I started to pick up, via some comments on a couple of blogs that those across the pond are receiving nothing but good vibrations from the hermetically sealed world of Mary Portas. This brilliant article is very good and pretty much sums up how I feel.
That said the hypocrisy of the Guardian is breathtaking since all the clothes they ever feature in their supplements are for a size 8.
I initially felt some level of empathy with Portas, during her first series Mary Queen of Shops, she appeared to have some good ideas, but as the programmes rolled on she became a grotesque caricature not helped by the ubiquitous repetitive editing by Chanel 4, a company past master at the art of stretching 20 minutes of good television into 60 minutes of repetitive drivel.
The hype around this venture is completely disproportionate to her talent, the article which I could have written myself (it's so spot on, seriously, how long have I been saying it's not age but size and poor cut that causes problems for older women.) Despite Portas's constant harping on about the lack of choice for women over 40 I have managed very successfully to dress myself from a whole range of shops. No, not just COS, but also Zara, Muji, Toast, Kew, The White Company, Banana Republic, +J Uniqlo even GAP to name a few.
I look for a good cut and even better fabrics that drape and fold and hide. Poor fabrics cling and need ironing and I'm not prepared to iron ever!
So what are my gripes?
-Portas appears to wear mostly high end designer clothes when did she last shop on a high street? Has she not heard of COS?
-In this country we produce some of the best designers in the world, why do we need someone untrained to design for 'us'? It's insulting.
-Why is Portas so hostile to the younger market? My girls wear my clothes, surely we should not teach them age discrimination at such an early age.
-And like everyone who commented on the Guardian article, why when Portas is so forceful at pushing her own philosophy onto others could she not accept some of the more negative comments from her Guinea Pigs?
One of my all time favourite soundbites came from one of her more eloquent guinea pigs 'Pen'
"My body is better than this dress"
YES, she was so right.