It is the style dilemma du jour: is it possible to do double denim without looking like an extra from a Spaghetti Western, a nerdy student from a mechanical engineering course at a Midlands university or the epitome of Estuary chavness?
Remember how simple life was when there were just a handful of It Bags - the Fendi Baguette, Dior's Lady Di, anything quilted post-1983 by Chanel (ironically, the most covetable Chanel now is the classic 55, designed 30 years earlier) or a cylindrical tote by Louis Vuitton in the classic monogram fabric?
It would be mildly tragic and certainly ironic if Victoria Beckham, one half of Brand Beckham, former Spice Girl and recently reinvented as a designer of unexpectedly fabulous frocks, should be remembered for, er, bunions.
Yet the revelation that VB has experienced a podiatric meltdown as a result of years of wearing absurd, sky-scraper heels ensured that a debate about style versus comfort - or, more accurately, style versus borderline wearability, since "comfort" is an imprecise concept on planet fashion - got the profile it deserved.
It is hard to believe that the boxy, edge-to-edge jacket in knobbly wool bouclé, originally created by Coco Chanel in 1955, is enjoying yet another fashion moment.
It became a wardrobe classic for a decade after its creation, then lost its style supremacy for two decades when mini-skirts, flower-power, Biba and Mary Quant made anything as formal as a tailored jacket horribly passé.
Our excuse to photograph a confection of gorgeous hats is that it is Pesach in a couple of weeks, when Jewish women traditionally think about acquiring a new spring hat.
We have been looking at the prettiest and most stylish hats, some appropriate for synagogue, some for weddings or other special occasions.
If the pictures have a slightly vintage feel, it is because hats — the decorative kind, as opposed to the practical kind we wear for cold weather, skiing or sun protection — are, sadly, an anachronism in 2010.
It started, appropriately enough, with the Greek-born designer Sophia Kokosalaki. Then a slew of stellar designers, including Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, Jill Sander, Dries van Noten, Christopher Bailey at Burberry Prorsum and Donna Karan, were captivated by the way draped fabric flowed around the body, flattering curves, lengthening the torso and endowing androgynous bodies with the curves nature had neglected to give them. And so draping began to pop up on catwalks in New York, Paris, Milan and London.
It is a rare accomplishment when a designer produces a spectacular runway show that has the flash bulbs popping like strobes, while also creating clothes that real women will desperately covet. Nicole Farhi achieved just that on Monday with a near note-perfect autumn/winter 2010 collection, which dexterously merged a ladylike, polished sensibility with, ahem, bondage overtones. She did it by using staid tweed and camel and transforming them into something utterly fresh and deliciously subversive with lashings of shiny black PVC.
They used to be associated with barely-alive majors in St James’s gentleman’s clubs and appeared as a fashion item throughout the latter half of the last century. In 1971, Bianca Pérez Morena de Macías famously married Mick Jagger wearing a white one with wide lapels; in the 1980s, they acquired vast shoulder pads courtesy of American designer Nolan Miller.
But this spring, the blazer is back, arriving just when we have all become bored with the whole grungy knitwear vibe — the boyfriend cardi thrown over a dress, wrap/tulip/mini skirt or skinny trousers.
If the New Nudes — clothing and accessories in that sensuous spectrum of barely-there shades of palest pink, gentle peach, milky latte, creamy toffee, an almost lemony shade reminiscent of unsalted French butter, and something one might uncharitably call “beige” –– are genuinely having a moment for spring/summer 2010, it really isn’t a second too soon.
In fact, they have been predicted as a key look for so long, we ought really to be calling them the “Old Nudes”.