>> Does anybody remember Julia Stiles (or even more worryingly remember who she even is?) in pretty-satisfactory-yet-not-quite-100%-there 10 Things I Hate About You – i.e. a warped teenfest version of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew?  Does anyone recall the scene when her sister aka girl who played Alex Mack and Joseph Gordon Levitt were snooping around in Stiles/The Shrew's bedroom sniffing her underwear?  For some reason when I watched it at the time I honed in on the wall in that scene and saw an All Saints poster and I distinctly remember thinking to myself "If this girl was such a Sylvia Plath-reading, Raincoats-listening self-confessed badass bitch, why has she got such a naff girl band poster up on her wall?!"  Then I noted that Stiles/Shrew shared a penchant with the khaki loving' foursome for combat trousers, cashed in at the time by every high street shop and cheapie clothing market stall there was about town.  There's much to be said about the sociological significance of the popularity of the combat trouser as much as there is about the more menacing upper half counterpart, the hoodie – well at least in the UK there is.  Combat trouser girl doesn't give a damn about her reputation, she's got low slung bagginess and more than four pockets on her trews and she's not afraid to use them. 

All this is a bit of a long diversion to say that my memories of All Saints have faded to just that one scene in a poor movie as well as their somewhat significant contribution to shoving hands in baggy trousers that weren't trackie bottoms or jeans.  I too contributed to the heaving sales with pairs in shades of stone, olive green and black – however I drew the line when they started doing them in powder pink and blue.  This is an even more roundabout way of saying that I've got BACK into the combat trouser game with a pair of significantly altered and rejuvenated pair of khaki/military trousers (apparently khaki can refer to colour, fabric and trouser style as well as denoting several shades of colour).  The Valentino x Gap collection sold out in less than 20 minutes at Dover Street Market but nothing was going to stop me from putting ruffles on my hips (despite the number of online critics of said trews) as well as rounding off a sartorial chapter of combat trouser wearing, which began in 1997 and could have died a weedy death but instead was rejuvenated by Valentino's embellished take on an oft-repeated classic in Gap world.  I've not yet decided whether the pockets will once again be weighed down with crap like they used to be (discman, wallet, chewing gum, a can of Impulse Body Spray and a fold out brush that did more harm than good to my hair‚Ķ).  For now, I'm finding the Valentino upgrade to be equally, if not more comfortable (well I haven't shoved anything except for hands in the pockets yet‚Ķ) and of course strategically placed ruffles and ties were always going to get a thumbs-up for me. 





(Worn with G.H.O.S.T. necklace, Crockett & Jones slippers, Tory Burch bag)

P.S. I've also redeveloped a penchant for pre-distressed clothes that are also oh-so-indicative of the late nineties… except this multi directional striped top by Singaporean menswear label Woods Woods's distressing is very very subtle.  Thanks to Hong Kong's store arbiter of good taste Kapok for pointing me in its soft, stripy and well-worn direction.


P.P.S. The collaboration got a relatively quiet and strangely European-only release.  I guess I can count myself lucky in that respect but I do wonder how the decision not to release it in the US came to be…?

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  1. layers&swathes

    2010-12-04 at 3:37 PM

    How on earth do you manage to do it? I was convinced that not a single soul was going to pull those off and there you go making it look easy.

  2. layers&swathes

    2010-12-04 at 3:37 PM

    How on earth do you manage to do it? I was convinced that not a single soul was going to pull those off and there you go making it look easy.

  3. Make Do Style

    2010-12-04 at 3:40 PM

    I knew I should have made the effort to get a pair! I have to confess to a) liking All Saints circa 1996 and b) wearing said combat trews, mine were a pair of silk burgundy ones from Warehouse. I so wish I’d kept them now!
    you look fab in them

  4. Maryjane

    2010-12-04 at 3:57 PM

    Beautifully pulled together look. I love military influences styles. Combat trousers are definately no exception. The ruffle detail around the pockets give it a more flirty feminine touch. I like that.
    Maryjane xoxo

  5. Rosa&Carlotta

    2010-12-04 at 3:58 PM

    Lovely! and you look great with your hair like this 🙂

  6. Rosa&Carlotta

    2010-12-04 at 3:58 PM

    Lovely! and you look great with your hair like this 🙂

  7. Penny Dreadful Vintage

    2010-12-04 at 4:05 PM

    I loved that film when it came out, I remember forcing my parents to watch the whole thing with me. I like most of the pieces in the Valentino/Gap collab, much more so than the other high street/designer collaboration that shall not be named.

  8. Joy D.

    2010-12-04 at 4:12 PM

    I both love and hate those pants, lol. They are gorgeous but, alas, they would only suit a certain body frame.

  9. Sophia

    2010-12-04 at 4:20 PM

    I hated them when I first saw them but this has totally changed my mind! Honestly, the look so amazing. I’m sad we don’t have Gap here. Truly amazing necklace as well. Ahhh such a great look! <3

  10. nancie

    2010-12-04 at 4:22 PM

    i like the pants but i dont think i can pull off the shoes, you do it effortlessly!

  11. Rachel

    2010-12-04 at 4:33 PM

    Ah, ah, sister, I say that because we now are Valentino X GAP cargo pants twins.. Well, except you are my YOUNGER sister then. ^^
    Yes, totally agree that ruffle makes almost everything a “two-thumbs UP” go to item!!
    Look gorgeous on you!!!

  12. renee

    2010-12-04 at 4:50 PM

    love the ruffled edge on the cargos… has a pretty distinctive look…and you have paired it nicely…..
    i’m not that fond of the pants….but i think valentino did a nice job… the blue accessory on top…..!!!!!

  13. amy

    2010-12-04 at 5:08 PM

    you look gorge,
    i bought some cargo/army trousers from topshop, but had to take them back for many reasons that will be boring to explain 🙂
    good choice, love your style,

  14. michelle

    2010-12-04 at 6:14 PM

    I love and want those pants

  15. franca maisha

    2010-12-04 at 6:15 PM

    wow those pants are perfection and they look so great on you!! 🙂

  16. Brandon Acton-Bond

    2010-12-04 at 6:37 PM

    When I saw the collection I knew that you’d end up with these pants and I knew that they were much better on then all internet people thought they would be (cough cough fashionista!). Love the Crocket & Jones shoes too!

  17. Miss Oh'

    2010-12-04 at 7:25 PM

    I love your writing! I remember to have had the same thought when I saw that poster in her bedroom 🙂
    Not a big fan of the trousers really, but I do like the ruffle thing going on in the front! (I think I might dig up my khaki military pants as well, totally inspired ;))

  18. Susie

    2010-12-04 at 8:00 PM

    I like the trousers a lot. I used to wear combat trousers a lot during my “torn between subcultures” time as an undergrad (often with ripped white tanks, studded bracelets, pigtails and lots of glitter ::shudders::). I wouldn’t wear them so much now because they would either a) remind me of the aforementioned time or b) make me feel like I should be hiking, camping or engaging in some sort of outdoor activity. I think I would wear the Valentino x Gap ones, though. The ruffles make them seem a little less crunchy.. Dare I say that they camouflage the combat trouser in the trouser? Anyway, I love them!

  19. Jenna

    2010-12-04 at 10:58 PM

    wow, those cargo trousers are amazing! i love the waist and the ruffle details! and that movie is my favorite movie of ALL TIME!
    Jenna Christine from About A Girl

  20. NIA

    2010-12-05 at 2:53 AM

    thats really adorable on you I hate they didn’t release this in the US 🙁


    2010-12-05 at 3:21 AM

    Oh, Kat Stratford. My favourite film feminist. She is so annoyingly pessimistic … but in a charming way. Cargo pants were such a staple in my wardrobe in the 90s and I love fashion for being so cyclical. Anyways, the trousers are great – didn’t know those type of pants could be so adorable; but designers collabs are brilliant for that.

  22. tanya

    2010-12-05 at 4:11 AM

    There’s a difference between like and love. Because, I like my Skechers, but I love my Prada backpack.
    But I love my Skechers.
    That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack.
    I think i have seen this film an unhealthy amount of times. Pretty sure that at my friend’s 15th birthday sleepover we were forced to watch it THREE times.

  23. adreamer

    2010-12-05 at 6:28 AM

    “discern, wallet, chewing gum, a can of Impulse Body Spray and a fold out brush” – you summed up my primary school years (minus the Impulse. I was a smelly child.) !!!

  24. Dru

    2010-12-05 at 8:05 AM

    Ahhhh, late-90s teenfest literary adaptations! (remember R&J?) I think Julia Stiles does have a part in a rather popular TV show that I don’t watch, these days.
    You look fab, though- ruffled cargo pants don’t sound like they should be pretty, but on you, they’re just right. Do you actually keep anything in the extra pockets, though?

  25. Dru

    2010-12-05 at 8:06 AM

    ^ooops, sleepy brain didn’t register that you hadn’t decided whether to put stuff in the pockets or not.

  26. Katt

    2010-12-05 at 8:47 AM

    Love the ruffles, they add just the right amount of girlyness without making them cutesy 🙂 xx

  27. Chuck

    2010-12-05 at 10:14 AM

    Scandalised that you don’t love 10 Things with my nostalgic passion… Did you get anything else from the collab? Was interested in the hoodie. x

  28. kate

    2010-12-05 at 11:52 AM

    OMG i loooove your shoes!

  29. kate

    2010-12-05 at 1:12 PM

    The thing I always remembered about that scene was how the fact that she had black panties meant she was willing to put out and how much that shocked me because I was about 12!

  30. Laura Connell

    2010-12-05 at 1:15 PM

    Oh gosh, those are gorgeous. I have had my mind on a pair of cargo pants for a LONG time. They prob did not release it in North America because they thought it wouldn’t sell. We are very conservative, you know 😉 Maybe without the ruffles for the market here.

  31. melissa

    2010-12-05 at 4:05 PM

    love this look so much dear! Great! <3

  32. Louise

    2010-12-05 at 6:45 PM

    You’ve actually just made me want to go and buy a pair of combat pants… which is a BIG step. I thought my nineties childhood had scarred me for life, as i used to wear combats ALOT. more than is healthy. Not cool.

  33. Fashionistable

    2010-12-05 at 9:26 PM

    I liked this gap collection too. Not surprised it sold out so quickly. Xxxx

  34. Elledawn

    2010-12-06 at 1:15 AM

    btw..julia stiles is currently on the very cool show “dexter” so she’s not exactly a “remember her” kinda girl

  35. susie_bubble

    2010-12-06 at 8:12 AM

    Elledawn: Apologies – I’ve not heard of the show…!

  36. blog mode

    2010-12-06 at 9:51 AM

    I love your loafers 😀

  37. Fashion Trends

    2010-12-06 at 10:48 AM

    Those pants are really looking so impressive and attractive too,You look cool with that costume …Fanstatic work …keep it up… i just go crazy for military influences styles…

  38. kate

    2010-12-06 at 12:49 PM

    Wow – you look amazing.

  39. agnes szucs

    2010-12-06 at 4:08 PM

    what an amazing tee… you look very nice in this outfit… and i love the necklace, too.

  40. AngieMontreal

    2010-12-06 at 10:40 PM

    Was JUST about to sign up for the ASOS marketplace when I got to the small print details that it’s only available to designers in the UK…hopefully it will go well and they’ll open it up to everyone else soon!

  41. Anna

    2010-12-06 at 10:52 PM

    Love it! I want to dress like this to feel the afternoon breeze and go grab some tea or coffee and look at green leaves…

  42. damper

    2010-12-07 at 9:01 AM

    Thank you for your opinion.I am totally agree with your view.I hold the same pointswith you.And thanks for your shareing again.And i think you will go with me.

  43. Becca

    2010-12-07 at 9:33 PM

    It seemed strange to me too that it wasn`t releasedin north america at all. I wish it was, because I am in love with the ruffly cargoes, even if they seem crazy. You pull them off fabulously, of course

  44. jonathan

    2010-12-13 at 10:44 AM

    I don’t understand. That is seriously an ugly pair of pants. It looks like a two year old just selected a bunch of different pockets and added them to the pants. But I will give you points for wearing them.

  45. Fashion Trends

    2010-12-30 at 11:59 AM

    Those pants are really looking so impressive and attractive too,You look cool with that costume …Fanstatic work …keep it up… i just go crazy for military influences styles…

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