Monday, 10 May 2010

Style Inspirations #1: the ladies of Bob Fosse musicals

I am not a stylish person by nature. When I manage it at all, I only tend to do so with the help of outside inspiration. One of my favourite inspirations is the classic style of performers in Bob Fosse musicals, particularly Chicago and Cabaret.
Despite what fashion editors keep trying to tell us, there is a time when black is the only colour that will do, when subtle is not what you want, and when you need to unleash your inner high-kicking diva.

Not for the Fosse girl is flirty, cute or even pretty. She is not a bronzed, curvaceous beach babe, but a sinewy, elongated Amazon with the sort of complexion you get from only coming out at night. There is a strong sense of Europe between the wars about her. She rejects the burlesque aesthetic that spawned her; who needs bouncing breasts and frilly knickers when the only weapon you really need is a pair of superbly-toned legs, preferably clad in fishnets?

Obviously, the full-on dancer's hotpants and bowler hat are pretty difficult to pull off in a real setting, but I like to channel Sally Bowles with fitted waistcoats, hats worn at an angle, short skirts or tight trousers, in black of course, set off by militaristic leather boots and as much eyeliner as possible.

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