If you are from Liverpool, you don’t have to be told this already, but there is an awful lot of snobbery in fashion. If you have ever sat through a terrible catwalk show with models in sandals and socks, wearing oversized overcoats and cones on their heads, and the designer going on about his or her conceptual vision, you will know that everyone just nods and air kisses. Inside a part of me dies; if anyone can make Gisele Bundchen look just plain ugly, what hope is there for the rest of us?
The press do love a good laugh at Liverpool and its sense of style. Look at the girls with their tresses, dresses and gleaming limbs, out for a good time and some of them are even, shock horror, laughing. How very dare they? Wouldn’t you rather be somewhere arty, with a greasy fringe, lolling against a sweaty wall talking to some boring bloke in a beard, who fails to compliment you on your pasty limbs and chewed nail polish? Er, no, I wouldn’t as it happens.
Now fashion might be fashion but it is also a business, and therefore, you can go on about how your art was influenced by the struggle of Frida Kahlo all you like, but if you don’t actually sell anything, well you go to a very Chic Room 101, and your gear ends up as landfill or, hopefully, in TK Maxx. And the labels know this and the people behind them know this. Which is why when it came to opening a Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols chose this fair (but golden, obviously) city due its high spending beauty citizens. And Zara? Well, excuse me but haven’t they just had to build a nice shiny bigger version to keep up with us? I do believe they have.
Michael Kors, who in 2014 was named fashion’s latest billionaire, doesn’t mess about when it comes to the bottom line, and so we open him with toned, bejewelled arms to Liverpool One. And oh, how a Scouse girl loves her Michael Kors. It’s like we were made for each other. Michael, wily old tanned fox that he is, worked out some time ago that It-bags can be a bit of a stretch for your average fashion addict. A head-to-toe designer ensemble will cost you the price of a decent house (in Liverpool, not New York, obviously). So he took all he had learned from making very expensive clothes for Park Avenue Princesses, added some TV glory via Project Runway, and hit upon his game plan: packaging jet-set style and allowing us mere mortals to have a piece, or several, depending on whether you fancy the next month eating Kokas.
Shop the latest Michael Kors collection at Wongs
The Kors effect is brilliant: you can get luxe accessories that look amazing, are well-made, not exactly unobtrusive, put them together with your High Street pieces and there you have it: a look that says I may be from Garston but I appear as if I have just flown in from Gstaad. Kors is never going to be an Alexander McQueen or a John Galliano: he is not a subversive genius, more like a bloke in a big aviators who knows how to sell, sell, sell. In a world peppered with designers whose labels have hit a Banksy covered wall, Kors is out there selling big watches to Scouse birds with big dreams.
And next time you go on your holidays to that exotic destination you can look down at that watch, close your eyes, and just imagine you are on your very own Gulfstream V. You might not always be living the dream, but you can always make sure that you look like you are ready for take-off.
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