Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Off, Kilter!

I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.

Remember last winter/early spring, when L.A.M.B. showed a boy’s crested shrunken blazer? Now the NYT has confirmed that prep school chic is the rage for fall among the teen/twenty-something set and places the blame on Gossip Girl.

I’ve never watched GG, but I confess, that during my stressful grad school years, while not parsing the hypertheoretical sentences of Donna Haraway or Homi Bhabha, I watched Beverly Hills, 90201. And I loved it, with the possible exception of when Brenda was accepted into drama school in London, which truly tested my suspension of disbelief. (I wonder whether she’ll return to the new 90210 as an accomplished thespian of the English stage? Dame Brenda Walsh.)

I don’t recall BH 90210 setting any bars for fashion (except perhaps when Kelly turned up with short hair in a season opener), but apparently GG is a virtual department store; or, rather, an exclusive boutique.

According to the NYT, designers are even looking to the show for inspiration, and an accompanying photo shows a model on the catwalk wearing a teeny kilt with a slouchy sweater. (Hit me baby, one more time?)

I am not , I believe and hope, the target audience of this fashion trend. For those of us in our 30s and 40s would probably do best to stay away from short plaid kilts. Especially those of us who attended prep/boarding schools and have already had our GG look. At my boarding school we wore navy pleated jumpers, red blazers, white shirts and our school necktie. I don’t want to revisit that two decades later.

I can, however, see my peers looking chic in a plaid pencil skirt, a la McQueen or Westwood with a smart cashmere T and some wildly eccentric shoes to funk up the look. I won’t be rushing out to buy a kilt and jacket.

And so, inspired by the immortal final lines of Anthony Lane’s review of Braveheart, what else is there to say but “Faster, Pussycat! No kilt! No kilt!”

Lane , my favorite film reviewer, wrote in the New Yorker: “Faster, Pussycat! Kilt! Kilt!”


K.Line said...

Maybe it won't surprise you to know that my private school had a red blazer (that's what our school rag is called) and I wore a navy pleated tunic. Weird coincidences, Miss C. K

PS - I'll be passing on this GG trend too.

miss cavendish said...

Uncanny. We also had to wear navy shoes at a time when you could ONLY buy those boxy navy Hush Puppies. So, so ugly.

I wore, instead, super-cheap fabric "china doll" flats with no support or warmth. My senior year, magically, navy loafers materialized in the shops.

I was so, so grateful. What teenage girl wants a Frankenstein foot?

Imelda Matt said...

What Brenda and Kelly's high waisted jeans weren't a killer 90210 trend.

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

when i saw that first picture, i initially thought it was a still from Gossip Girl. it really is uncanny and slightly disturbing, but i'm just as much a fan as the next girl of the prep look!

miss cavendish said...

And you, C/C, are young and lovely enough that you can totally pull off the shrunken preppy look!

So Imelda, did you ever rock Brandon or Dylan's hairdos? Can't remember much else for the lads . . .

Anonymous said...

It's so unfair that here in NY in the late 80s the style for us college girls was to wear extra-large t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters, etc. with sleeves so long you had to roll up several inches just to see your hands. Back when I had a slim figure I hid it in yards of fabric! This trend is at least a bit more sophisticated... maybe not the super-short kilt, though.

enc said...

I suppose it's just one more fad. I was a super-prep for a long time, and though I've migrated away from it to a great degree, the basic ideas hang on. I still love loafers and cashmere.