The London Lookbook: Nana Chic
One of the principal trends this season is the ladylike look; elegant midi skirts, pink coats and belted in waists are scorching hot right now. However, the ladylike trend has got a breakaway splinter cell division with a distinctly eccentric edge, finally the Nana is getting her moment in the fashion sun. Nana chic has been toted by some of fashion’s hottest up and comers – old ladies were the primary influence in Simone Rocha’s A/W13 collection. Ari Seth Cowen’s ingenious blog Advanced Style celebrates the glorious old broads that parade around Manhattan like venerable peacocks.
It’s about time that fashion respected its elders, people of my grandparents generation dressed impeccably, regardless of their class or creed – my paternal grandfather wore a beautifully tailored suit every day of his life. For him, leaving the house without his trilby hat and an exquisitely knotted tie was tantamount to lying down in a hole and waiting for death.
My grandmother was just as well presented – she was a brilliant seamstress and made all her own clothes, a talent I sorely wish I had inherited. Her dedication to style was unshakeable and she was glamorous to the very end. In the final days of her life when she was dying of cancer in hospital, she applied the red lipstick that she’d worn all her life – the chemo had robbed her of her hair and eyelashes, but the slash of pure red on her lips endured. It was her way of retaining an essential part of herself, even though cancer had pillaged everything else.
It’s this sort of resilience that I find continually inspiring; the older generation didn’t complain, they just got on with it – but they did it in splendid style. I love to dress in a way that pays homage to my fabulously stylish grand parents, they taught me invaluable lessons about determination and courage, which I carry with me to this day.
My sunglasses are Bailey Nelson. My coat is an old favourite from French Connection (similar here). My shirt is from Topshop (similar here), my skirt is from ASOS, my broach is vintage, my brogues are from Russell and Bromley, my bag is vintage.