Take the seasonal imperative to get away in mid-summer to somewhere reliably hot and sunny; add the desire to uncurl on a lounger beneath an umbrella sipping an iced drink with nothing more pressing to do than choose between listening to Midlake on the iPod or reading the next chapter of the latest Freedland/Kelsey/Green novel. And then add the fact that airlines are squeezing our baggage allowances ever further. It all means that this is the time of year when, unless you habitually fly business or first, you will be forced to think hard about packing - and doing so with maximum efficiency.
You can’t turn the pages of a glossy magazine these days without seeing a gorgeous, 50-plus woman proving that hitting a certain age does not mean invisibility and elastic waistbands. There was Anna Wintour in Carolina Herrera at the recent Council of Fashion Designers of America awards; Meryl Streep at the Oscars looking fabulous in a white draped gown; Katherine Bigelow, 59 also at the Oscars, in indigo YSL; Lulu, 61, with yet another terrific haircut…
Living in the UK, with its distinctly unpredictable summer weather, you need to be deliriously optimistic to buy even one pair of properly summery shoes, since there is every chance they may never be worn.
Jewish designers are generously scattered across the higher echelons of the fashion industry - take, for a start, Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs. What's more, Jews head up some of the biggest fashion businesses - think Sir Philip Green at Arcadia, Harold Tillman at Jaeger, the Burstein family of Browns and Lewis Trading Group of River Island. However, at the student end of the spectrum, we are not so well represented.
There comes a defining moment in every thirtysomething woman’s life: the moment when she finds herself gazing at a sparkly micro miniskirt in New Look and wondering: “Am I too old for this?”
Ortal Wolfson, 30, a history teacher from East Finchley, says: “I wouldn’t wear a mini-skirt now in case I looked like mutton! I also look at people about five years older than myself and wonder whether they should be wearing what they’re wearing.”
This is a determinedly optimistic fashion department, so we are going to assume that you will reach Nice, Netanya, Nevis or whichever sunny holiday destination you are planning to visit this summer, despite the annoyingly persistent disruption caused by volcanic ash.
Now that spring is really here, the season’s most pressing fashion dilemma is no longer avoidable: what are we going to be wearing on our bottom half?
The options are varied and mainly “difficult”, particularly if you do not have the legs of a ’90s supermodel, and include shorts, harem trousers; peg-top trousers; crop-trousers; playsuits (technically, a top and bottom half, I know) and leggings, of course, to wear under a tunic or dress when temperatures dip.
The progress of the maxi — ubiquitous on the high street this summer — is a textbook example of planet fashion’s “trickle down” syndrome: a look that makes a huge impact on the catwalk but takes several seasons to hit the high street.
Cast your mind back to September 2007 when the spring/summer 2008 collections were being unveiled. That was the moment when a slew of designers, including Pucci, Cavalli, Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and other hot designers, put maxis on the runway.
As one third of the iconic mid-20th century style triumvirate including Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, the model-turned-actress-turned-real life princess made her mark on the way women across Europe and the USA dressed for most of the 1950s and 1960s. But while Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn have become bywords in the last decade for a polished style of timeless, restrained, retro chic comprising little shift dresses, big sunnies and low-heel courts, Grace Kelly with her cool, blonde, debutante style was less copied.