It was a seminal moment in my fashion life, like the year I got married in Edwardian lace, or the year I bought my first serious handbag (Mulberry; lots of hardware). Two-thousand-and-eleven: the year my legs let me down.
Perhaps I’d taken them for granted, but I truly thought my legs - those betrayers! Those sneaks! – and I were getting along fine. Only that winter, we’d merrily marched through a cold snap together, clad in flattering opaque hosiery and spike heeled Alaïa booties for all the world as if we shared the same goal (to look fabulous), and would be buddies for life. Except unbeknownst to me, my legs had given up. The buggers had started to wobble and show their age at the knee. And like the cuckholded husband of Shakespearean cliché, I was the last to know.
When I stepped out in the perky Chloé mini I’d adored the year before, my legs gave me a rude shock. “You’ve got to be kidding!” they called. (And I can tell you; I didn’t like their tone.) “Where do you think we’re going dressed like that?”
As the Duchess of Windsor once told US Harper’s Bazaar: “The length of a skirt does help separate age groups; older women simply cannot wear very short skirts. The whole figure - ending up with the face - must ‘go’ with the exposed knee.”
Alas, mine no longer “went” with the Chloé skirt. I had to face facts; I had to go shopping for new skirt options.
By happy accident Fashionland is now abuzz with talk of “the new long” – be it Alexander Wang’s bias-cut satin worn with a T-shirt to make it cool, or hot UK label Alessandra Rich – high necks plus long skirts = AMAZING. Gucci’s flow-y chiffon nod to the 70s is not for me, but Forte Forte’s elegantly draped sand-coloured georgette has my name on it. ALL HAIL THE NEW LONG!
Lovely long looks by Alessandra Rich.