FASHION / The Edith Sitwell look

She would probably have been delighted at the idea of inspiring a fashion spread. She has certainly inspired several during the last few decades.

Whenever the word 'eccentric' is pulled out to describe the look of the moment, so is Edith Sitwell, with her turbans and dressing-gowns and gnarled tangle of hands and rings resting in her silken lap.

'I am a Plantagenet,' she famously declared, and then proceeded to combine Pre-Raphaelite, Oriental, Arts and Crafts and Surrealist styles to make up her very individual version of day-wear.

She was lucky that during her lifetime she was surrounded by people who appreciated her and her two brothers as central to the artistic life of the times. Her style was an essential part of her character. But she had a mischievous sense of humour. Early on, Cecil Beaton noted 'the twinkle in her eye' . Much later, in 1962, she described a party given in honour of her 75th birthday as being 'like something macabre out of Proust'. Her love of dressing up was always an amalgam of peasant and grand, with a touch of baroque in those oversized jewels. Designers such as John Galliano, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix have always mixed the influence of different cultures and different times to produce their collections and both Gaultier and Lacroix love English heritage. So once again, Miss Sitwell is back.

You can see more of her and all the Sitwells in 'The Sitwells and the Arts of the 1920s and 1930s', an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London until 22 January 1995.

Left: velvet shawl-collared jacket, pounds 360, by G Gigli, 38 South Molton Street, W1; rust chiffon skirt, pounds 205, by John Rocha, from Liberty, Regent Street, W1; Joseph, 16 Sloane Street, SW1; Xile, Edinburgh; Pilot, Leicester; amber velour scarf worn as a turban, by Natasha Barrault, from a selection starting at pounds 120, from Liberty, as before; Browns, 27 South Molton Street, W1; Whistles, 14 St Christopher's Place, W1; amber resin necklaces, from pounds 45, by Dinosaur Designs, from Whistles, as before.

Opposite: gold and olive Indian-print silk padded lined skirt, pounds 219, and printed silk and embroidered scarf, pounds 143, both by Dries van Noten, from Jones, 15 Floral Street, WC2; brown pin-striped jacket by Katharine Hamnett, pounds 395, from 20 Sloane Street, SW1; 38 Princes Square, Glasgow; walking stick, pounds 25, from Cordings, 21 Piccadilly, W1 Above: georgette pin-tucked shirt, by Textile Treasures, pounds 150, from The Gallery of Antique Costume and Textiles, 2 Church Street, NW8; hat with stitch detail, pounds 65, by Miss Jones, The Hat Shop, 58 Neal Street, WC2, and branches, also to order from 071-734-9666; amber ring, from a selection at Liberty, Regent Street, W1 Right: paisley silk brocade coat/dressing-gown by Textile Treasures, pounds 495, from The Gallery of Antique Costume and Textiles, as before; green devore velvet empire-line dress by Red or Dead, pounds 285, from Thomas Neils, 36 Kensington High Street, W8; 70 Buchanan Street, Glasgow; 14 Cheapside, Manchester (Photographs omitted)

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Boy George performing with Culture Club at Heaven

musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

music
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

art
Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
film
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’

Film

Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from

Film

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

    Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

    Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

    Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

    The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

    Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
    Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

    Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

    The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
    DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

    Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

    Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
    The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

    Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

    The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

    Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

    The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    11 best sonic skincare brushes

    Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
    Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

    Paul Scholes column

    I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

    While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
    Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

    Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?