WIW: an accidental icon

Sorry ladies, it's not a glamorous old lady strolling around New York in sunglasses (I wish) but I couldn't resist the byline. 

I've been busy with the New Venture. I have no end of pictures of half-baked calicos and other works in progress but I've been very slack about photographing outfits. This is disappointing, because while I've missed some of my favourite summer outfits, somehow I managed to shoot this one look of me in the New Boring. 

Let me explain. I grew up in the neighbourhood around the UK's biggest sporting arena and every weekend during the football season it would be overrun with young men looking for a fight. They dressed very sharp and had a distinctive style, which was two parts preppy to one part Mod. Pants were creased and trainers were expensive. The look was typically finished with a designer windbreaker or an Argyle sweater. 

Needless to say, in my youth I wouldn't have been seen dead dressed like that, but I scored these sneaks from the New Balance Made in England collection earlier in the summer and I'd been fighting the urge to dress like an 80's football Casual ever since. When I finally gave in I found I quite enjoyed it. 

But. As a middle aged lady, this does not translate. Because what do you get when you cross two parts preppy with one part Mod? It's not a young delinquent with a flick knife in his pocket and that's for sure.

It's Ines de la Fressange.

And that, lovely ladies of YLF, is my submission to the Icon Challenge. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    I for one am happy to see you've let out your inner Paul Weller. Well, I'll stick with that; it sounds better than some generic prep. I think you look quite sharp without over-trying. 

  • UmmLila replied 6 years ago

    Looking good, Rio. I'll bet de la Fressange doesn't pick fights in the street.

  • Sara L. replied 6 years ago

    You look good and I love the version with the hat, but no, you don't look like you're spoiling for a fight.  Maybe you just need to look angrier? :)

  • RoseandJoan replied 6 years ago

    I never thought I would read about football hooligans and French style icons in the same post but I am happy I did.

  • Suz replied 6 years ago

    What Jules (RoseandJoan) said! That is hilarious and so true and you look amazing!! 

  • Jenn replied 6 years ago

    Oh my, this whole post cracked me up. I love the look, though. It's a sporty chic Ines.

  • Angie replied 6 years ago

    THERE YOU ARE, Liz. 

    Sporty Tomboy Fabness with extra Charm. 

  • rachylou replied 6 years ago

    I love it. And that's hilarious how this all equates to Ines.

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 6 years ago

    A great read, and a terrific outfit! Welcome back!

  • Jaime replied 6 years ago

    Glad to hear your venture is buzzing along. I have been hoping to hear. A beautifully written build up to a perfectly you outfit.

  • Beth Ann replied 6 years ago

    Cue the soundtrack.....perhaps "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," or maybe some Depeche Mode or Duran, Duran?

    You look relaxed and sporty --- and this sort of look is super practical, too!

  • Sally replied 6 years ago

    Great outfit. It's something I would copy and I just might. What style pants are those? They are a great style.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    Thanks ladies! It's good to be back. 

    Seriously though. I found it very interesting how the same basic forms could read so very differently with a change of context. Fashion is indeed a dark art.

    Mochi, you knock me out. I'd clean forgotten but you're right. It's the Modfather himself, all the way down. Beth Ann, you sent me down a rabbit hole from Sir Elton to "Kung Fu Fighting"... but Mochi wins. It's got to be Eton Rifles. Sup up your beer and collect your fags.

    Ummlila that's very true, Ines would never pick a fight. Victoria Beckham on the other hand... well, we don't know, do we? Maybe she went a round or two with Cheryl Cole in the bathrooms back in the day.

    Sara, I have what you might call a "thinking b!tch face" and I'm told I can be quite intimidating in person, which means I don't actually need to get into fights. 

    shevia, as for the current project, I'd love to give you a more detailed update but right now it's hard to know what to say, except it's going well and we're aiming to have a small A/W17 collection ready for launch in the New Year. You'll definitely get to see that.

    Sally, the pants are a classic straight legged man-tailored cut. I found them on clearance and almost didn't buy them - the shape felt a little dated at the time. Then I decided the quality and fit were too good to pass up, so here they are. They do make for some Sporty Tomboy Fabness, as Angie puts it. Particularly with the shoes and hat ;)

    Thanks again all. It's so lovely to see you all again :)

  • Style Fan replied 6 years ago

    Lovely to see you again Rio.  Your stance is perfect.  It looks like a cross between the young men and Ines. 

  • Mochi replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, he and Mick Talbot didn't call themselves The Style Council for nothing.

  • Ledonna N. replied 6 years ago

    Oh I love this look. The hat and the pants but your vest sets the rest v of the outfit for me.

  • skylurker replied 6 years ago

    I'd say the concept collapsed with the stripes, otherwise you look pretty convincing as a mod hooligan :)
    and I had no idea hooligans used to be so coquettish...British rebels : always so stylish.
    I love the outfit, btw.

  • Elizabeth P replied 6 years ago

    Gosh, I love how you write.  Hilarious segue to Ines.  Great outfit, and I can't wait to see the results of your labours in Jan!

  • Lynne replied 6 years ago

    Fabulous :).

  • catgirl replied 6 years ago

    Hahaha! You're the BEST.

  • Eliza replied 6 years ago

    Missed this. You own that look. Interesting back story and context is significant.

  • annagybe replied 6 years ago

    This is great...preppy/sport going to a Depeche Mode concert

    Dang never mind Beth Ann best me to it

  • Barbara Diane replied 6 years ago

    Never would have guessed hooligans would be so well/carefully dressed.
    Now thinking about West Side Story.
    You must have had an interesting childhood.
    Cool look.

  • approprio replied 6 years ago

    skylurker, Barbara Diane, you'd be amazed at how much of Britain's much-vaunted street style aesthetic has its origins in young men spoiling for a fight, from Mods and Rockers onwards. Scratch that highly polished surface and it's all class warfare under there. For the curious, I recommend Quadrophenia.

  • tulle replied 6 years ago

    Approprio, any path, however roundabout, that gets you to Inez Fressange at the end, is worth taking!  Very cool look on you, with an interesting backstory.

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