Friday, 8 April 2011

Happy Birthday Vivienne Westwood

Happy 70th Mrs Fabulous. I promise to be as unabashedly glorious as you so effortlessly are, by practicing, practicing, practicing ...

Colour me Happy!

On my way to my favourite cafe not too far from where I live. Well now it's far enough for a little leg stretch and close enough to persuade myself out of the door on lazy days. (The coffee there is easily the best in Bristol, I'd reveal the location but it already gets rammed with the local Mummerati by 11.00am so selfishly, I won't).

On my way I spotted a little girl on her scooter, the low, fat plasticcy type that all the really little kids bomb along the pavements harem scarem. This particular Tinchy Strider barely had the fundamentals of steering under her belt and was veering wildly off course, pudgy little paws gripping the handlebars, shrieking with a giddy mix of glee and fear. As she whizzed passed me I was struck by her gorgeous outfit.

This little toddler was rocking a bright red riff!

She was sporting a tiny dirndle skirt covered in cherries with bold, bright green leaves. It had a red ribbon border at the hem and again at the waist and all finished off with a jolly, big red bow. She matched her cherrytastic skirt with happy little red, polka dot, canvass shoes and green socks and a very, very pink T.shirt. She really was just perfect in every way. Her wonderful skirt, the hair raising, giddy charge down of the lampost and her cavalier acceptance of her moment of speed and style.

I love colour, and I wear a lot of clashy - matchy colours and prints they make me happy and energised and I like to say they say good things about me.

"Look, Look! ' says my riotously coloured 40's inspired dress. 'This woman is vibrant and fun."

'Hey you!' my purple tights hail from across the street. "How cool is she in her little multi coloured dress and us. Check out the flash of green she's cleverly introduced to confuse and delight. She's a real trend setter, a wardrobe maverick. SHE has FUN with clothes..."

That's what I'd like to think... I do sometimes worry though. More often than notI suspect that what they are actually doing is whispering to each other across the vast plains of my adult backside. "Good grief! What was she thinking? Turquoise tights at her age, with those thighs ... ".

So as I watched the little cherry skirt girl whiz by and she rewarded me with an approving nod back, I wondered if my sense of colour and style needs to be toned down, or growed up. I know Trinny and Suze would loathe my pink plastic rings and my home madey shell necklace strung on an old bit of pink suede. In my defence I've been self gokking since I was 14, long before he shed his puppy fat and shoved a shark tooth through his earlobe.

Something about approaching 50 makes me crotchety about being told what to wear, or how to dress. My arse does look big in most things and my knees are fatter too - I have no idea why. The little girl reminded me of the conservatism of ageing style. Apart from some notable exceptions who are often seen as eccentric (Vivienne Westwood, Pam Hogg) or so beautiful they can do what they like sartorially (Gaga, Little Boots, Alexa Chung) most of us don't indulge ourself with 'fun' clothes anymore.

Pattern becomes more grown up, colour choices more sedate, or singular. (Thank god for colour blocking). Surely as we get older and more comfortable in our body we should thumb our noses at convention, stick our foot out in the corridor and trip up the finger wavers and wear what we bloody well like?

Get your colour mojo workin'! 

Here are my top tips for getting your colour groove on. Lets paint a rainbow people!
  • Pull out your 'for best' dress and wear it today, whatever you have planned. You don't have to put on the shoes and the hat - just that 'feel great' dress. 
  • Figure out what you love about it. Is it the cut, the colour, the memories it holds. Could you treat yourself to an everyday version? What about making that beautiful dress your everyday treat and invest in a new best frock? OH GO ON!
  • You can have the same fun with your favourite jewelry too - Posh or costume - it doesn't matter just as long as you get fancied up today.
  • Go to the 'teenage' section of the make-up counter and go mad with nail varnish and lippy. Paint your toenails bonkers colours - and choose a stand out, day-glo colour for your nails too! Paint your mouth and pout at the milkman!
  • Next - chuck out all your old tatty undies and use it as an excuse for a lingerie trip. For every sensible pair of pants you purchase - buy yourself something wildly inappropriate and brightly coloured. As long as it fits - you'll look amazing. 
  • Buy yourself a huge bunch of whatever flowers are cheap and in season - and if you don't dig on cut blooms then a pot plant. Tell you what? Buy some seeds and grow your own pots of colour therapy.
I also think that while we're on the colour me beautiful tip - you could make sure you have a full length mirror placed somewhere sensible so you can see yourself from top to toe. Before you go out to meet the world - check youself for colour... If you've gone all monochrome - chuck on a scarf, grab a daft brolly and march out there in motley.

Don't believe me that you'll feel better with an injection of colour into your life? Paint a wall your absolutely favourite colour - go on just do it! You can do it in the loo or the kitchen if your lounge room won't take the blast. I painted my flat cream to get it sold and I felt so depressed for a week - I bought a house with a ridiculously orange kitchen - and I can report that it still is as orange as the inside of a tango man's tummy!

Wear more colour this week. Enjoy it, be a kid, pin cherries to your jumper. Have fun.