Article Archive: May 2011

Well Heeled

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Watching BodyAmr designer Amr Ali troop his fierce model army through the beautiful art deco halls of the Grade II listed Freemason’s Hall in London was surreal. These shots are proof that all I initially contemplated were the lengths of the models’ legs. There’s a hint of the mystical about the first shot above I think, as if this army had come from the rays of light, all long limbed and alien. But there’s a sound reason to love Amr Ali (I’ll explain in a mo).

Tom Ford once wrote ‘Bodyamr; Give me a job!’

Operating from a discrete townhouse in Bloomsbury, Omani-born designer Amr (pronounce ‘Armour’) has steadily grown BodyAmr since 2005. It now has a cult following with his knack of mixing the old (he’s a keen vintage collector) the new (he’s very aware of what’s happening on London’s streets) and his own unique heritage (strong Omani roots).

Tom Ford once wrote ‘Bodyamr; Give me a job!’ as BodyAmr was hailed by Vogue and Harpers Bazaar to be one of London’s hottest brands, but it’s the allure of his draped gowns and the precise detail on his body-con dresses that have earned him respect among women and celebrities. You might be a bit surprised at who…..

So did it happen to you yet? Did you experience the leg envy that I did? That’s a question I asked myself silently that day and for months after seeing this show (maybe I should have kept that to myself). I especially loved the model’s own ‘rats’ trousers teamed with the BodyAmr blonde balero thrown over her shoulders before the show. An exaggerated shoulder, a skinny leg and those BodyAmr shoes: a simple way to look sharp. Yes those legs stretch on forever but then I though (cue Carrie Bradshaw voice) ‘Do we really need legs this long to look hot?

Eoooeeeeuw, you are probably thinking. I don’t want to think about it G! I have and honestly, I don’t think we do. As I stood silently behind the line-up I could see evidence in the cutting of his garments of the well know fact that Amr Ali is obsessed with complimenting the female form. A quick look on the BodyAmr website and three examples show how he compliments Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Daisy Lowe (LOVE her !!!). Whether wearing his alluring draped gowns or leg exposing body-con dresses they’re all very, very different, beautiful and unique.

When people think legs in fashion, I know they often mean long and lean and mocha-coloured all over, but the thing about legs is this… if a designer is clever and thoughtful enough, there doesn’t have to be a set formula, no one set of measurements that adds up to guaranteed perfection. And this is partially due to his love of discreet draping, a technique that harps all the way back to one of fashion’s doyennes – Madame Grès.

We’re used to being fed an ideal form to which we should all aspire, but I believe that legs remain the exception to that rule- the one place where we can each be ourselves and still look great (especially if designers like Amr Ali have anything to do with it). Good news then that BodyAmr is easily available on Net-a-Porter

Oh and between now and Monday I’m off to Finland so I’ve just uploaded this LEG SHAKING TUNE to my iPod. It’s got just the right amount of Starkey and Hutchness and funk to proudly spin my little pins to.  Shake em!!!! Twist em!!!! Because each leg is unique!!!!

Cotton Candy

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Remember when expressing yourself through your T-shirt meant dangling a few clever placed words on your chest? While I still think this idea can be fun (House of Holland), I’m veering more towards the styling-a-T-shirt-like-this camp as a sharper subtler route this summer.

I’d happily wear this T-shirt dress until it fell apart.

Recently the best things I’ve encountered in fashion styling are subtle nuances, a belt perfectly placed here, a pin twisting and clasping a piece of fabric there and to see someone do it well and celebrate their own individual idea with a simple separate is a thing of pure joy. (I know I need to see someone about this obsession I have with tiny styling details.)

When I first spotted Adriane backstage at Bodyamr in her own T-shirt dress, belted cleverly I thought this is quite the most prefect way to lift a piece of 80’s sportswear. I love its versatility; dressed up with a belt, cardigan and those heavy denier tights, Adriane explained that she could run about without worrying about any of those cringy bending over *awkward* moments. ‘For a warmer day I wear it with gladiator sandals and a little denim but for work, changing in and out of things I like the tights.’ A good shopping outfit idea if ever I saw one. Simply slip it off and try on new things.

Close up this sweet little cotton short sleeved jersey T-shirt with its neat lines is devoid of detail except for the studs along the back seam and a few scattered on the its scooped v neckline. The whole look hinges on the length which is perfect on Adriane (although she is VERY MANY smidges taller that me). DIY project ahoy!

On examining the fabric it was super-soft and I’d happily wear a T-shirt dress like this until it fell apart. The simple little cut and the way it looks kind of slouchy with the belt and worn in like it’s been sun-faded and loved for many years just adds to it charm. It’s easy to see why I love it, isn’t it?

Now, I don’t ever like to be a follower. Fact. I genuinely thought Adrianne had plucked this T-shirt from a vintage shop rail on her travels and styled it into a T-shirt dress – it had that hint of the ‘worn-in-loved-item’ about it so I thought it futile to ask. But curiosity finally got the better of me and guess what???? The wool cardigan and belt are both from COS and the T-shirt dress is from WHISTLES. Why was I not surprised? There are unfortunately none of the T-shirt dresses left, but it made me love what Whistles are achieving at the moment even more. I feel a new girl crush coming on and this time it’s not even for a person.

P.S Boots are next season Bodyamr and are entirely optional. Maybe for the moment I’ll practice this look with my high black Acne wedges.