Fashion

The devil eats Prada: Patisserie Marchesi 1824 reviewed

13 July 2019 9:00 am

The Prada Café is both a cake shop and a historical inevitability. It sits on Mount Street, almost opposite the…

Mary, Mary, quite contrary: Mary Quant and fellow-revolutionary Vidal Sassoon in 1964

My ringside seat on the Mary Quant revolution

30 March 2019 9:00 am

I think I probably qualify as the oldest fashion editor in the world, because in spite of my advanced age…

Scourge of puritans: Christian Dior with model Sylvie, c.1948

How an anarchist music student become of the fashion greats: the life of Christian Dior

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Strange to think when you visit the Christian Dior show at the V&A that his time as designer was so…

Twiggy photographed by Justin de Villeneuve in the Rainbow Room at Big Biba, early 1970s. [JUSTIN DE VILLENEUVE]

A short history of art deco – from high art to two-tone shoes, garden gates to Twiggy

1 December 2018 9:00 am

On 10 September 1973 the 1930s Kensington High Street department store formerly known as Derry & Toms reopened as Big…

‘Pit Brow Lasses’, 2015, by David Venables

Women’s toplessness caused less offence to Victorians than their trousers

20 October 2018 9:00 am

‘They did not look like women, or at least a stranger new to the district might easily have been misled…

‘Self-portrait on the border between Mexico and the United States of America’, 1932, Frida Kahlo

How good a painter was Frida Kahlo?

30 June 2018 9:00 am

In 2004 Mexican art historians made a sensational discovery in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom. Inside this space, sealed since the 1950s,…

Tommy Nutter in 1973 — the most exciting tailor on Savile Row in decades, according to Hardy Amies

You didn’t have to be mad to work for Tommy Nutter — but it helped

2 June 2018 9:00 am

The tailor’s art is a triumph of mind over schmatte. Not just in the physical cutting and stitching, but in…

From left to right: embroidered linen jacket, 1620s; pine marten fur hat, Caroline Reboux, 1895; man’s silk waistcoat embroidered in silk with a pattern of macaque monkeys, 1780–89

This V&A show, about fashion’s fascination with the natural world, will seduce and appal

21 April 2018 9:00 am

One of the prettiest pieces in the V&A exhibition Fashioned from Nature is a man’s cream waistcoat, silk and linen,…

Girls in the hood: traditional hairdresser in Nottingham, 1996

The captivating art, science and politics of hair: Beehives, Bobs and Blow-dries reviewed

24 February 2018 9:00 am

One of the best things about Beehives, Bobs and Blow-dries — yep, an exhibition about hairdressing — is the reaction…

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…

Stitches in time: detail of ‘Embroidery Design’ by May Morris, worked by May Morris and Theodosia Middlemore, c.1900

Is May Morris a feminist cause – a woman of genius unfairly overlooked?

11 November 2017 9:00 am

You may think you don’t know May Morris, daughter of William, but you’ll probably have come across her wallpaper. Her…

A model life

28 October 2017 9:00 am

This season, as London fashion week was starting, Vogue posted a video following the new model of the moment Kaia…

The art of the football shirt

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Part canvas, part sandwich board, club kits don’t always work – but their designs can be addictive

iPhone 8 Plus, unveiled last week at the new Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Headquarters, Cupertino, California. The new features include a Retina HD display, A11 Bionic Chip and wireless charging

iAddicts

23 September 2017 9:00 am

For many years The Spectator employed a television reviewer who did not own a colour television. Now they have decided…

Permanent ink

26 November 2016 9:00 am

 Brooklyn Shall I have my sister’s skin peeled off for display after she dies? Specifically, the tattooed bits — the…

Joan Collins: The celebrity trend I just can’t stand

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Not only are today’s young girls having to work hard on their abs, butts and glutes, now the likes of…

Cycling in Lycra is bad for the soul

7 May 2016 9:00 am

Spring is here and the air is alive with the sound of sweaty manmade materials rubbing together, as middle-aged cyclists…

Export queen: Sirikit wears Thai silk in Paris, 1960

A silky, air-conditioned introduction to Bangkok

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Last time I went to Thailand, there’d been something of a misunderstanding about accommodation, and my friend and I ended…

17th- and 18th-century buttons from John Taylor’s Birmingham workshop

In grandmother’s treasure-chest

13 February 2016 9:00 am

How could you possibly justify a whole book about buttons? How could the mention of a humble wooden toggle, a…

Owen Wilson as Hansel, Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander and Penélope Cruz as Valentina Valencia

What on earth was Ben Stiller thinking? Zoolander 2 reviewed

13 February 2016 9:00 am

‘I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking,’ said a pouty Derek Zoolander…

‘Burlesque in New York mutated into vaudeville’s disreputable sister, filled with dirty comics and strippers in body stockings or less’

Drawing blood with pen and ink

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Molly Crabapple is an American artist and Drawing Blood is the story of her life. That life has only been…

Bring back the old Brass Rail, Selfridges!

23 January 2016 9:00 am

The last time I reviewed a restaurant in Selfridges, a PR man rang up to ask what he could do…

Center Parcs Longleat – a stealth socialist utopia on Lord Bath’s estate

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Center Parcs Longleat is a holiday village in a forest in Wiltshire, on Lord Bath’s estate, so you can never…

Donald Trump is the master of anti-hype

5 December 2015 9:00 am

 New York Things turn very frivolous around this time of year. Barf-inducing parties given by pop-culture schlock merchants selling their…

Why most four-year-olds deserve to be sectioned

7 November 2015 9:00 am

The first episode of Let Us Entertain You (BBC2, Wednesday) definitely couldn’t be accused of lacking a central thesis. Presenter…