Style police: Golden brown, texture like sun

Forget all that rubbish about 'pale and interesting'. The latest look is mahogany, so grab your suntan oil, slurp a cocktail and go find that tan

IT STARTED with Stella Tennant and Chanel. The glossy ads may have been black and white but there was no mistaking a new perma-tan Stella.

Of course, hers came from back-packing in Peru rather than two weeks on the Costa but the message was clear: tan your hide. The Guess? jeans girl and her muscle-bound cohorts are all mahogany. We're not talking the "delicate glow" beauty editors advise. This is deep, golden brown. Daily, women are accosted by billboard posters of a bronze- skinned Helena Christensen modelling for H&M Hennes. A few may grumble that she'll have skin as gnarled as a crocodile hand-bag come forty, but there's no getting around it - Helena looks healthier, happier and hornier with a tan. Hell, we all do.

Last year's model, Karen Elson, did have vampire-pale skin. Combine that with a PC backlash and we may have a motive for bronzed flesh. There's nothing more sexy than a pack of Italian stallions coated in Philipo Berio and smoking Camels on a beach. Or an olive skinned, sun-kissed girl in skin tight Liza Bruce. Wear a cartwheel straw hat, Gucci shades and a white linen "cover all" kaftan if you must. You'll avoid skin cancer and leather skin. You may also be mistaken for a beach ball.

Pale isn't interesting. It's cadaverous. Just one look at the bikini- clad masses frolicking in the Royal Parks this week tells Style Police that there's more to a suntanning than burnt flesh. It's the bright light, the feeling of heat soaking into skin and fresh air that lifts the most troubled spirit. That and a couple of Budweisers. So are we telling you to look gorgeous in youth and end your days, like George Hamilton, with a face as wrinkled as W H Auden? No, mes cheries. A deep tan may be deeply unhealthy. That's not what concerns us here. We need to know if it's fashionable or not.

"'Sun-kissed' is a word I'm hearing a lot from the catwalk make-up artists," says Bronwyn Cosgrave, health & beauty editor at Frank. "By that I don't mean beige skin. I mean a tan like Helena's. But you can't tell me you feel great if you fire yourself in intense sun. You'll feel physically sick and it is potentially disastrous for your skin. It's a big lie that above factor eighteen blocks the sun totally. If you spend a little time in the sun each day, then you build up a tan."

Put it this way. When you slow cook a chicken in the aga, its skin is cooked to a perfect golden glow. Too long in the microwave and the chicken's charcoal. Golden brown skin makes you feel sexy and confident. There's nothing sexy about a heat rash, honeys, unless you're a finalist in Miss Lobster Skin 1998.

A word about fake tans. Like fur, you can always tell the genuine article from the man-made. In this month's mags, you'll see Liz Hurley after a tussle with Estee Lauder self-tan. Add a bindi and she's a dead ringer for Madhur Jaffrey.

So, back to the big issue. We don't live in Barbados. This is Great Britain. Our summers are short, so we can't blame you for wanting to feel the burn. But take heed; leather isn't a good look. The next time you see sunlight, I want you to baste yourself in factor eighteen, open a Jackie Collins and simmer until golden brown. Then moisturise, slip on a little strappy frock and knock 'em dead.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own