The rebellious thrill of Claire’s accessories is lost now that Liz Truss wears her wares | Zoe Williams
OWhy do politicians have to screw it up? I don’t even mean the government as a whole, pitting brother against brother, red wall against blue wall; it’s specifically about Liz Truss and her Claire’s Accessories earrings.
It was Nadine Dorries who first brought attention to the £4.50 trinkets, as she took to Twitter to single out Truss from her over-privileged rival Rishi Sunak. Liz is the salt of the earth, was Dorries’ message. If Sunak spent as much at Claire’s as he does on his costumes, he wouldn’t be able to carry the amount of jewelry he bought and would likely own the shop as well.
It must always send a chill to your heart to see Dorries charging to your aid, like the arrival of a fire engine that is itself on fire. His words did not have the desired effect. No one liked Truss more after that detail, and everyone lamenting the lack of civility in the contest used him as their emblem.
Spare a thought, however, not for those of us enduring the leadership race – we are adults at least, and should each bear complex responsibility for the wreckage – but for the country’s 10-14 year old girls. . They don’t go to Claire’s to look “salt of the earth” or thrifty or depressed with the kids. They go there because it’s basically Aladdin’s cave if your spending money is measured in teaspoons. Just when you think you’ve blown the lot, there’s a three for two or a Bogof. They spend centuries there, trapped in an exquisite indecision: the foxes sitting on tiny mushrooms, or the pina colada-shaped earrings that they are not yet old enough to drink but are damn old enough to commemorate?
After maybe an hour of rudimentary math, it turns out they can afford both and still have change for a lip gloss the color of rigor mortis. It’s just not the same if Truss wears them as well; now they’re a statement you don’t want to make. Regardless of its policy, the statement is: “Also worn by adults.”
Boris Johnson could never spoil anything, because whatever he was wearing, he always looked like he had rolled over in a pile of bric-a-brac and stood up. David Cameron has ruined sheds, sure, but it’s such an expense, swanky shed, that owners of existing sheds just had to pretend it didn’t happen. Theresa May definitely shone understatedly expensive elegance, with her leather pants, Vivienne Westwood suits and, my personal favorite, the boatneck jacket that made her look like an astronaut who had just taken off her helmet. Once in 2010, she wore it every day for a fortnight, by the end of which the whole “statement”, “difficult piece” genre was ruined if you were near 50, unless you were Glad people think you’re paying tribute to then Home Secretary.
The original fashion saboteur was Tony Blair, who attended a Commonwealth summit in 2002 wearing Paul Smith cufflinks. It tainted the brand forever – yes, even the wallets – with the unhappy vibe of a man who wanted to look serious on the world stage while being a bit metrosexual because he read about it in GQ. . For those of us who only bought the brand as a gift, this evolution has saved us a bob or two, but a generation of men have lost their touch of color, just as a generation of girls has now lost the rebellious thrill of wearing a unicorn in one ear and an avocado in the other.