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 

1 comment:

kvm said...

i think this is why i irrationally hate all-over florals too. huh...