The land that style forgot

Vivienne Westwood has done it again. She has proclaimed that Britain is the worst dressed nation on earth and actually I’m not entirely sure I would disagree with her. Certainly if you look at the dresses on show at the Brits on Tuesday night they don’t exactly reflect well on the UK considering these people will have a significantly more to spend and thus a much more extensive range to select from than the ordinary woman on the street.

Jessie J seemed to have forgotten the bottom layer of her dress given that you could very easily see her underwear through it. I am absolutely not against flashing a bit of skin but given that the, erm, vital parts of her boobs were only covered by discreet embroidery, a more conservative bottom half would have made her look a little less like she’d stepped out in an Ann Summers nightie.

Jessie J at 2012 Brit Awards

Jessie J at 2012 Brit Awards

The definitive example of how the sheer look works best harks back to 2002 (I didn’t realise when I first thought about it that it was ten years ago) when Halle Berry wore an Elie Saab dress with a sheer embroidered top and voluminous silk skirt to collect her Oscar for Best Actress for her part in the film Monster’s Ball.

Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars

Halle Berry at the 2002 Oscars

If you compare photos of the two, one looks classy and the other rather trashy and whilst Jessie J’s make up and hair are amazing, the dress seriously lets the side down.

As for the X factor competitors who have made it as far as being invited to the Brits, Alexandra Burke, Little Mix and Cheryl Lloyd… Oh dear, ladies, the only thing I can say is “why?!”

Little Mix, and, in particular, Jesy, have experienced a certain amount of backlash about how they look and their weight but the issue isn’t with their size. These aren’t big girls; they may be bigger than the average size 2 waif that passes for an actress these days but they are normal girls who just happen to be able to sing quite well. They haven’t been groomed by the industry that weighing more than your average 12-year-old is a fate worse than death and look all the healthier for it. Their problem is not their weight but their styling.

Little Mix at 2012 Brit Awards

Little Mix at 2012 Brit Awards

Working from left to right, the dress sense goes from “quite good” to “not too bad” to “oh dear…” to “what on earth were you thinking?!” Snake-skin leggings are only flattering on legs that actually need a bit of visual enhancement and whilst neon may be in, that yellow and black number may be designer but stylish, hell no.

Seriously girls, sack the stylist.

The final offender is Alexandra Burke and the problem with her dress is that whoever designed it (whoever you are, shame on you…) started with a draped, Grecian style dress in cobalt blue which, had it been left alone, would have been gorgeous. But for reasons best known to the designer, they decided to top it off with wooden armour plating over the shoulders. Whilst this is probably wonderful for the posture (not exactly conducive to slouching) it looks, quite simply, weird.

Alexandra Burke at 2012 Brit Awards

Alexandra Burke at 2012 Brit Awards

Ironically the sartorial highlight for me was Lana Del Rey who wore a simple, off the shoulder red dress which, by the size of her waist, had a pretty good internal corset going on. Looking at it, it could only ever have been designed by one person: Dame Vivienne Westwood. Whilst some of her clothes can be somewhat avant-garde and appear rather unwearable, when it comes to evening wear, she always pulls it out the bag. Beautifully cut and draped, her Gold Label evening dresses are on my list of “things to wear before I die”.

Lana Del Rey at 2012 Brit awards in Vivienne Westwood

Lana Del Rey at 2012 Brit awards in Vivienne Westwood

I’m not sure whether I would say that Britain is the least fashionable nation in the world but I think the least stylish is definitely up for grabs. People need to think more about whether they look good and whether an outfit actually suits their body type and less about what is hot off the catwalk as just because something is “in”, that doesn’t mean it will look good.

Would you call Britain the land that style forgot? And what do you think is the worst style faux pas?

Average Josephine x


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