Monday, 23 March 2009

New Era of the New Romantic

A lot of people I know find my interest with the latest thing in fashion distasteful . They see trends as the tedious dictum of the self-interested style elite which stifle creativity and should be adamantly ignored. I admit that there are certainly many maverick dressers who look amazing while defying all fashions that happen to be floating around at that particular moment. But personally, I think there's a lot to be gained from the trends of the season, especially if they are taken, fucked with and put back on the body with creative interpretation by the wearer. If I was to rigidly refuse to partake in the season's fashion, I'd be denying myself all the enjoyment of playtime with the new toy of inspiration that's been thrown into my playpen. And when the trends are as colourful and outlandish as a revival of the New Romantic look, I have every reason to be excited. So, as it gradually dawned on me last week that a new era of New Rom is on it's way, I got very excited about where things are headed.

I managed to steal the snap above of Georg at the Mooch London launch party at the weekend. I like his layering on top from the two close fitting vest and upturned collar shirt to the cropped over-sized jacket. His over-sized Vivienne Westwood Alien-esque trousers were tucked into deep red high boots. The impact of his look depends heavily on the natural tones of the fabrics and his accessories: the vintage necklace, scarf and a belt which is worthy of being on display. Through it all he's managed to maintain a relaxed, slouchy unpretentious vibe through soft fabrics and collars and loose cuts. Not the easiest thing when you're going clubbing dressed as a pirate...

If you're in London and looking for some New Romantic inspiration, I'd start with a trip to the Westwood shop in Conduit Street. For men, they've got various styles of loose crotched trousers and £140 bat-wing shirts which would work. Their current Anlgomania range (for women) has great dresses in an exploded version of her classic Pirate print which would be a happy centrepiece for an N R look at about £240. Perhaps best of all, friendly manager/buyer Stuart has finally brought a small stock of her better value, rarer and largely New Romantic World's End collection and is offering them for sale in the Conduit street store. This should make the traipse down the King's Road a thing of the past for all but the most die-hard Japanese Westwood pilgrim...

On the slate...


  1. That's a really HOT look! Go Pirate!

  2. Do you think it's fair to say that the New Rom look wouldn't work for all body types? Or are there different ways to do it for different types? My suspicion is that NR looks best on the gamins. I happen to adore this look, but wonder how on earth I would adapt it for, say, a man who had a rugby or American football player type physique.

  3. Good question Wendy.

    Actually, I reckon the New Romantic look is less dependent on a gamin physique than some other current trends which go tight and cropped all over in a brutally unforgiving way (see recent post on Irish lad in Hoxton as an example).

    What the look is dependent on is clever layering and contrasts of loose areas of over-sizing or balloon shapes with other parts of the body treated to tucked or tied cinched cutting. So, obviously a slender physique is going to give more freedom to choose where this cinching is done eg at the wrist and shoulder, waist, upper calf etc; but, by choosing items carefully, it's still perfectly possible to obtain the drama while giving areas where the wearer is larger a looser treatment. For example, your broad shouldered American football player may not suit Georg's tight inner layering up top but his broad shoulders should fit fine inside one of Westwood's bat-wing shirts. If the guy is large all over, the look just scales up; always remembering to keep the drama-dependent contrast between over-sized and cinched areas across the body.

  4. Hmmm, just heard that Spandau Ballet's doing a comeback tour. Should be a good excuse to get adventurous with those New Rom looks...