I’ve been thinking back to what I used to wear for my gigs - I’ve been gigging for over 18 years now – that’s right, I started gigging when I was just 7 (ahem). And the outfit or rather fabric of choice I distinctly remember back then was PVC. Now, there is, out there, photographic evidence of these gigs. Unfortunately, I think it’s well hidden in my best friend’s loft. I know, how disappointing. You would’ve all loved a giggle at my expense wouldn’t you? Sorry about that.
But wait, all is not lost. I may not have the photos to hand but I do have the gear itself! It’s not been worn for a VERY long time I hasten to add – the last time being dressed as Trinity from The Matrix about 12 years or so ago. So I guess you’re wondering why a Style Advisor would hang onto things she’s not wearing? How very ‘pot calling kettle black’ of me you say. Well, the reason is that they’re a little piece of my past and I thought that one day, when I am older, I would dig them out and have a good old laugh.
Well it seems that that day has arrived and how wonderful that I have all of you here to share that moment with me – who’d have thunk it? How privileged do you feel? Yes, hard to put into words isn’t it.
Sorry, what was that? Put them on? What? Are you all insane? Oh ok then…as it’s you!
This is an advance warning. Some viewers may find the following photos of ‘cling-film wrapped mutton’ distressing.
By the looks on your faces, I can tell you are none too impressed. And judging from the tirade of “Why are you wearing that mummy?” and “You look horrible mummy, take it off” and “It does nothing for you” from Little T and Mr. B respectively, I don’t think my family are embracing my Miss Whiplash look either.
But back when Blur and Oasis were battling it out in the charts and the Prodigy were starting fires – I was pretty sure I was the only female singer (definitely in St Albans anyway) wearing PVC. And actually, I don’t think even the tough girls of Skunk Anansie and Garbage had ventured down the plastic trouser route then either - so you could say the PVC was my USP.
WHAT ABOUT NOW…
So nearly two decades later, what am I wearing to my gigs now? The answer is mainly shorts/hot-pants (call them what you will) with opaque tights and shoe/boots. But recently I’ve been thinking, is the hot-pant (albeit a tailored non cheek revealing version) ok for a 41 year old who is not Kylie?
However, I’ve been wearing variations of the short/hot-pant thing for some time and it would be good to try some different outfits. And being in a band, to a degree, gives me a license to try things that I wouldn’t necessarily try if I was just popping out to The Dog and Duck for a shandy.
So, I thought of some singers that inspired me – both visually and artistically - and merrily grabbed some ‘reusable’ pictures from Google and included them here. But apparently that’s a bit dodgy so I’ve created a board on Pinterest that you can look at. Not sure why this is less dodge – but I’m sure the picture police will explain why when they wake me up tomorrow morning on their dawn raid!
Some of the first pictures are of Kate Moss - not a singer I know - but she does the Rock ‘n’ Roll look brilliantly.
After looking at Gwen Stefanie, Lily Allen, Blondie and Imelda May - I think one simple way of spicing up the shorts is a striped top and some stunning make-up. I can do the t-shirt easily but I’m going to need a little help with the make-up. I don’t know about you – but so often I apply make-up, think I’ve done a great job but when I look in the mirror on my first trip to the loo of an evening out, it’s somehow vanished and I look very similar to my no make-up selfie! #disappointing.
Now, old school rocker Chrissie Hynde is sporting a well-fitting pair of leather trousers that look fantastic. I’ve been on the lookout for some and I got very excited when I found a Whistles pair online the other day – but as law of sod would have it, they are now discontinued! Grr – shame, they were a great shape and under £500!
STOP PRESS…or rather if you can imagine the sound of a stylus being dragged across a record and the room going silent – do that.
(And sorry if you’re still perched on the edge of the bath, this post seems to have turned into a 12” long play).
I’ve just opened The Sunday Times Style magazine (Mother’s Day edition 2014) and discovered this picture of a lady wearing PVC. A very spooky coincidence.
The blurb alongside this picture says ‘Here she is doing what she does best – working a boyish, nonchalant, covertly sexual, French-meets English look, with a sly twist of something subversive. The PVC trousers are fashion rather than fetish (but they’re still PVC) and the rest is a retro boy look’. She could have worn a tux, but instead she opted for Alen Bennet-meets-punk and managed to look quite sexy in a Galod shrug, “whatever floats your boat” kind of way. What this outfit says is “You don’t know me, I do. Enjoy the movie”
I’m personally thinking that the words were meant for a different picture and there was some sort of mix up in the editorial/picture department. So, having the vital ingredient in my possession, I thought it would be fun to try and re-create this look. So, I’ve teamed my ‘sly twist of (baggy super high rise) subversive’ with a white shirt, tank top (actually a vest top but it does the same thing) and a pair of brown boots. This is the result.
I’m thinking the PVC trouser might just have the Rock ‘n’ Roll edge, the sparkle and the stage presence I’ve been looking for. Let’s hope they’re easier to find than their leather counterparts - though I reckon Little T and Mr. B will be hoping not!
However, to quote a line from the film Erin Brokovich, “As long as I have one ass instead of two I'll wear what I like if that's alright with you?”
And actually ladies, if you think you have two asses instead of one – flaunt it! There’s nothing like a sexy curve. Is there Kanye?
Next time….I’ll be revisiting the amazing world of colour analysis and how it’s changing lives around me. I might also give you a sneaky peak at some of my new (not much grey or black!) purchases since my 'She's got legs...' post. Oh and before you go, if you’re also fans of Kate Moss’s style, she will be launching her new collection in Topshop at the end of April. Her first collection was amazing – so I’m very excited about this one.