I love Ab Fab. I think it’s hilarious. It features a wealthy PR guru, Edina Monsoon, played by Jennifer Saunders, and her best friend Patsy Stone, Joanna Lumley, who is a magazine editor. Eddie is a free spirited single mother of straight laced Saffy, and the show features their many champagne-fueled high jinks.
While Eddies inimitable style deserves a mention, which proves just cos its designer doesn’t mean its fashionable, it’s Patsy, with her permanently attached cigarette, glass (bottle) of alcohol, and epic beehive who wins in the style stakes for me.
Throughout the years, Patsy has uttered some ridiculously hilarious one liners. Who could forget “oh you little bitch troll from hell” spat at Saffy, or referring to a friend “She was so anally retentive she couldn’t sit down for fear of sucking up the furniture”. And for each of those corkers, she was also wearing an equally brilliant outfit.
Never knowingly underdressed, Patsy exudes glamour, and class, at least until she opens her mouth. Matching cropped jackets, pearls, huge earrings, and of course the blonde beehive, she looks the part of the ex model/actress/fashionable mag editor, presumably with access to any and all designers wardrobes.
Most of her outfits wouldn’t look amiss on a much older lady, with very modest hemlines, and never too much cleavage. Of course, Pats, a smoker, may look older, she claims to be around 40, yet has mentally blocked out anything that happened prior to 1968.
Her signature hair is a marvel. Instantly recognisable, over the top, yet fitting with her style, it’s often used to comic effect when the hangover kicks in, or there’s been a particularly exciting night… And is usually accompanied by acute memory loss. You know it must’ve taken a lot of the do to get wrecked. There’s few who could keep up with the pace of a real life Patsy.
Obviously alcoholic, she’s also shockingly anorexic. With a liquid diet, she’s only been seen eating twice, one crisp, and a teeny slice of turkey, which she chokes on. Perhaps this comes across as slightly more controversial these days, than it did when it first aired in 1992. I’m not sure that anyone could say that she glamourises that self destructive lifestyle, but I wouldn’t be susceptible to that kind of influence, so I’m certainly not laying the law. More recently Skins featured an anorexic Effy, who ended up in rehab, and was sensitively portrayed as a very complex girl. More shocking perhaps, was the real life actress, who genuinely looked worryingly skinny.
There’s no doubt Patsy looks like she has beer truck loads of fun, and not unlike Samantha in SATC she would be known to be fairly promiscuous, but if any little girl ever says she wants to be just like Patsy when she grows up, I think it’s time to stage a major intervention.
Having said that, I really wish I could get away with a beehive every day. And drink more champagne. And have a chauffeur driven car. So maybe a small part of me really does want to be Patsy when I grow up…