Style small print

Wed, Jan 18, 2012, 00:00

with ROSEMARY Mac CABE

Candy colours

It’s a little too early to cast aside the opaque tights, but channel spring’s newest trends by updating your winter look with shades of pale pastels (above).

Star buy

This red satchel from Z Spoke by Zac Posen has “classic” written all over it. Use it to jazz up an otherwise monochrome outfit. €480 at Arnotts

Is it ever okay to buy the same item as your friends?

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – but, then again, they also say the early bird catches the worm and that never succeeds in encouraging me to get out of bed. When it comes to fashion, we have so much and so little choice; our options are many and varied, but when the fashion elite tells us that a particular item is “must-have”, what’s to stop an entire group of friends buying the same thing?

There are rules – although not of the hard and fast variety – when it comes to “imitating” one’s nearest and dearest. The item you are copying should not be precious, so that rules out wedding dresses, gifts and bespoke, made-to-measure items – which, let’s face it, would be a very odd thing to copy. Ditto expensive shoes you know your friend coveted for months before splashing out, statement handbags, and, of course, anything patterned. It’s far too recognisable.

On the okay list, however, are a wide variety of things. Jeans are fair game, as are ankle boots and sneakers (which should only be worn while exercising, in case you think your morning jaunt from the train station to the office has gone unnoticed). When it comes to tailoring, there is not enough of a difference between one black blazer and the next to go splitting hairs over owning the same as a friend or colleague, and block colours, unless we’re talking red or violet, will go similarly un-remarked upon.

You could always go the old-fashioned route if you find yourself owning the same item as a friend, and vow to call one another before leaving the house – or you could just forget about it, hope no one notices and laugh about it in the unlikely event that they do.

Fashion can be fun, kids.

Red carpet style

This week saw the beginning of awards season, as celeb after celeb trotted down the red carpet for the Golden Globe awards. As Oscar season hots up and we begin to count down the days to the big one, let’s play a little game we like to call fantasy Oscar-ball.

Michelle Williams is bound to turn heads on the Oscar red carpet, having earned accolades for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. She wore floor-length Chanel last year, but this year, just for kicks, we’d like to see her in Peter Pilotto. Graphic prints, whimsical shapes and short hems – perfect for her cute and kooky Mia Farrow hair.

You can’t go to an awards show without bumping into Meryl Streep, and chances are she’ll wear something beautiful and classic – is anyone else bored by how right Streep gets it, dastardly Mamma Mia!aside? Let’s go for a wild card and match her with a Sarah Burton creation for Alexander McQueen. Maggie would approve.

If she can just get the kids down for the night, Angelina Jolie might make an appearance – in floor-length black, perhaps – with an ageing (badly) Brad Pitt on her arm. Instead of her unique cross between demure Morticia and man-eating Jessica Rabbit, we’d like to see Jolie try her hand at a spot of Prada. Sweetheart neckline, anyone?

Do you have any Oscar style predictions? Have your hopes and dreams immortalised in print’s second cousin, the internet, at irishtimes.com/blogs/fash-mob.


Have you got a fashion query you’d like answered? Send your questions to rmaccabe@irishtimes.com

Read Rosemary’s fashion blog, Fash Mob, at irishtimes.com/blogs