2.8.09

Cowboys and Indians

As I perused the papers that I've missed while in the Big Smoke, I spotted the front cover of the Sunday Times Style magazine advertised. And who should be on the front cover, but the long-limbed, pouting yet punky Erin Wasson, Texas' answer to Kate Moss but without the stupid taste in men. Or rather, she's not tabloid fodder for the British press just yet.
And what was this surf-siren wearing on the cover? The Sunday Times Style stylists like to make a statement with their covers, be it the photo, the model or the outfit.
So this cover combined the three - the long-limbed surf goddess Erin, looking like a sultry Ursula Andress with the grunge cool of Ladyhawke. The relaxed, slouchy pose against a neutral background, drawing full focus to the outfit. Skinny fit jeans and, the piece de resistance, a cowboy shirt. Worn backways.

Cue a stampede of girls to every shop in town to copy the look, and a plethora of blokes looking increasingly confused by the abundance of Brokeback Mountain influences on the objects of their affection. Where have all the cowboys gone?
The check, tartan, plaid and (cringe) demin shirts may have been laid to rest since Heath and Jake, but there have been plenty of little hints of the return of the cowboy. I'm watching Gossip Girl right now and Chuck is wearing a plaid waistcoat. Admittedly, men who take style advice from Chuck, the man who once wore a knitted jumper embroidered with two giant fish (bass, probably) have to be the kind who no doubt already wear checked shirts, but it doesn't seem like the cowboy trend is going to die completely. It's not ok to be a male lumberjack, but it's clearly hot for a woman to wear a man's shirt, especially if it's checked. Thanks Erin! I'm using an oversized demin shirt as my staple summer cover-up. They hide unfortunate tan-lines, they make a good contrast to skinny jeans when you're not feeling your most svelte, and they could even work as a beach cover-up, but only if you're 100% happy with whatever it might not cover!
The beauty of the cowboy trend is that it is designed to be basic, wearable and comfortable - the rest is up to you. Which is totally the opposite of the opposite trend. From the old films to the old kids' games, every cowboy has their perfect Indian.

And bizarrely, Erin Wasson has also been spotted championing this trend, wearing a feathered headdress to a Chanel jewelry party last year. And it's not just her. The Navajo trend sprung again this spring, with fringed suede, moccasins, feathers and beading liberally dosed across all the high street collections.I tried on a cute little pair of moccassin boots in Topshop the other week, complete with feathered tassels. I wasn't swayed (or should I say suede) unfortunately; soon I'll be able to shake the boho-Sienna-Miller association as she's now taken to wearing a married man around her neck like a scarf and a leather catsuit, but she is slowly breaking her hold over all things slightly hippy. Navajo is oh-so-now; if you've got the guts to wear a feathered headband like Erin or like the one I bought from Topshop as a joke, go all out, or check out Asos and others for beautiful fringed bags - festival chic is still going strong. If you prefer just sticking with your own fringe, and not go all-out like Natasha Bat for Lashes Khan, add a little delicate beated top or some earrings to your everyday ensemble. Seen here at Anna Sui (thanks to a fellow blogger for identifying!) a little bit of subtle embroidery no longer looks budget - it's whimsical but it's chic, and it caters to all those of us who still own our Pocahontas dress-up costumes that we had when we were 7 (ahem) Plus, it's stupidly easy to wear, and you can get away without accessorising! Except, a la Miss Khan, with big bold make-up. And a tambourine.
UPDATE - Spotted a deadringer of Miss Wasson's feather headband in this week's Look magazine, courtesy of Topshop. Might have to buy it for when I go to see Bat for Lashes play...

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