I love Glee just as much as the next person, and sometimes, maybe a little bit more. Whilst singing along to the spectacular Madonna epsisode this week, I realised that in all honesty, it's not the High School Musical style numbers or Sue Sylvester's one liners that really capture my attention. My viewing loyalty is ensured by the vision of cute co-ordination that is Miss Emma Pilsbury, played by actress Jayma Mays.
Aside from her immaculately flicked 'do and eyes big enough to drown a cheerleader in, Emma's workwear outfits take girly sweetness to a whole new level. She is single-handedly re-inventing the pussy bow blouse and increasing sales of pencil skirts worldwide. Although her outfits are adorable, there is always something about them that stops them being silly - a quirky piece of jewellery or some vintage style shoes.
They also manage to be subtly kitsch, which seems like a contradiction in terms, but she knows exactly how big a well placed owl brooch should be, or how far to push a colour clash, to avoid an outfit becoming cartoony.
Her definitive sense of style seems to symbolise her character - it is an excellent piece of costume design from the Glee team. The more anxious and OCD Emma is feeling, the more extreme her level of perfection becomes. Mostly, her childlike sense of co-ordination and use of colour makes her look small, fragile and doll-like, tying in with her need to both protect herself and be protected, perhaps by her loverlover Mr Schuh.
Psychoanalysis aside, I can never wait for the next episode to see what new delights Miss Pilsbury's wardrobe has in store. Apparently I am not alone, and there is even a whole blog (presumably with a somewhat limited lifespan) dedicated to 'What would Emma Pilsbury wear?' http://wwepw.blogspot.com/ . It mainly concerns itself with where to buy Emma-esque fashions, but I think most girls will already have some of the elements of her style in their own wardrobe, and it is just a case of knowing how to give an outfit some Glee.
Emma pulls off a cashmere twinset like nobody else, and she frequently sports one of my favourite knitwear based labels, Milly of New York - see http://www.millyny.com/. I first stumbled across this delectable, preppy-with-a-vintage-twist brand not on Net-a-Porter.com or Vogue (although both are big fans) but in the designer boutique at the end of my road in Sussex. Country women may not always have the best sense of style, but they sure have money to burn! Milly doesn't come cheap (£200+ for a cardi) but I have featured some of her items in shoots and the quality is amazing. I stood in front of the shop window and admired a piece from the A/W 09 collection, a black cardigan and shift dress combo both trimmed with gold chains, in a very Chanel circa 1986 kinda way.
One day I will have workwear like that. At the moment I am struggling stop myself wearing highly inappropriate things to my place of employment, especially when it is nice and sunny. I don't think estate agents understand vintage t-shirts, rockabilly dresses and boys cardigans, so please, somebody give me a job where I can dress up to my hearts' content? Please?
In the meantime, I will continue to aspire to levels of Pilsbury greatness. She is a workwear legend, with not a pair of black trousers or 'city shorts' (no-one ever really wears them, do they?) in sight. And that, dear readers, is just how Glitterbird C's it.
PS Sue Sylvester's tracksuits and smokey eye combo was also truly inspiring this week. I <3 that bitch.