Monday, July 18, 2011

Subtle Shifts

Rarely has Gucci, in more recent years at least, made me fall in love with its collections. I understood it. I appreciated the obvious craftsmanship. But it never knocked the wind out of me. Caused me to stir from the semi-repose in which I position myself whenever I sift through runway pictures.

For Resort 2012, that all changed. As most of the older and more established houses tend to do, Gucci worked rather firmly from the roots of Resort. These were clothes for the yachting set. For those who chase the sunshine of summer around the globe. But what it was missing in this case was the obvious markers that often litter those types of collection. There were, of course, maritime-inspired stripes, but the classic navy was replaced with an inky black. The ubiquitous caftan was nowhere in sight. That absence of breeziness was coupled with a lack of the over the top sexiness that often invades every inch of the Gucci brand.

Yet there was still no doubt that this was a Gucci collection. It was sleek. It was gilded. It was littered with hints of zebra print.

But it was something else as well.

Photos via

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Escape Hatch

I spend a lot of time immersed in worlds created by others. I wander through museums for hours. I bury my nose in books. I curl up in comfortable seats at movie theaters on Tuesday afternoons. It’s how I dampen the boredom and monotony that come with long-term underemployment.

The past several months have found me filling my DVD queue with films from Hollywood’s golden age. Casablanca. The Women. The Philadelphia Story. Gone With The Wind. My recent obsession has been Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 film Notorious starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. The film is full of suspense and intrigue and lies and espionage. The chemistry between Bergman and Grant rivals that seen between she and Bogart four years earlier. Yet with all of that, for me the film began and ended with the costumes designed by Edith Head. Sequined zebra-print cropped tops worn with maxi skirts. Low cut velvet gowns. Riding hats. Bows and gloves and exaggerated shoulders.

Unlike the clothes and silhouettes that dominated the 1960s, I could never imagine items like these being a part of my life. But in the end, that is the point. What I'm searching for is the momentary escape.

Though references to multiple decades could be found in the Viktor & Rolf Resort 2012 collection, the ones that caught my eye were those that clearly recalled the era that most of these films inhabit.

I drink them in for a moment, and then I return to the real world.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It took until the 4th of July for the summer heat to finally set in. And I, giving into a recent need to be contrary as much as possible, have spent most of my time since then in sweaters.

When I stopped working in Greenwich, CT in August of 2007, I began to purge my closet of that East Coast summertime staple, the polo shirt, which had dominated my warm weather wardrobe since middle school. (I used to have a penchant for doing as the Romans did. Thankfully the tumult of the past few years has led to some positive changes that counteract the bitter taste of the negative ones.) Along with the polos went the tees and tanks, which when not playing the part of layering piece simply made me look rather messy and unfortunately lumpy.

Of course all of that sidelining and purging only added to my anxiety around warm-weather dressing. Though they prove their usefulness again and again, not every problem can be solved by the dresses that litter my closet. Lightweight sweaters have proven to be my salvation.

On days when I pull on some shorts, roll up my sweater sleeves and throw on some flats, I get a lot of questions. "Aren't you hot? Don't you realize that it's mid-July?" I tilt my head to the side and think of how airy the linen feels, how it sits away from my skin and how easily those rare breezes flow through things like these.

By Sparrow

By A.P.C.

I shake my head for no and then I nod it for yes.

Photos via, via 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Party

I spent the second Friday of every June from the ages of 11 to 17 sitting under a large tent in the courtyard of my girls’ school waiting for the senior class to receive their diplomas. Many pieces of those balmy late mornings are imprinted on my mind. The creams, ivories and crisp whites that the senior class wore. The words to "Jerusalem" and our school song. The way the grass felt between my toes when I slipped my feet out of my shoes. The dresses worn by the underclassmen.

Dressing to imitate the late spring air that surrounded us was the problem and allover florals and pastels were the inevitable answer. There were a number of hideous floral prints floating around in those years, especially in the world of the New England prep school. Oversized blooms set against the backdrop of limp and lifeless colors. If one weren’t careful, taking on the appearance of a Laura Ashley upholstered sofa was the inevitable result. Although I participated in any number of trends with no question during those years, slap bracelets and plaid skirts and knee socks and cropped tops and over the top princess prom dresses and brightly colored platforms from The Wild Pair that I teetered around in, I hated those allover florals. I favored the less bothersome pastels during those June mornings and waited for my turn to wear white.

That juvenile hatred of floral prints has lingered. I touch them gingerly, as if they were dirty. I roll my eyes and make fake retching motions in front of fitting room mirrors. I act like the child I so rarely allowed myself to be in the past.

When I think about it, it’s not the prints. It’s the fact that I associate them with childhood and rule following. With awkwardness and insecurity. And so though I’ve learned to at least appreciate most prints and patterns, I still turn up my nose at anything that resembles a garden.

There are, of course, exceptions. Painterly prints that vaguely recall roses and peonies and lilies fill me with a kind of lightness. A skirt here or an accessory there might catch my eye. But season after season, the biggest antidote to my distaste is Erdem. Resort 2012 was no different.

Everything was ladylike. Everything was adult. It represented an end that I have yet to reach.

Photos via