The Mouse Diaries

Fashion

 We’re only halfway through the summer but a) the nights are getting darker, b) I don’t have enough pairs of knee-high cable knit socks sans holes to parade about my house looking like a readymade Pinterest photo without also resembling Oliver Twist, c) I want/can’t-afford-without-hitting-my-overdraft-limit everything from the new season River Island haul and d) I whacked myself in the eye with Guerlain liquid liner yesterday and discovered it is possible to semipermanently blind yourself in pursuit of the perfect feline flick.

Life sucks. But also: yay, no deadlines.

Still, it’s been an interesting few weeks. Hemmed in back home in the provinces AKA generic northern city AKA Liverpool, I’m kind of missing the junction at the K.A. / Hassan’s (because who says fashion girls only eat lettuce? No. We just Instagram lettuce. Duh.) / the dreaming spires. Also Bridge. Bridge is admittedly a lot more fun through the lens of nostalgia than it is when you’re actually there and wondering whether the blisters were worth the debut of your new Carvela peep toes and that grotty sweaty guy who might be from your college, but also equally might have been on a BBC mugshot, is rubbing up against your backside like it’s mating season. Luckily stilettos = weaponry.

Nonetheless, the people at Vogue were crazy enough to invite me to a Talent final so at least the summer started with a bang: one that involved eating a very fancy meal (not actually sure what the slippery white stuff was but it tasted so good) with the Vogue editors and Conde Nast directors, all of whom were perfectly lovely and dispelled the myth that Miranda Priestly actually exists / the only way into fashion is through extra-glamorous nepotism. I didn’t win, just putting it out there now; but that being said I didn’t think I’d place, either, so you can imagine the champagne I drank / squeaks I emitted at finding out. Also, Vogue send your Highly Commended award on ridiculously fancy notepaper which I will now treasure FOREVER; and they also send you a big pack of rules for work placements which is slightly intimidating but also awesome and now I think I need a second student loan to fund my wardrobe for going.

Alexandra Shulman is as terrifying and magnificent as you would expect; and also incredibly down to earth; and also, I suspect, knows everything about everything on the planet.

What struck me at the dinner was how hard-working/ferociously intelligent/approachable the staff at Vogue are. The walls are peppered with photographs (by, um, David Bailey and that lot. You know. Just because, um: Vogue) of the people who’ve strolled their halls – not just from the fashion world, but venerated artists, writers, playwrights, filmmakers, creatives… I had my first course sitting next to the uber glamorous Lucy Hughes-Hallett, an award-winning biographer who just happens to have “Interviewed Angela Carter for Vogue” on her CV. Cue lit geek overdrive.

(Side note: you’d think after a year of formal halls, I’d know the order of cutlery by now. Instead I was asking an acclaimed author about the order of spoons.)

I accidentally stood on a small yappy dog in the Tatler offices when they took us on tour of the Conde Nast building but hey, at least I made an impression, and I think it forgave me because it made a hobby of licking my leg for the next twenty minutes.

I may also be the shortest person ever to have had an official Vogue portrait photographed and I think one day I would like this confirmed, but only if they don’t draw it out next to Karlie Kloss’s legs.

You have fine legs, Bridget. Climber’s legs.

Oh dear.

Going to lunch with so many stylish women forced me to reconsider my wardrobe and how university has affected my personal style; first year at Oxford overhauls your opinions, your personality, and also the way you dress. Suddenly I don’t feel so attached to the wacky wide-collared floral dresses I have preserved in my wardrobe, or the weird skull-pattern hoodies from the emo phase I went through for about two weeks aged fourteen (we all did it, right?) So, turning to the current season for inspiration, I’m still looking for my vintage silhouettes – but, I think, cleaner, sharper lines, more daring cuts, a more pristine street style. The 1960s feel like a good place to explore: I don’t know if this is because I’m coveting a particular Saint Laurent pussy-bow dress in crepe de chine (although it’s over £1000, so pretty out of my budget), or because I’m excited for ITV’s Cilla since anything about Liverpool makes me homesick even when I was only in the Cavern last night. The return of knee boots to the A/W14 catwalks is welcome, too – I like boots and my legs get very cold, and there’s something daringly insouciant and gusty about a woman whose footwear extends to her thighs.

But that said, fashion forwardness does not always go hand in hand with quasi-dwarfism (I have McCune-Allbright Syndrome; I like to think I am not a short person but a tall midget) and I briefly entertained a date with a musician the other day until he remarked of my suede ASOS flats, “Are you meant to be auditioning for Totally 80s Hasbeens?”

Meh. He was from Cambridge anyway.