“Wagatha Christie”: The sensational legal battle that became a face-to-face mode | Fashion

LThe legal arguments weren’t the only thing under scrutiny at the High Court this week. Media coverage of the “Wagatha Christie” libel trial has seen the clothing choices of everyone involved come under intense scrutiny.

Headlines such as “Rebekah Vardy teams a vintage £1,316 Chanel dress with a £650 bag” and “Coleen Rooney arrives in court wearing a £1,565 Mugler blazer and (a) £615 Gucci loafer” – a reference to Rooney’s boot – were displayed online as prominently as any cross-examination.

Even Coleen’s husband Wayne – a man more used to being judged on a football pitch – was convicted by the fashion jury. Dressed in a crisp navy raincoat and clutching a black Fendi bag as he walked down the courthouse steps with Coleen, he was compared to a ‘suicidal bouncer’ and physical education teacher. roped up to cover geography.

However, it’s still the women the photographers shoved for the best shot of the two who arrive, making it clear that they not only have to prepare for the judge’s verdict, but also the rest of the world.

“We have to recognize that the scrutiny that famous women are subjected to is hugely heightened in this environment,” said Dr Kirsty Fairclough of Manchester Metropolitan University. “Every detail attracts attention.”

But there is power in clothes, which two savvy celebrities will be all too aware of. It also means there could be an intention behind the choices, she added: “There’s often a whole team around celebrities that is responsible for that image. Everything is highly choreographed, highly performative”.

Both women dressed in a way that shows they want to be taken seriously and are in control, image consultant Penny Bennett said. Photograph: James Manning/PA

Vardy went all out to dress celebrities and royalty, wearing designer pieces previously worn by the Duchess of Cambridge. “She shows us that she’s the most refined person,” fashion psychologist Carolyn Mair said.

Meanwhile, Rooney remained closely aligned on the high street, wearing a monochromatic Zara dress. “Coleen is showing her allegiance to the rest of us,” Mair said. “She dresses for people so they sympathize with her.”

The two women’s repeated use of the seam and “stronger shoulder” shows that “they want to be taken seriously and show they’re in control,” said image consultant Penny Bennett.

In the United States, the media attention around Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s dock dressing – as they fight their libel lawsuits in Virginia – has been no less intense.

Heard’s decision to copy Depp’s suits and a particular Gucci “bee” tie has also sparked strong speculation.

However, decoding these looks can only be a matter of guesswork. “That’s always the problem with fashion,” Mair said. “Unless there is a slogan that makes it clear, it can be interpreted in different ways.”

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