Wednesday, 15 July 2009

We <3 gamine

The previous Battant article has inspired a post to celebrate all things gamine. I've been a fan of this simple, waiflike look since I saw Winona Ryder in her oversized blazers and stripey t-shirts in Girl, Interrupted, and my obsession with gamine-chic continued to grow after I a) watched Jean Seberg in the magnificent Breathless and b) became an avid Edie-phile. So much so that from the ages of sixteen to nineteen I sported a dark brown crop, palloured skin and took to wearing stripy boating tops and black skinny jeans on a regular basis. In hindsight, I probably looked a bit special, and people must have thought I only had two outfits on rotation, but I thought I looked the bees knees.

Two of my so-stylish-they-should-be-shot friends, Ello and Lo, have the gamine thing down perfectly. Firstly, they're blessed with being naturally rail-thin. Now don't take that the wrong way, I'm NOT saying that only stick insects can work the gamine look as this is blatently not true (I've seen pictures of the ample Beth Ditto working it as well as Winona). Traditionally though, gamine girls have a tendency to be on the skinnier side. Lo and Ello also have the requisite cute pixie crop which they empathise with striking make-up to get that all important eyes-large-as-saucers look. The two also have obscenely good fashion sense - high-waisted trousers, stripy litttle sailor tops and dapper brogues being the order of the day. Thumbs up girls. Thumbs up.

When it comes to gamine in the movies (as you've probably gathered, films are my main inspiration when it comes to how I style myself), I don't think Jean Seberg can be beaten. Her crisp white t-shirts tucked into high-waisted, turned up slacks worn simply with a pair of brogues and a winning smile caught me from the moment she appeared on the screen yelling 'New York Herald Tribune!' whilst walking the Champs D'Elysees, and she oozes Parisian chic for the films duration. However, in terms of my ultimate gamine icon, Edie has just pipped her to the post. Hers is a different breed of gamine - if Jean Sebergs look is the sister of Winona's, Edie's is their second cousin. She has the boyish haircut, the pale skin (sadly, this was probably down to her out of control drug habit), the waiflike appearance and startlingly dramatic eye makeup. Standard gamine boxes checked, checked, checked. But its the way she put her own twist on the look - the oversized chandelier earrings that she rarely left home without, and the opaque tights that she was almost never seen out of. Never afraid to break boundaries, she was frequently seen out in leotards, mens shirts and black leggings that just served to emphasize her skinny skinny legs (another side effect of her speed addiction, oh deary).

Its a ridiculously easy look to pull off, and one that I'm find myself revisiting of late. A pair of black skinny jeans (turned up, of course), an oversized t-shirt or shirt, a white vest, a pair of pumps or brogues, black eyemake-up and a pair of big-ass chandelier earrings and you're good to go. I channeled my inner Edie today with a pair of cocktail earrings, a crisp white shirt, black turn-ups and white pumps. I may not be going anywhere tonight, but as the scouts say, 'be prepared', right?

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