I admit it, I can be a fashion snob sometimes. I know my Lanvin from my Lipsy, but that just comes from a lifetime of being a fashion obsessive. As I get a bit older (!) I realise that every fashion is just a trend, and even when it gets ‘re-adopted’, it is always done in a different way, by a newer age group. The latest Gucci looks owe a nod to the roaring 1920’s but the look is totally modern, and much more streamlined. Everyone has their own take on fashion but some fads are gladly disappearing. London Fashion Week recently advised model agents that they would not use models who had been on sunbeds – a fantastic statement but it might take a while to filter down, as sunscreen sales have gone down 10% in the last year. The move to try and encourage designers to use curvier models has met with much resistance, though, and we still regularly see very thin girls on the catwalks. Now, in a controversial move, Liverpool Fashion Week have said the are banning the ‘Scouse’ look for next season. Surely not, I ask? However, fashion is a very democratic process in the end. Whether you are Marc Jacobs or a local dressmaker, people will choose what they want to wear every day. And no matter how fabulous you think you look, one day you will look at a photograph and think, “What on earth was I wearing?”
The ‘Scouse’ look is not just exclusive to Liverpool……………go to many major cities in the U.K. and you will see girls out-glamming each other, but Liverpool still has its own twist on everything and there is a reason why. The city’s history has meant that its people come from a huge multi-cultural melting pot, and whether we like it or not, we can’t deny that it is a city that has struggled to shrug off its roots in poverty. Liverpool can be loved or loathed – recognised for its musical legacy and its cultural diversity, yet derided for its politics and its accent. From Harry Enfield’s tracksuited comedy Scousers to Carla Lane’s workshy Scousers (possibly the most unfair representation I have ever seen of my home city) the city’s style has often been criticised for being, well, too working-class. We all see the photographs every year of the fashion disasters at Aintree for Ladies Day, but the picture of the Most Stylish Racegoer? Much more difficult to find………………….
The citys’ tradition is this: when times are tough you dress up and forget your troubles, when times are good you dress up and celebrate. You wear whatever looks you have been blessed with, with pride. This ethos has been passed on through generations and is still going strong. Today’s Scouse look, as it is known, is very specific. It’s all about big hair, dark tans, sequins and the Scouse Brow, as made famous by make-up artist Jodie from E4’s Desperate Scousewives. There’s not a boyfriend jean or an Alex Chung choppy-bob in sight. Yes, it is unashamedly OTT, but as someone who loves fashion I adore a night out in Liverpool. I spend my whole night with my jaw hitting the floor, and I am never bored.
It is not a look I would wear but then there are a lot of looks I wouldn’t wear because I am past them! And just for the record, there are lots of tribe trends here in Liverpool. There is a huge wave young girls adopting different looks, and the vintage trade is booming. But there will always be a place for razzle-dazzle in Liverpool because, quite simply, the girls here like to have a good time. They are funny and feisty and the backbone of the city. Of course, there will always be someone who gets it wrong but then again from someone who once went out in an orange bikini top and matching harem pants (circa 1986) who am I to judge? Enjoy the glamour, girls, because one day when you are tucking your muffin tops into your Spanx, you will look back at your old self and wonder how you managed to walk in those heels.
So, back to the point, should Liverpool Fashion Week ban the Scouse look? Well, any fashion week should showcase lots of different looks and that has to be applauded. No-one wants to see the same look in every show. However, you can never, ever change what the feisty Scouse girls chooses to wear. You will never sell a kitten heel in Liverpool. Fact.
My advice? Just wear what you like and have a great time doing it, because sometimes fashion has to be fun, and back in my heyday, no-one had more fun with fashion than me. And just for the record no-one in Liverpool has ever looked like her………………….