Welcome to Baden-Baden, the High Court edition. Everyone’s favourite feud and farce, Wagatha Christie, is reaching its camp climax. Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy have finally gone face-to-face in court. And, wow, has it delivered – from Peter Andre’s penis to WhatsApp messages that to the naked eye read like they were sent by catty teenagers to the immortal line: ‘Arguing with Coleen is like arguing with a pigeon. You can tell it that you are right and it is wrong but it’s still going to shit in your hair’. Pure poetry.
And of course, it’s also got clothes. Or more accurately: costume. Vardy appears to have come dressed as lawyer Barbie, or a part in a schlocky courtroom thriller (which, TBF, she kind of is). Her look is literal and it is expensive. An Alessandra Rich yellow tweed skirt suit, an Alexandre Vauthier tuxedo jacket, a Givenchy bag. It’s all shirts buttoned-up to the chin and supersized sunglasses. On first look it seemed that this was about a desire to Be Taken Seriously, but I think it's probably a motivated by a desire To Be Seen. This is her moment, and goddam she’s going to milk it. This is better than the Met Gala, people!
Meanwhile, Rooney has opted for different tactics and is doing her utmost to appear relatable. She’s gone for sombre suiting and has her foot in a brace. You know that expression about turning lemons into lemonade? Pah, that’s for amateurs. What you really want to do is turn an ankle injury into headlines. More shocking than any of the revelations that have come out in court is the fact that Rooney has pitched up there in a Kooples suit she’s worn before and even…a Zara dress!
For a woman forever freeze-framed in pop culture weighed down with gigantic swag bags from Cricket, the Liverpool boutique made legendary by the WAGs that feels like a stealth power move (the subtext: I am just a normal gal). Or, perhaps, she just loved the dress.
But doesn’t the spectacle of the warring WAGs remind us that there is no such thing as just a dress. Beyond their functional purpose, the clothes we choose to wear communicate something about us. It’s all about messages (I am this. I am not that) and ambition (please see me as this. Please don’t see me as that). In the bawdy, gaudy scene that is the Vardy vs Rooney libel trial, it is simply blown up to cartoonish proportions. You might not admit it on Instagram (public or private account), but you and I have definitely used fashion in the same way. The verdict? We’re all guilty.
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