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HomeFemailChic List: My voyage back to the 70s 

Chic List: My voyage back to the 70s 

Singing and dancing along to a bunch of avatars, I felt a bit of a plonker. Is this the future now, I thought, as I stared down at my ten-year-old who was totally mesmerised by the Abba Voyage show.

God, I hope not. But I secretly fear so. It made me a little depressed that my son’s first-ever concert should be performed by digital holograms (mine was the Sultans of Ping from Cork when I was 16 – google them, they’re very real!).

But the instant he’d seen the billboard for Abba Voyage, which has been drawing fans to a purpose-built arena in East London for over a year, he was hooked. 

I did enjoy it – who doesn’t love an Abba tune? – and it was fun to see all the amazing 1970s costumes the hardcore fans wore.

I was really boring and went as myself in a long white linen skirt from The Row and a waistcoat from Cos. 

Joanne is wearing Stella McCartney trousers, top by Issey Miyake, zara earrings, basket by Loewe Joanne is wearing Stella McCartney trousers, top by Issey Miyake, zara earrings, basket by Loewe

Joanne is wearing Stella McCartney trousers, top by Issey Miyake, zara earrings, basket by Loewe

If I’m honest, I found the whole experience a little sinister. Voyage is basically young Abba turned into Sims characters – sexier and skinnier than the real deals. 

Despite all the hype, I didn’t think the avatars had the same energy on stage as the real-life backing band who appeared occasionally beside them.

But the cheering, clapping crowd around me seemed not one bit bothered. This concert got me thinking about one of the biggest joys of summer – people watching.

Real people watching. What people choose to wear to Wimbledon, what people wear on holiday or for drinks out at their local on a sun-drenched afternoon. Inspiration is so often to be found by just observing.

No one knew this better than Slim Aarons, whose glossy photo books I love collecting. He spent decades travelling the globe taking photos of the rich, beautiful and glamorous off-duty.

So what will people-watchers be seeing me in this summer?

For Wimbledon, I love a trouser suit to stand out from all the dresses. I’ve currently got my eye on a pale blue one from Alex Eagle. Or maybe tailored city shorts and a jacket. Très chic for tennis.For holidays my mini wish list – I always start mine nice and early – includes easy-to-wear dresses. Zara has some versatile ones (search under linen midis) or check out a new discovery, Clea, available on Matches Fashion and designed by Australian Natasha Gordon, who honed her skills working with Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.This summer bags and sandals are pared back. Slimline silhouettes and no logos. Cos’s crossbodies are gaining acclaim from the fashion set, or research Sensi for a more bohemian bag vibe.

@thestylistandthewardrobe

@youmagazine

Bangle, £59, lkbennett.com Bangle, £59, lkbennett.com

Bangle, £59, lkbennett.com

On the wrist list

The humble bangle has made a comeback this season. 

Stack or wear them singly with your favourite dresses. 

This chunky number from LK Bennett caught my eye – perfect summer arm candy.

 

Midi magic

Top and skirt, £298, thereformation.com Top and skirt, £298, thereformation.com

Top and skirt, £298, thereformation.com

This super-striking avocado-coloured skirt from Reformation is great for strolls on the beach. 

Made from linen, it’s easy to dress up and down – team with the matching top, see above, or a white T-shirt and your favourite wicker basket for a casual daytime vibe.

A slim heavyweight

Wardrobe inspiration: A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, £65, selfridges.com Wardrobe inspiration: A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, £65, selfridges.com

Wardrobe inspiration: A Place in the Sun by Slim Aarons, £65, selfridges.com

This book is a fascinating look back at breathtaking locations and the coolest summer style. 

Slim Aarons’s images never get old and there’s so much wardrobe inspiration on every page. 

A perfect gift for someone special.

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