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Ready To Wear: No woman should ever be dictated to by fashion


What does the Independent woman wear?

With the resort collections (that's pre-spring and, yes, I know it's only just autumn) just around the corner, it seems pertinent to ponder such things right now.

Does she, for example, wear flat shoes, the kind you can run in? Well, I do, but those close to me insist that means no one in the industry will ever take me quite seriously. The new medium-high block heel – chunky, quite glossy – might be the answer. Susannah's serious now.

Does the Independent woman wear short skirts? I don't but that doesn't mean I can't. There are many of these on offer: short sharp ones, short sugary ones… The same goes for dresses. The Independent woman may be as winsome or indeed fearsome as she wishes.

Or she may just ignore this look entirely.

She can wear trouser suits too: trouser suits haven't been so interesting for years. We have Miuccia Prada to thank for that (again). The look she brought back in printed splendour for autumn is now proliferating, although the emphasis six months down the line is on innovative cut and proportion rather than colour or pattern. I like that. Tailoring, incidentally, is most fashionable worn with nothing but a summery cotton bra, as at Balenciaga (I love Balenciaga), pictured here. Hmmm. Is underwear as outerwear for me? Not sure.

Is the Independent woman a good girl, a bad girl, or somewhere in between? Is she sugar, spice and all things nice or mad and dangerous to know? She is, of course – or at least may be – all of those things and with a wardrobe that reflects any such qualities and more.

In this, my last ready-to-wear column for the Independent, all that remains to be said is that no independent woman should be dictated to by fashion. Instead, it is her gift, inspiring and intriguing, as given to the world by inspiring and intriguing characters.

Enjoy it – and them – and, finally: dare to wear exactly what you want to wear.