Top of the Morning

February 20, 2014 18

On the London that was, and the Blogger coat.

And so, after a few days of battling with UK Internet, we resume with a quick laser-eye from London town before Milan hits full swing (Day 1 is already over and done with, and it’s 2am… such are the Italians). But, while it has been bucketing down since we landed in this sexy corner of Italia, London cleared up for just an hour or two some sunsets ago after TOPSHOP’s wildly successful Fall/Winter stomp-out – more on that later.

For now, we discuss the role of a killer red coat caught up in the navy. When I dropped by TOPSHOP’s intimidatingly engulfing Oxford Circus for a show fitting, the press girls on duty informed me that they had formulated a list of what select influencers (and Kate Moss) were wearing to the show. Nothing was to be repeated, they said. I was to pull, and they were to yes or no.

Fair enough.

I roamed, I pulled, and upon assembling this look, they all looked at me a little strangely, confirmed that nobody had even remotely considered any of the pieces I’d selected, and shuffled back to their stations awkwardly contemplating the almost-orange and almost-blue (except Rachel – she was all for it, and promptly exercised her staff discount on the lot, which alleviated the tension a little).

The reaction, I thought, was couched in some forgotten subconscious childhood rules surrounding finger painting and diary doodles. As a kid, I was obsessed with symmetry. I loved nothing more than blobbing paint down one side of a page, then folding it in half to create a perfect mirrored butterfly. If it was a skinny top, it would be flared jeans; skinny pants meant a baggy tee, both not both of either. As to colours, this was the age of the twinset – all about the matchy matchy.

Then came third grade, when my teacher enlightened me on the power of the colour wheel for our Thursday afternoons, painting inanimate objects, comparing the splattered results with our desk mates, and re-considering 9-year-old career options. Colours opposite each other on the colour wheel are more memorable, she said, and primary colours should always be the centre of attention.

 

 

margaret-zhang-topshop-1

margaret-zhang-topshop

By the time I got to my final year of high school, I had huge black marker acronyms scrawled all over bright yellow paper, taped all over my room, alongside blue post-its and red stickers for no reason at all.

Three years on, again (hell I’m getting old), my bright red centre of attention caught the last shred of sunlight in London, more than my mirrored sunglasses could even begin to imagine. The idea of wearing clashing colours in the one look intimidates the best of us, and so it should. Regardless of your success rate, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the most memorable outfit any passerby sees all day. But, here’s the formula: choose two opposite shades – red and blue, say, or green and purple. Take one of those colours and tone it the hell down. In this case, my navies are your layman’s blacks (but surely you’d agree that this sartorial situation would not be nearly as striking with black sweats and slacks). That said, it could just as well have been piercing sky blue and burgundy comme ça. In case #2, bright purple can be brought back down to earth with the perfect khaki trench. A canary yellow top with softer charcoal grey trousers. A blood orange with whatever powder blue coat every “fashion blogger” seems to be wearing at this point in time.

Preach it.

For the next tier up, more is more by way of texture. Silk, wool, jersey and leather weren’t enough, so I needed mirrors and messy hair.

Be innovative.

Try laminated neoprene. Or soap suds.

Bob’s your Uncle.

I’m going to bed.

TOPSHOP Wool Boyfriend Coat – BOUTIQUE Textured Sweat – UNIQUE Striped Tailored Trousers – TOPSHOP Heels – Michael Kors Bag – Super Sunglasses – THP Shop Necklace

photos by Young Jun Koo

  • THIS IS EVERYTHING. I especially love the pants and how the different stripes played out and the necklace and the contrast between orange and navy/blue and the bag!!! <3 <3 <3 (Extra 'hearts' as if I didn't show enough love already.)

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  • Niss

    love it, why the hell not orange and blue with patterns?

  • Jessie Khoo

    Haha a very good lesson!! Sleep tight and enjoy Milano! x

    http://fashionandsounds.com/

  • What an amazing look!!!

    http://www.stylespectra.blogspot.com

  • Rougeuse

    I love the color of the coat and how it complements the rest of the outfit! x

    http://www.rougeuse.com

  • What an amazing outfit, you look stunning!

    Mafalda

    http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • Java Meijer

    If you only knew how much I love this outfit!

    xoxo Java Meijer

  • Francesca

    Amazing! How could the staff think of you as weird for choosing these pieces? :-O

    xo
    http://www.thisisfrancescarose.com

  • nomss.com

    haha funny read. i like the bright orange

    nomss.com

  • ygriega

    Great look, killer necklace, nothing crazy :-)

  • I completely loved this look Margaret – I love it even more knowing that the Topshop girls were disbelieving ;)

    Thankfifi

    • p.s. thanks so much for stopping for a photo with me.x

  • Qinnie Wang

    Striking, contemporary, truly awesome!

  • I was in London at this exact time!! Would have loved to see you roaming about the streets in person xoxo

  • Xincerely

    Love the outfits and the photos turn out so pretty! <3

    xoxo
    xin

    http://xincerely.blogspot.com

  • Love this look! I’m spending my morning catching up on your posts, and they are all just so darn brilliant. The photos, your writing, it all just keeps getting better and better. No doubt about it you are one talented lady!
    x
    Michelle