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STYLEWATCH  catwalk This week in fashion... 

The Sunday Times STYLE magazine is a weekly guide to everything that’s gone wrong with Western civilisation.

It’s a celebration of all that’s unimportant and ephemeral:  fashion, celebrity, cosmetics, beauty treatments, alternative medicine. In its shiny pages you'll find the latest trends, cures for which there are no diseases, the opinions of quacks and charlatans, horoscopes, and AA Gill.

Future scientists will pick through the ruins of our civilisation. They will leaf through charred copies of Style magazine. “Look at this,” they will murmur to each other.  “Gosh. They really were a bunch of insufferable twats, weren’t they?”

Looking for the old stuff? But of course. Here's the StyleWatch archive for January 2010 

February 28, 2010

Laziest sub-editing
The caption says: “James Corden, Andrew Flintoff and friend.” So, would that “friend” happen to be the comedian John Bishop, whose national tour was advertised on the back cover of the Sunday Times Culture supplement only last week? Jesus. What does a sub have to do to get sacked around here?


Imaginary trend: sexting
A woman in Cheshire sends sex texts to her builder, and is devastated when he expects a shag. Her husband isn’t amused, either. Then again, it’s probably his fault. It usually is.

Most overpriced shit # 1
Look! Clever little Philip Treacy has stuck doilies onto some uncomfortable shoes, and is asking 3,000 for them. But you do get free bunions with every pair.


Most risible trend
The Bum Bag, beloved of fat American tourists, becomes a must-have ironic statement for the fashion-forward ninny. Strictly speaking, it should be called a ‘Front Bottom Bag’. And if you pay 1,400 for the Louis Vuitton version, then you’re definitely a gigantic ‘front bottom’.


Most laughable ad copy
“Nature gave oats the ability to hold moisture.” Possibly the most gripping opening sentence in the history of the English language. But why did nature bestow such a precious gift on the humble oat? Forsooth, so that future scientists could unlock its oaty secrets in order to moisturise ladies’ faces. Because nature is wise like that. 



Brat of the week
A “beauty writer” called Kathleen Baird-Murray has a nine-year-old boy who is obsessed with his appearance. Hmm, however could THAT have happened? So she carts Armand off to Laos – as you do – so that the little brute can watch peasant babies having cleft-lip palate surgery. Armand is bored by the experience and goes off to chase butterflies. So. Not content with having fucked up her child’s life by a) making him so self-absorbed in the first place, b) calling him Armand, c) teaching him that there’s no problem in life that can’t be solved by flying half-way round the world to gawp at other people’s misery, she decides to finish the job by, d) writing about it in fucking Style magazine.

February 21, 2010

Most overpriced shit
“Let your tribute [to Alexander McQueen] start here,” says Style, in the belief that spending 2,895 on a dress is a fitting memorial to the late designer. Tell you what, go and tie some daffodils to the railings of his house. Add a mawkish note if you must. Then put 2,895 in the Haiti fund.

Most urgent problem
A reader writes: “I’m going to the ballet at the Royal Opera House, but don’t know what to wear. I want to look dressy but edgy. I was thinking of a jumpsuit, but I am not sure about shoes.” I reply: "I wouldn’t worry too much, luv. Everyone else will be there to watch the ballet, not to gaze at you, you fucking narcissist."

Most shudder-inducing bandwagon
I’ve got nothing against Grime music, per se. Anything that distracts young urban people, however fleetingly, from dropping litter and having group sex in stairwells can only be a good thing. But when Style magazine starts clapping its little manicured hands and trilling “Hip-hurrah!” in its posh little voice…

Quote of the week
Donatella Versace doesn’t approve of the natural look. “For me, natural has something to do with vegetables,” she says. Whereas beauty, obviously, has something to do with a decade of cosmetic surgery. Or possibly a fortnight at the Jim Henson Muppet Workshop. It's hard to tell.


February 14, 2010

Misandry of the week
“Sleep is a feminist issue”, because women aren’t getting enough sleep, apparently. It’s men’s fault. Probably. This feminist war-cry is brilliantly headlined “Are you getting enough?” (fnaar!) and illustrated by a sexy hottie who OBVIOUSLY can’t sleep because she isn’t getting BANGED hard enough by Burt Reynolds circa 1977.

Tip of the week
“To boost eyebrow growth, try rubbing castor oil on them every night before you go to bed.” Yes. That will work. Alternatively, stop paying an over-made-up, under-educated ‘beauty technician’ to ravage them with tweezers. You idiot.

Most overpriced shit #1
Chandelier shoes. It sounded so daring and witty at the design meeting. But looks so ugly and stupid when you actually make a pair. Never mind. Let’s sell them anyway. There are plenty of silly women in London who’ll pay 1,100 to become clanking silly women.


Imaginary trend
Everyone is obsessed with body art. Everyone. All the people in the world. Temporary tattoos are ideal for people who want to look temporarily like petty criminals and slags.

Most overpriced shit #2
Hey, let’s dig in the big box of press releases for things that look vaguely similar, then declare it a trend. This week there’s an imaginary “mania for monochrome”. This horrible little table from The Conran Shop costs 650. It would look lovely on a black-and-white themed bonfire.


February 7, 2010

Most overpriced shit
Rinse and spit, please. This Abysse crystal tumbler, just like the one granny keeps her teeth in, costs 107. Perfect for the brooding alcoholic who wants to make late-night whisky drinking seem like a sophisticated lifestyle choice.


Charlatan of the week
Alan Dolan is Britain’s top practitioner in the art of “Transformational Breathing”, or as he prefers to call it, “Turbo Therapy”. What is it? Um, hyperventilating. Breathing in and out quickly. Which makes you dizzy. Or rather, it  “… takes your mind to an ecstatic place and helps you deal with a range of emotional and health issues.” Or, as previously stated, it MAKES YOU DIZZY. Fuckwit.

Quote of the week
“If I had one wish, it would be the power to heal,” says 20-year-old country singer Taylor Swift. But you do, Taylor darling. You’re already helping a lot of redneck truckers with their erectile dysfunction, by giving them something to think about when they’re heaving away on those meth-addicted hookers.  


Imaginary trend
There are quite a lot of childless women around, on account of them being too picky when they were younger and more attractive. But fear not – you are now part of the cutting-edge social trend called ‘Pank’ – professional aunt, no kids. Let that be a comfort when you alone in your dark kitchen, eating cat food from the tin.

Silliest branding
Look at me, ladies! I am wearing vest! I have big muscle, and super moustache! I am smell like big movie star! It is because I am Fantastic Man! You pay 115, you are Fantastic Man, too! Hoopla! Come to sauna with me!

Old shit here: StyleWatch archive January 2010 

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