Monday, 10 September 2007

They've got the hacks and jodhpurs. We've got the riding crops.

Jodhpurs and jackets

Odd to think that stretchy horse pants are about to re-enter the heady atmosphere of high fashion, but - viewed as part of the broad move towards sporty, high-tech kit - they do make a kind of sense.

Now we hate to break it to you, but there was a box intended for Country Life, and due to an administrative error it got sent to OWM by mistake. (If it's any consolation, there are a couple of hundred inbreds currently Tally-Hoeing across Buckinghamshire wearing Gaultier bondage pants.) Jodhpurs are hideous.

We know it, you know it. Even MC Hammer couldn't pull it off - and his weren't even beige. We have got no taste whatsoever but we do we know jodhpurs are a mistake. That's bad.

4. A Great Big Cocoon Coat

So what if you do end up looking like a balloon poodle? This is fashion, you dimwits.

We could hardly have put it better ourselves. Well said, Mimi. And I guess if you're going to have a name like a poodle, you might as well look like one as well.

Julie Burchill: What I know about men.

I must say I do find the idea of a piece called What I Know About Men rather risibly offensive. I doubt if anyone would have the gall to run a weekly column called What I Know About Blacks/Whites/Asians. When I read the moaning minnie sob-sisters writing that 'All men cheat/lie/smell', you've got to wonder at the sheer bad luck of these broads to consistently hook up with such stinkers.

Hee hee. That's what happens when you get a real writer to offer an opinion. It won't be happening again.

The rules for the Autumn

Out: cleavage We prefer our cotton shirts buttoned up high. A little styling tiplet for you. It's hard. It's androg. We approve.

Like Hell we do. Step Away From The Breasts, OWM, or we might get nasty.

Is this the most powerful woman in fashion?

She's the 'ordinary' woman who's credited with saving our Great British high-street institution. Kate Bostock, ex-grammar-school girl, 50-year-old mother, and the power behind the M&S revival, tells Geraldine Bedell her trade secrets

...but Geraldine ignores those and embarks on self-centred rant about guess what? Clothes, body image and age.

The incredible shrinking model

As New York fashion week kicks off the latest catwalk shows, the guidelines on model weight are debated more furiously than ever. Emily Nussbaum goes Bkstage and begins to suspect the skinny issue might be more loaded than we

And next month in Observer Woman, Emily goes backstage at the eating disorders clinic at Royal Maudsley Hospital. The hospitality isn't as good, the freebies aren't as good, the parties are bloody awful, but at least her readers will get the other side of the story and hey, she's less likely to bump into Nirpal.

She's worth $100m, runs a $400m hedge fund, has two sets of twins and four nannies ...

We're so bored we jus

A Comedy of Errors

The scene: The OWM office, Herbal Hill, London. Summer 2007.

Nicola: Girls, girls, pop your tushes round my desk, poppets, we need to get the September issue planned - I'm meeting Liz for lunch in 35. Eva, are you back with the espressos darling? Ah yes, there you are. Where's Polly?

Polly: Here I am, Nicky.

N: Oh sorry poppet, I couldn't see you for the coatstand. Good job there aren't any coats on it or we'd have lost you forever. Kathryn? Where's Kathryn?

Eva: I last saw her under my desk, testing something called a 'Dinger'

N: Oh not again. Oh well, let's get started. I hate to tell you this girls, but the chaps on the top floor have been going on and on about values and journalistic standards and all that boring stuff again. Suggested we should do something a little more, ya know, intellectual. Something in keeping with traditions of the Observer or some such guff.

E: But we did the Ethical Special they wanted back in the Spring! You remember, the one where we nominated Simon Cowell as an ethical pin-up?

Kathryn: [from under the desk] Hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmm.

N: I know, darling, I know. But apparently they want more. So I was thinking, why don't we do something on those funny women, you know, the fat, ugly ones. oh, what are they called? F-F-F-something....

E: French and Saunders?

N: No, no, no. Furries? Fannies? Femidoms? FEMINISTS, that's it.

[everyone stares]

E: You can not be serious.

N: Oh I am darling, it would be a hoot. We could get Greg to take some photos of them burning the new Janet Reger collection.

K: Ooooooooouuuuuuuuuuhhh

P: But I met a feminist once, ghastly girl - wore a sapphire blue Cavalli blouse with green eye shadow!

N: I know darling, I know....

E: And Nicky love, they're just so frightfully boring - always going on about equal this and fair that.

N: Ah, but listen, I haven't told you the best part. First of all, we can't have any old ugly people in the magazine, so they'll all have to be about 25, 26 tops, size 12 max and... now this is the brilliant bit - we give them a makeover!

P: Oh yes darling, I love it! We'll get the clothes from D&G and the slap from Liz Arden and...


N: Well sorry poppets, but I ran THAT idea past Hadley at the Guardian - she once made tea for the Guardian Girls' page ya know. Anyway, she knows the sort and it turns out they wouldn't stand for it. Says it will offend their principles or something - heaven knows what that's all about. So instead, we're going to re-brand them. we'll call them the 'New Feminists!'

[rousing music]

Girls, this is our moment! I have a dream. We are going to change the world for women! We will make feminists fashionable again! We will make feminists sexy! When they see the boys falling at their feet these girls will THANK us. Girls - We must reach for the stars - we are going to get the feminists shopping!

P: Hurrah!

E: Hurrah!

K: GGgggrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

E: Now, Nicky love, that's marvellous, but... err, we're not actually going to let them say anything are we?

N: SAY anything? Oh darling don't be ridiculous! Who knows what nonsense they might come out with! No no, we'll put them on a grid - just like we do with the make-up reviews - and give them about ten words at a time, they can't do much harm that way. Half a dozen questions - Lapdancing clubs - IN or OUT? Men - IN or OUT? That kind of thing.

P: We'll still need one of those big long featurey things though. What's that going to be about?

N: Got it covered, poppet. Nirpal just emailed me some links to some of his chums - just the most gorge boys you could imagine - proper rough, they write really hot blogs about how they treat us girls like dirt, find us disgusting, fuck our brains out then kick us out in the morning....

K: OH YaaaAAAAA BABY!!!!!!!!

E: Hmmm yummay!

P: Oh Nicola darling, have I ever told you, you are brilliant?

K: OOOOOOOOooooh damn, it's no use, I've lost it again. I think it only works when it's on a tongue. Anyone have a spare tongue?

E: Kathryn darling, just use your Rabbit and shut the fuck up.

N: Oh look, it's 11.15 already. Lunchtime, poppets. See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

The Return of The Lorax

The rules for autumn 2007

In: Thneeds
Most unlikely fashion item of the season? The Thneed.

Way back in the days when the grass was still green
And the pond was still wet and the clouds were still clean
A very great man with a big thinker-upper
Thunked up yours truly, not long after supper.
I wasn't there until that famous day
When he gave me a name, and then something to say.

Pay me attention - hear well if you please
For I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for survival and good common sense
But what I've just heard has been making me tense.
Listen up now, meditate on it later
I bring you sad news of my noble creator.

The Doctor, so clever, so good, wise and brave
Has sent me to say that he spins in his grave
He once wrote a book with a message to fear
So simple and wise it was perfectly clear.
It told of the creatures, the rivers, the breeze,
And the heartbreaking tale of the Truffula Trees.

The Truffula Trees were the loveliest things
The finest example of what nature brings
They brightened the day of quite all who beheld 'em
'Til ignorant imbeciles turned up and felled 'em
Spurred on by money and urged on by greed
They hacked down the Truffula just to make Thneed.

A Thneed was quite useless to man and to beast
But that didn't stop 'em, no, not in the least.
One after one, the trees fell to the axe
So greedy designers made cash to the max.
The Truffulas slaughtered and turned into Thneeds
A silly invention that nobody needs.

I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
I speak for the birds and I speak for the bees
I bring you a message from someone you trust
My brilliant creator is sick with disgust
At a vile magazine called Oh Doubleyoo Em
Famous for making its readers spit phlegm

He thought up the Thneed as a valuable lesson
He really did mean it he wasn't just messin'.
The Thneed he imagined with anger and passion
Is now up for sale in the temples of fashion.
Could it be true that the marketing folk
Would market a Thneed as post-modern joke?

High on his cloud up in genius heaven
The Doctor is shedding a tear now - or seven
In deepest depression, the great Dr Seuss
Has tears on his cheeks and his head in a noose.
In one final gesture of deepest despair
He buckles his knees...
...And he steps off his chair.

I am the Lorax, now listen - you must
All that I stand for has crumbled to dust.
To those who advise what to wear for the Autumn
To those who have made 'em and those who have bought 'em
Think on this story. Remember it well.
Think on it hard as you're burning in Hell.

(We would offer the usual apologies to Dr Seuss, but under the circumstances, it's probably not us who should be apologising.)