What do you think makes something or someone stylish and does having access to Donald Trump sized pots of cash mean an automatic right of passage?
I’m moved to write today’s ‘style infused’ blog, as am sat in the hairdresser with my mandatory copy of the ever aspirational Hello magazine, open at the first of a lavish seventeen page spread about the ‘stylish and glamorous’ lives of Mr Donald and Mrs Melanie Trump. Now, although I am and will always remain deeply in love with Mr Trump, (any man who can confidently don a Ginger comb over and possess the ability to take the proverbial P out of himself makes me go weak at the knees all day long), I am reticent to denigrate this great man. So it was a picture of his carefully crafted wife Melanie, that made me laugh out loud, particularly when I read the accompanying headline; The stylish and elegant Melanie Trump at home.
First picture the scene; the pouting Melanie is poised, perilously on 6 inch sexy Louboutins, donning a temporary Chanel tattoo and burgeoning under the weight of her feather weight silk clutch bag and 12 carat wedding ring ensemble. Obviously I’m being facetious. The copy continued to reveal the room she was photographed in was accessed via solid brass doors, please, aren’t these exclusively the domain of the Bank of England!? But the piece de resistance was the complete picture that unfolded as I cast my eyes across the full glory of this wondrously aspirational double page visual treat. While Melanie, pouted and thrusted forth in her gold-plated Metropolis aka The penthouse in Trump towers, her poor assistant is depicting buckling under the weight of, no less than, 5 of Melanie’s Louis Vuitton suitcases. Help the poor man Principessa Trump!
To be stylish would be to offer assistance, or at least show willing, throw the man a bone! It is pure cartoon and a Hello triumph, but an aside to the magazine: I must contend your proclamations these images reveal glamour and style. This is ego fuelled excessive vulgarity and cruelty to assistants at it’s best. Fact. Style and glamour are not at the fore front of my suggested words to describe this platinum coated lifestyle. Instead I would suggest; Tacky Slouvaki , as we elegantly put it up North.
So enough about the Trumps who will remain my fantasy cartoon character of choice, my next stop is to explore what I consider to be stylish. The exquisitely beautifully coiffured Grace Kelly and the elfin always immaculate Audrey Hepburn are at the top of my most stylish people list, the stream lined sexiness of a graphite grey Aston Martin or a tub of creamy premium quality Baileys Hagen Daaz ice-cream are included in most stylish products. For me, elegance, glamour and sophistication are all synonymous with simplicity, from the way something is presented visually, to how a person communicates and behaves. Or is it? Is my opinion a reflection of general consensus about this subject or am I sailing solo?
So in a bid to offer a balanced view and for the avoidance of any stylish doubt, here’s a list of seemingly desirable items, actions and theories that I deem as sophisticated and elegant as Kerry Katona in her former Iceland adverts: Vertu mobiles, Lamborghini, diamante encrusted anything, public displays of anything other than love, happiness and goodwill, excess, clutter and loss of control including screaming like a banshee. I have worked with clients who requested 4000 sq ft entrance hallways be included as part of their plans. Why I hear you gasp, or is it just me in shock?! Platinum plated skirting boards, you think I jest. I can go on; diamond encrusted swimming pool bases, I’ve seen couples airing their dirty laundry within the parameters of my dance box, I’ve been on dates with men adorning pink velvet ill-fitting jackets simply because they’re labelled with some designer name or another. These are not stylish, but then..there are Americans.
I’ve always dreamt about living and working in America, and 2010 saw this come true. For me it’s always been the land of opportunity and as someone working in the entertainment business, I adore the prospect of glamour that our British television seems to lack in comparison. I’m currently residing part-time in the achingly glamorous Greenwich Connecticut, (this is how the Town’s official website describes itself). Their sentiment seems to spill over to its residents and to paint a more complete colourful picture, the Hollywood movie with Nicole Kidman; Stepford Wives was based on the inhabitants of a neighbouring area. Perhaps these town folk believe money and excess equate to style? Or could it be dysfunction epitomised. I’ve heard a local interior designer’s, behind closed doors, mission statement is equally vulgar: it’s not done until it’s over done! Oh please, were you deprived of love as a child, in which case I extend my sympathy, to your clients?!
Excess is not stylish, keep it simple. Chintz, clutter, froo and frills are symptomatic with confusion and reek of forced pomp and ostentation. Even the local tradesmen are jumping on the vulgar bandwagon and it seems quotes are based on property values and perceived client bank balances vs. fair day rates.
Food shopping is also work in progress for me and sadly no longer the elegant experience I sought via Cheshire and London’s glorious Farmers markets. I understand America was built around excess, convenience and speed but Stew Leonard’s is a sight to behold. The customer, of this popular Connecticut based food retailer, is greeted by a life-sized cow that is relentless. Yes Daisy the cow I remember I need milk, your presence and vocal cords are over bearing. Moo, moo, I hear you! Ok, your second Moo reminded me about the yogurt, but now put a sock in it! I’m approaching the meat counter and am starting to think cruel thoughts. Also walking goose step around the IKEA style floor plan does not cut it. I understand your plan, to chaperone me round every nook and cranny of your establishment and force feed me products, but I want to choose where I walk to and what I look at. All this control and illuminated foot high price banners with robotic giant-sized produce and synthesised smells and noises feels tres un sophisticated.
So fellow style fans, Cash does absolutely not equal class, and being the spore of a superficial, image preoccupied Italian family and having worked as an interior designer with clients including the rich, famous and generally deluded; I can categorically conclude that to define this word is as clear-cut as Berlusconi’s political strategy. I am just saying.