There's a lot of rubbish written about style. Those rules they put in the magazines - spend your money on basics, they're the rock on which your wardrobe shall flower or perish. All lies.

I've never bought a white shirt that I didn't look like a waitress in, and why would you buy a pair of plain black trousers unless you have a funeral to go to or a court appearance?

Fashion editors only write these things because they know if they keep saying them long enough, people will start believing them, but the fact remains: with the honorable exception of Patti Smith, the black-pants-white-shirt combo only ever makes the statement, "I am somebody's employee".

Such so-called style commandments are going the way of all flesh anyway, thankfully. There's no rules anymore when it comes to dressing. As Gaga continues to demonstrate, we live in an era when clothes don't even have to be clothes anymore, technically.

Advertisement

Fashion has always been influenced by various musicians' and artists' experiments in propriety, but it's a good indication we've reached a tipping point when the pop stars are getting about dressed in cuts of meat.

Not that food as clothing is a new innovation per se. Josephine Baker was shaking her money maker in a skirt made of bananas almost a hundred years ago.

But as innovations in the field of textile design have allowed us to stretch the definition of "clothing" itself to encompass all manner of organic and synthesised stuff, one welcome corollary of such innovation is that many "truths universally acknowledged" about fashion have been exposed as the lies that they are.

Clothes don't have to be cut a certain way in order to look good. They don't have to be made by any particular designer. They don't have to be new. They don't even have to fit you. I bought a dress four sizes too big for me last week because that's how I want to wear it.

If I wanted a skirt to wear as a head-piece, I might buy one four sizes too small. I can wear my kimono to dinner and maternity dresses to work if the fancy takes me (I'm not pregnant, but I like the way they billow).

Last week I closed one eye and imagined how I could stitch my laundry bags together and say it's this season's Celine. Ill-advised, probably, but I love what that print says about Phoebe Philo - namely that for a great designer, nothing should be above notice and the humble things are the most beautiful things, most of the time.

This is the summer to wear what you want, I reckon, however you want, irrespective of its original provenance. If the Celine laundry-bag print tells us anything, it's that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the value of anything lies in the purpose you choose to put it to.

- VIVA