Secret Style Icon No.5: Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm

Secret Style Icon No.7: Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm

Everyone in this film gets at least one amazing look (Tobey Maguire’s orange boiler suit in the snow is shivery good) but Christina Ricci tops them all with her sparky, laconic teenage style, chubby little face and the defiant red cape that she wears when she’s freewheeling in the ‘burbs on her little bike. She’s precocious, sarcastic and politically engaged (“Nixon, it’s incredible, he should be shot”) in a world of sad, grey, icy-cold adults. Her parents (Kevin Kline and Joan Allen wearing mostly trenchcoats) hate each other, don’t care about Nixon and are baffled by their own kids. They dabble with drinking, therapy and key-swapping parties, while living in a very 1970s full of floor-to-ceiling windows. Meanwhile, Christina Ricci dots around being strange, unnerving the adults and having adventures all her own. She also wears a lot of superb woolly red jumpers. Clearly the girl knows her look.

Shallow Lust

Shallow Lust

If I lived in a castle made of money, I would also be wearing this Chloe dress. It is more beautiful than the sun and will cost you £485 if you so desire it – and if you’ve recently gone insane within walking distance of Harvey Nics and need to max out the last roof-space on eight credit cards. This could happen: you need to have a plan. Plan for this. At last you’d have a great dress.

Anyway, on my search through the internet I also found this, MUCH BETTER item of clothing/lust. It could have been made for me.

Secret Style Icon No.3: Nabokov

Secret Style Icon No.3: Nabokov

I’m pretty sure that most (or, some) people who like reading books go through a very serious and important phase of reading solely about unrequited love affairs, painful memories and champagne drinking. It usually starts with The Great Gatsby. It’s a gateway book. It often leads to Nabokov. that’s what happened to me, and although I’ve drifted away recently (I got lost somewhere around The Luzhen Defence because, well, it’s a book about chess) I still think Nabokov could write better than (almost) anyone. Which is pretty galling for every native English-speaking writer, because he was Russian.

Anyway – he wrote pervy books full of lust and memories, and for a straight man he had an excellent eye for lady fashion. The character of Lucette in Ada or Ardor gets all the best outfits, from her ‘emerald-studded cigarette case’ and ‘very short evening gown in lustrous cantharid green’ to her bright copper hair and series of black silk handbags that ‘click’ open. What a dame. (Cantharid is a kind of beetle. I had to look that up.)

Check out this sustained passage of serious chic:

‘He headed for the bar and made out, through the optical mist, the girl whose silhouette he recalled having seen now and then, passing alone, drinking alone, always alone. For a minute he stood beside her, sideways in remembrance. She wore a high-necked, long-sleeved romantic black dress with an ample skirt, fitted bodice and ruffy collar, from the black soft corolla of which her long neck gracefully rose. We know, we love that high cheekbone and the forward upsweep of black lashes and the painted feline eye’.

There must be other literary hotties that I’ve missed out on. Let me know about them. I need their unattainable glamour in my life.