I have to admit I was a first-time-around offender. I was gainfully employed with no dependents, so could happily spend hundreds of my hard-earned on a handbag. Oasis were having a song-off with Blur, Liam and Patsy were on the front cover of Vanity Fair and London was so swinging that just about everyone, darling, had a bit of Burberry.
That signature check was everywhere; it was fashion fabulous, until Daniella Westbrook blew the checks off the brand in one photo. It went from Mossy to Moss-side in the snap of a shutter. But now apparently it’s back! In the last few weeks, the telltale cream, red, white and black has been spotted on the backs of some of the fashion-forward’s finest. Gwen Stefani went for the coat, Cara’s been seen in the scarf and even the superstar songstress Adele has been spotted swathed in check.
So, if Burberry check can come back from the brink of a fashion funeral, I can’t help but think there must be a few other items of trend, beauty and retail road-kill that should also be resurrected.
1) A shoulder pad
I know they used to flip out of one’s jumper on to the floor like giant super absorbent sanitary towels, but they really did rock knitwear. They made it sharp and edgy, and also took pounds off you. As I know from experience, a bigger shoulder detracts marvellously from a bigger stomach.
2) Jane Fonda
Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Yes I can feel it! As home video DVD/VHS cassettes go/went; this was the mother of them all. Forget Davina’s home workout. Forget any TOWIE makeover. It was all about Fonda in her high cut leotard and buns of steel. Most importantly: it worked.
3) The root perm
The full Bananarama makeover, complete with big hair kink at the scalp. It made any bad hair a good hair day. There was no need to tong, no need to spend hours in the salon, no need for any of those irritating smoothing serums; just wake, shake and you’re good to go. What’s not to love about that?
4) The cabbage soup diet
Gross flatulence and the all-pervading kitchen stench of stewing vegetables aside, it was the short effective shock that dropped those last few pounds before an important wedding or a glamorous party. It was the gassier precursor of the 5:2 .
5) A lacy tight
Think Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. The lacy tight look was all about appearing a little bit slutty, a little bit naughty, and a little bit racy. Teamed with a lace ‘body’ (yes, I did) and tube mini skirt (ditto), high black heels and bright red lipstick – the full Robert Palmer. It was hot and completely fabulous.
Thick dark brown streaks across your cheeks? Large swathes of dark brown powder strategically placed under the chin? Ultraglow was the face shaper to beat all face shapers . Before the advent of pillow-face everyone wanted to look gaunt, so we covered ourselves in brown powder to take pounds off our faces. The result? Cheeks bones with a Strictly gloss! A win-win.
Remember the green box and the smooth dark purple bottle? And the heavy, heavy scent that lingered on pillows, bed sheets and anything it could get its hands on? Like some sort of gothic chorus of heady sweetness? It was the bottle of choice for any rebellious teenager worth their door-slamming attitude. I miss it.
8) The Cosmopolitan Cocktail
Quite frankly, often, a vodka and tonic is not strong enough.
9) A leg warmer
Sadly they didn’t live forever, or indeed learn how to fly; but I do think it is about time we all embraced our inner Irene Cara, particularly now that winter is coming as there is nothing cosier than leg warmers. Quite apart from how stylish they can look, a snug ankle is a blessed relief come the first frosts.
10) The knickerbocker
While we’re on the subject. Why the hell not?
Welcome back Burberry, expect to see a bit of that red, cream and back check on a early-adopting fashionista near you. Daniella, it seems, all is forgiven!
Next week, I recount the throwbacks that definitely should not reappear any time soon…