Achingly Cool


Today, I came across the term “achingly cool” three times. The first time, it was applied to these striped shoes. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before, but like “effortlessly chic” I think it’s a description that label’s the user an idiot.

Why “achingly?” It never hurts me when something is cool. Is it supposed to connote yearning? Do you yearn so much to own these shoes that it causes an ache?

What about “traumatizingly cool?” Or “gut-wrenchingly cool?” I don’t like these fucking adverbs! Make them go away! I was looking for a photo of the grotesquely stylish  Daphne Guinness wearing her spiked Gareth Pugh outfit when I found it at Grazia. Sure enough, she was described as achingly cool.

This photo makes me want to kill someone. It is everything I hate about hipster fashion and the cult of celebrity.   This woman could wrap herself in toilet paper and everyone would fall over screaming in envy. Ten years ago she was just a normal billionaire’s wife.   She is the Lady Gaga of socialites.

There must be someone else in the public eye who is more insanely rad than Daphne! Whose style do you admire, and what term would best describe it?

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79 Responses to “Achingly Cool”

  1. Miggs Says:

    How does she sit down in that thing?

  2. Make Do Style Says:

    I admire the style of people with no money who make the effort to get dressed everyday and enjoy themselves in the hum drum of life. I see them on the train/tube/bus. I see lots of dull outfits and people who need help but in general I see people who try.

    I admire the style of everyone who makes an effort and recently I met Mrs Bossa in Manchester and she had the best pleated skirt ever. I would describe the admiration I felt was tinged with envy.

  3. Stella Mayfair Says:

    Carine Roitfeld and Tom Ford can do no wrong.
    Also, I think Keith Richards is a GOD, and his style is thus DIVINE.

    Also, I’m heavily influenced by Marlene Dietrich.

  4. Penny Dreadful Vintage Says:

    Agree with Ms Make Do – when I see someone else being a kind of cool I’m not and/or will never be, I ache. Well, perhaps not ache. Such items are perhaps covetously cool. Vomit-inducing envy cool. Small minded petty jealousness cool. I have enough already but this makes me want to consume more MORE MORE cool. Totally, adverbially, cool. Actually, I think the problem here is use of the word cool. So uncool. Can’t we just say something is aching? Those shoes, they are totally aching!!

  5. Faux Fuchsia Says:

    Daphne needs some carbs. She’s Diana Mitford’s grand daughter. You can tell I think. It’s the cheekbones.

    “Achingly Cool” is up there with “Visionary” and “Challenging the Paradigm” when it comes to Nonsensical Fashion Phrases.

  6. WendyB Says:

    I give you permission to kill anyone who uses the expression, in the most grotesque way possible. http://wendybrandes.com/blog/2008/07/banning-trite/

    Separately, I’d like to know why I always have to “rock” a clothing item. Can’t I just fucking wear it?

  7. RoseWolf Says:

    Is it wrong to hope that Daphne Guiness hurt herself or someone around her with that jumpsuit? Then, she would be painfully cool (still trying to figure out why she has a lace curtain at her waist)

    I t

  8. annemarie Says:

    You want to know who is WORSE than Daphne Guiness? Stacy Engman! She is Cunt Central. I first read about her here:
    http://fashioneditoratlarge.blogspot.com/2010/07/move-over-daphne.html
    …and it made me want to fucking kill someone.

    She is inspiringly murderous, insanely ridiculous, radically sick, and a spoiled, vapid whore with no intelligence.

  9. annemarie Says:

    I just went over to Gnarlitude’s site for a peak and she has posted the same picture of DG with the caption:
    “She is seriously, mind-blowingly, wonderful!!!”

    Damn adverb envy! This girl is so brain-squelchingly rad! And her exclamation marks are so diarrheaously prolific!!!!

    (I think I’m getting better– how tourettesously awesome!)

  10. Constance Says:

    Please do not use the word RAD, EVER. Instead of boobs free blog, this should be a a RAD free blog. I’m counting on you sister.
    Please include thrifted. and vintage in that category, I guess we can choose at least an 100 years old mark.

  11. miss cavendish Says:

    Other phrases/words I do not like: “It’s *great*”; it was *amazing*.”

  12. Julia M Says:

    I would love to own that spiky suit. I have certain people/personal space-related issues, and I feel this outfit could come in useful at times.

  13. Staircase Witch Says:

    You guys are such imaginative haters, and I mean that in a good way. You are dry-heavingly awesome. ;)

  14. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Now normally I find Daphne Guiness to give me mind cool cramps. But when I saw this, I realise she’s just got too much money. Not even toe-crampingly chic. Just bad.

  15. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Oh look, Gnarlitude has disabled comments too! Which reminds me, I haven’t looked at Jane in a while. What horrors will I discover?

  16. The Raisin Girl Says:

    Tori Amos, pre-American Doll Posse. She is freakishly awesome. And I mean that literally. She can be completely weird, but she’s still awesome.

  17. That's Not My Age Says:

    OK so I’ve never used the term achingly cool but I think I may have dropped the odd effortlessly chic now and again. And I hate the phrase ‘shopping you wardrobe’ surely that’s called getting dressed? Not a fan of Daphne, you’re right she’s just a posh Gaga. I admire Tilda Swinton’s style – I’d call it androgyo-tastic

  18. RLC Says:

    I had to share these!
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Nsrpnx4yygU/TBiNuGZDQiI/AAAAAAAAAoI/f3yrW76bo1E/s1600/iris-schiefferstein.jpg

    (at least the ‘aching’ part is right)

  19. RLC Says:

    p.s. I admire my style, because I get up every morning, put on some clothes, and then go out and do live life like a normal fucking person and no one ever photographs me.

  20. RLC Says:

    p.s. I admire my style, because I get up every morning, put on some clothes, and then go out and live life like a normal fucking person and no one ever photographs me.

  21. rebecca Says:

    Ann Marie– you are leg-breakingly funny.

    I think Vivienne Westwood is shit-selfingly rad. Especially since her interview where she told people to stop buying clothes and wear things until they’re rotten.

    Bjork. You know, what I love about her and Viv (yep, we’re on first name terms), and admire the most, is that they don’t follow trends in the same way that most ‘style icons’ nowadays too. This woman, erm, Guinness woman covered in spikes. Is that not just a ball-gagged up version of something Posh Spice would wear? Are all of these very rich people just mimicking each other, trying to up the ‘creative’ ante?

    *shrug* there are plenty of outfits that I like on people, plenty of items that I covet on people like Alexa Chung and [insert name of currently everyones’ favourite] but I don’t necessarily think that they’re icons or trend-setters.

    I admire people who dress for themselves, and by their own standards. I think it’s an, erm, achingly cool thing to do. (yep, after writing it, it’s a total douche-bag phrase).

  22. rebecca Says:

    ps. Since we’re on the subject of phrases we hate… can people please stop saying “nuff said”? It’s not a valid conversation ender. Ever. It just makes you look like an egotistical douche. If you have to end an argument with ’nuff said’ then you obviously haven’t made enough of a point to stop the other person in their tracks with your brilliance. Nuff said. *puke*

  23. Stella Mayfair Says:

    @ RLC:
    muahahahaha!

    @ annemarie: i read that too. let’s nominate stacy engman for cotw!

  24. Braindance Says:

    Socalite Lada Gaga, hit the nail there Sister.
    A really interesting book on one side of SLG family tree is called
    Nemesis: The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O, and the Love Triangle That Brought Down the Kennedys.
    Money and power never seemed to make these clans happy.

    I have big respect for the style choices of a blogger:
    http://calamityjems-vintage-vaudeville.blogspot.com/
    She comes across as a really lush person too.

    I would love to be as well turned out as Joan Crawford was, she is my point of reference when doing lady like.

    And the designer of the clothes for Flash Gordon AAHHHAAAHHAA! is a king in my eyes, (Danilo Donati)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danilo_Donati
    He did the costume design for loads of films

    Ever since seeing Barbarella at the age of 5,(costume designers: Jacques Fonteray & Paco Rabanne) dressing as a Sci-Fi slut is my uniform every time for a night on the lash or raving.
    My husband just rolls his eyes, but I think he is resigned now.

  25. Ariel Says:

    Berlin Trilogy Bowie was so throat fuckingly ethereal.

    Tilda Swinton in “Constantine” was so diabolicly sexy

    Axl Rose and his scarf game? cunt twitchingly awesome

    @rebecca. Vivienne is indeed as we say in the urban community “that bitch”

  26. Erika Says:

    grotesquely stylishâ„¢ hahahaha the only thing i like about her was that she used her hard unearned money to buy Isabella Blow’s wardrobe. I always admired Isabella. I would call her Mad Genius.

  27. fashion herald Says:

    I’ll always be a big fan of my mom’s beehive-hairdo style era. And well said, Make Do. Every time I see fashion people dressed well I indulge in a “someday, bitches” fantasy, but I rarely think of them as style icons, I just briefly covet their clothing budget. Is Daphne Guinness really going out on a limb in head-to-toe spiked Gareth Pugh?

  28. Ann Says:

    I am a chronic over-user of the phrase “dope as shit.” It’s embarrassing.

    I had a male-coworker refer to my style as “shabby chic” the other day and I wanted to kick him in the shins. That phrase was outdated 10 years ago and still sucks today.

    Jackie O always had my favorite style, although I could never pull off anything remotely like it. Way too girly and tailored for me, but I loved it on her.

  29. Amy Says:

    I really like Charlotte Gainsbourg’s style. It’s simple and it’s not pretentious.

  30. Alicia Says:

    The only people whose style I admire enough to praise with adverb dense adjectives are Catherine Baba and Iris Apfel.

    @ Ann – I use dope in a similar way. Don’t be embarrassed. =D

    @annemarie – I read about Stacy Engman…I couldn’t get past the ring that was “inspired by the “Sheela na Gig” a pagan symbol of a female gargoyle who uses her vagina to scare away evil spirits.”

    She is wearing a gargoyle vag on her finger. iCan’t.

  31. HelOnWheels Says:

    @annemarie – Aaahahahahaha!! You are seizure-inducingly hilarious! You’ve not only made me hate Stacy Engman but I now want to kill the author of the linked piece; both are vomitously awful.

    I adore (worship?) Dame Viv and her style! I want to be her when I grow up. I’ve also always wanted to look as fantastic as many Parisian women. That “French chic” is hematoma-ly brilliant. I have several friends who look as though they’ve stepped out of a magazine editorial but wearing second-hand clothing and DIY accessories. My jealousy knows no bounds when it comes to those friends. And, like Make Do, I admire people who make an effort and look brilliant and beautifully put together, without the aid of trust funds or designer labels.

  32. sonja Says:

    she looks achingly hungry.

  33. Bevitron Says:

    I have no style, mostly wouldn’t know it if fell on me, & am not qualified to judge, but I have a few friends whose styles I like, simply because they always look good no matter what they’re doing, and they don’t fuss over it.

    About cool, aching or otherwise – I always thought the whole thing about it is that it’s an intrinsic, un-selfconscious confidence that, in the case of fashion (I guess) radiates out to the confident choosing & wearing of clothes. It’s not turned in on itself, doesn’t strain for effect. It often reaches affect, though. But I don’t know….is it possible to be cool and not know? Or would that just be some kind of anomaly? Or is knowing you’re cool part of it? The picture of the spiky outfit makes me think of the old Vincent Price version of “The Fly”, complete with the white head and everything. “Heeeeeelllllp meeeeeee!!” (If you’ve never seen that one, I don’t recommend it. Very seriously creepy, that scene.)

  34. Cricket9 Says:

    That’s Daphne Guiness? I thought it’s a giant hairy tarantula. Maybe crossed with an Ewok. If it’s Daphne, than she’s gut-wrenching cool.
    I prefer Jane Birkin over her daughter, and I hate Catherine Baba. I’ll try to figure out why when I have a moment. I like Dame Westwood because she’s a contrarian.

  35. Cricket9 Says:

    By the way, Daphne is not “pencil-thin” – she’s “skeletor-thin”. Her arms are skin, bone, and bulging ropy veins. Bleh!

  36. Sheri Says:

    Maybe she aches because those pokey things in her clothes keep, well, poking her.

  37. theresa Says:

    Daphne Guinness is a fucking idiot, starting with her name and ending with her complete uselessness.

    I ache for the day she topples over, breaks a frail malnourished bone and is confined to bed rest for 2 years. then gains her body weight in girl scout cookies, gets lipo, then donates her fat to lip+cheek injection doctors for free. these doctors will then sell her far as “PRIME GOLDEN DAPHNE FAT” and the other non-lady gaga socialites will buy it for thousands- and from the goodness of the injection doctor’s hearts, they will donate the profit to starving children in africa.

    then she will be useful.

  38. Laura Says:

    Fuck off SW you have no idea. Daphne Guinness was well known before she married that rich dude, have you ever heard of Guinness you dumb cunt!!
    Daphne Guinness is just an upper class eccentric from a well known eccentric family, read about the Mitford sisters and you will understand where and what she comes from. May give you insight into why she is so odd.
    I thought you had some intelligence but I am sad to see you are just another jealous ignorant American. I also think you suffer from NPD which makes you pathological and dangerous to those around you

  39. Cybill Says:

    She just looks really really hungry to me.

  40. Sister Wolf Says:

    Laura – Haha, you are the one who thinks I should be “fatter for my age” and you don’t like my hair either!

    annemarie – Og god, I found another picture of that woman where she is COVERED in those vagina-things!

    Ariel – YES, Axl Rose was the business, wasn’t he?!?

    Rebecca – Viv is shit-selfingly awesome, I could not agree more.

    Ann – Shabby Chic?? What a cunt! Tell him that he’s dick-wiltingly stupid.

  41. Angelica Says:

    That outfit is actually legit-ly “achingly cool,” cuz she can impale people on it just by hugging them. Fucking rad!!!

  42. Sister Wolf Says:

    Angelica – It’s impalingly rad!

  43. RLC Says:

    Homer Simpson hit the nail on the head with “groin-grabbingly good”.

  44. Sonia Luna Says:

    I love Roisin Murphy’s style, she’s fearless (and I mean that literally after seeing her climb a stack of amps in 12 inch stiletto heels), talented and doesn’t take herself too seriously.

    Daphne Guinness … I don’t know, too contrived, too forced, too spiky!

  45. Seraphina Says:

    Please talk about this idiot in your next post:
    thestylishwanderer.com

  46. kellie Says:

    I am bitter that she was able to just buy ALL of Issy Blow’s stuff. She didnt want it “pieced out” amongst the masses. She wanted it to all stay together.
    With her.
    So all the people who could have had one great piece now have none, and this money filled, starving wench has it all.
    Curated.
    And it wont ever be seen again, except in an exhibition that I am sure is coming.
    For further profit to her.
    UGH

  47. Andra Says:

    Theresa you made me laugh. Thank you.
    Daphne is useless – what is the point of a Daphne Guiness?

  48. jd Says:

    Aw, I used to love Daphne Guinness – and then I went to see her give a ‘talk’ (I use the term loosely). She had absolutely nothing to say. She just fidgeted about. It was very awkward. The fashion writer who was beside her just spoke the whole time about how WONDERFUL and IMPORTANT she was while she played with her hands and occassionally murmured ‘…I love Gareth Pugh, incredible’.

    Funniest part was, at the end, she couldn’t get up out of her chair in her shoes. She had to be helped to stand like an old lady. It was really hard not to laugh.

  49. Sister Wolf Says:

    Andra – The point is for everyone to drool with envy and talk about her aching coolness. It’s an Emperor’s Clothes type of thing.

  50. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Ariel – I totally hear you about Tilda in Constantine. And Laura, I only know Daphne as wearing radically stupid clothes.

  51. Stella Mayfair Says:

    @ alicia: absolutely with you on the wonderful iris apfel, and i like catherine baba too.

  52. TheBadKate Says:

    Laura does have a point, although it is offensively expressed; Daphne Guinness is not “just another billionaire’s wife.” She has plenty of both cash and eccentricity cred all on her own.

    I really love that Gareth Pugh thing, but it’s stupidly ridiculous actually worn like real clothing. I suppose Daphne figures herself a 21st century Marchesa Casati though… “My existence IS my art, darling. Revel in me!” It’s probably too much to hope for that she will also end as a raving nutter bankrupted by her extravagance.

  53. jess Says:

    Kathleen Hanna or Kate Pierson are probably my femme-y fashion icons, as they are heart-wrenchingly badass. Also Debbie Harry. It’s nice to have music fashion icons because they’re people who actually DID something while “killing it” in fashion, which I think is a standard that mostly applies to men who are “expected” to be doing something active. I don’t know why we’re expected to admire ladies who just stand around in their underwear -billion dollar spiked as they may be- and think they’re awesome. It seems so “male gaze” and passive and boooring.

  54. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    Daphne has become a bit dull, really. As in, she’s the go-to person to wear the things no-one else will wear. Except for Lady Gaga. And I much prefer Gaga, at least she does something other than just wear strange clothes.
    I do love Gareth Pugh though, for being so wonderfully weird.

  55. Dru Says:

    I agree with TheBadKate, Daphne Guinness isn’t just some daft posh rich woman- and her money gets put to a fair bit of good use, she financed an Oscar-winning short film a couple of years ago and she’s gone on the record to say that her recent acquisition of Isabella Blow’s wardrobe was done with the approval of Ms Blow’s family and friends, with a mind to keeping it all in one place so it could maybe go on public view at some later point in time. That Engman person, however- I followed the link and she is either really that vile (“the world’s most expensive perfume”?) or well and truly taking the piss (“the world’s most expensive perfume”).

    For the most part, I don’t mind other people’s fashion statements- but “irony” in fashion needs to DIE and fast, I’m sick and tired of “irony” being used as an excuse for everything stupid that some young chump says or does, in an effort to make themselves seem clever/cool when they are neither.

  56. Dru Says:

    As for people whose style I admire- I’d have to say Susie Bubble, words are not enough to describe how awesome she is at putting outfits together (which don’t need a DSLR camera to capture their coolness- check her early archive if you don’t believe me). And someone’s going to get sick of me saying this, but I have an insane girl-crush on Yama from Tokyo Bopper (google her if you feel like it, I haven’t the words to describe her non-ironic brilliance at dressing herself).

    Among more mainstream types, I admire Iris Apfel and Betty Catroux, and also the model Iekeliene Stange and actress Clémence Poésy – the last partly because of the Harry Potter connection and partly because she’s not a total front-row whore, she’s admitted to being sick of fashion making a fuss over her and I find that quite refreshing. And yes to Tilda too- she has style, but she’s so far from being the usual fashion sheep that one can’t help but love her. I get the feeling that what the rest of the world thinks is weird, seems perfectly normal to her- it’s very hard not to admire that.

  57. dust Says:

    Gareth Pugh must be very pleased to sell his impossible creations. It is good to see couture living outside the catwalk and museums, except when it’s crippling and that is too often the case with Daphne. Her style is questionable, there is no much effort put in it, she buys couture dress and smacks it on, that’s it. All her effort goes in standing up and walking straight, OK, she supports some young designer with her eccentric cash and sits in various fashion juries. Anna Della Russo is a tad bit more accomplished, but she wears ready-to-wear as well. How very deary…
    It’s still just a tabloid style. I love Franca Sozzani’s soft waves and angularity, she has style even naked(boobs covered Sister!), I guess. Her blog is good too.

  58. Mark Says:

    Thom Browne is gonad-pumpingly stylish, from his $10 barbershop haircut to his sockless wearing of $1600 wingtips. No one else comes close in combining mod and preppy. I want to worship his beautifully defined hairy legs from a distance of no more than three feet.

  59. Miss Janey Says:

    Miss J’s knee aches, a jogging injury. Its not that cool, actually.

  60. Elise Says:

    Sister Wolf – I leave this to you :http://www.bleachblack.com/?p=11349

    “out of “respect” i am not going to comment”
    dont let the bleach go to your brain , bitch.

    bloggers everywhere crying in their clogs and floppy hats over the break up of the ever so RaD erin wasson and rvca

  61. Zoe Says:

    achingly hip is even worse
    I quite liked Daphne Guiness a while ago when I thought she was an interesting Helena Bonham Carter type (fooled by the hair). Then I read about her “dedication” to “high fashion” e.g. a willingness to be confined in ridiculous corsets and wear stupidly high heels. I expect Vogue will be lauding her foot binding practises soon enough

  62. Dani Says:

    If there is such a thing as “achingly cool,” those shoes would not be it. But I guess false Americana is pretty “in” right now…

  63. theresa Says:

    oh my god, sea is dating RONNIE. her boyfriend is ronnie!

    This is so much better than the worst tv show….

  64. Nati Hell Says:

    I’ve always hated people who add the termination “licious” to every word. Like “girlicious” or “sexylicious” or “fergalicious” etc etc etc… I even remember someone describing some girl’s outfit as “fiercelicious”.

    At least I haven’t seen anyone use the expression “effortlessly chiclicious”.

  65. Nati Hell Says:

    @Theresa: HAHAHAHAHA oh my god oh my god. What’s the deal with sea and all her gay boyfriends?!

  66. Cricket9 Says:

    The redeeming fact I could find about Daphne – she gave (and/or raised) some money to women’s charity; as for her style – sorry Laura, you stupid cunt, the dropped crotch on the Mr. Pugh creation is pure Ewok.
    That Stacy person with her “world most expensive perfume” is completely ridiculous(licious?) A swift kick in her Sheela-na-Gig would be very satisfactory.
    Iris Apfel – yes, Catherine Baba – no, with all this fur, fur, fur, fur.

  67. Cricket9 Says:

    Thom Browne seems to have very big feet. Does it have anything to do with his stylishness?

  68. Layers&Swathes Says:

    I can only aspire to have this many “achingly cool” commenters on my blog! I have just sat here giggling at this thread for about half an hour.
    You all are seriously funny mother-fuckers!

  69. Angelica Says:

    Sea’s latest tweet: “Still CONFUSED by the fact that people thinking writing/blogging should be done for free. #donteven”

  70. Mark Says:

    Big feet means big…

  71. Denise (denisekatipunera) Says:

    look at jane’s latest blog.

    told you!!!! ronnie is the new boyfriend. He used to call him friend…poor amit.

  72. TwistedLamb Says:

    All the good ones are in the dark corner away from the cameras.

  73. Cricket9 Says:

    Hee hee Mark, thought so, thought so…

  74. Sister Wolf Says:

    Layers&Swathes – They rule, don’t they?!? They are the joy of my life.

    Denise – I’m so excited, I’m going straight over to look. If only I could leve my congratulations there.

  75. queengilda Says:

    well this happens all the time. these so-called pretty girls look great in anything they wear coz hey, they have the body for it and if i had their body, i’d be fab too. the same goes for some of the “style” bloggers out there who, if you really realize, have no style at all but are crazily worshipped because they have a pretty face and a body most girls would die for. but their “style” is mostly copied and unoriginal.

  76. sisty56 Says:

    Though I used to be attracted, in a general way, to DG’s sensibility, I have to say that this photo brought me up short. It’s just so clear that, as a society, we’re coming to the end, lapping up our own entrails and enjoying every moment of it.

  77. Claire Says:

    It’s terribly easy to bash Daphne Guinness and loop her into Lady Gaga territory, when her eccentric style is something that has been her trademark before Gaga had even put on her Poker Face.

    I genuinely believe that DG just adores fashion and has a life (the wealth, the events) that facilitates her to dress in an over the top manner,

    I love how she combines couture with flea market finds and I don’t think she’s predictable in her choices, which I adore.

    It’s awfully unimaginative for you say she does it for tabloid attention, why would she? What would she achieve?

  78. Claire Says:

    In respone to Kellie:

    Issy was her friend, would you really want your late friends personal belongings to be sold off in some morbid buying frenzy?

    It’s not like she’d want to keep for own use, she’s merely keeping them safe until she has a venue to exhibit them.

    The items were Isabellas DNA and I think it’s much more appropiate for them to be kept together than sold off and the collection entirely diluted.

    Daphne will more likely or not, set up an exhibition for people to view the collection.

    You’re so right, I’m sure her mind will focus solely on profits, she’s really could do with the money after all.

  79. buy atlanta homes Says:

    Amazing website & writing skills. You my friend have TALENT!

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