Monday, June 9, 2008

Brides and Genteel De-Cake

I’m not a fan of wedding clothes, or, well, elaborate weddings, as I’ve written here in the past.

(I got married quietly in a fitted black Willi Smith tuxedo jacket worn as a dress.) There was never any paging through bridal magazines, no imaginings of a white, frothy day.

Truth be told, wedding visuals are a tad too “perfect” for me, because I like a genteel-y decaying edge.

Perhaps I’m a postmodern Miss Havisham, but I’m drawn to tattered lace, peeling white paint on romantic shutters, and three-day-old cake, preferably with the frosting flowers starting to melt down the sides.

But don’t say “shabby chic,” because that’s too commercial; indeed, too designed.

Genteel decay is, to my mind, the savvier cousin to genteel poverty: there’s no implication of a ruptured cash flow, there’s instead the sense of preservation—of lovingly wearing or using something time and again. (And only the g√Ęteau has an expiration date.)

So when I saw "Ryman's Brides" by Marlene Dumas, a South African painter, in W magazine, I was intrigued, then smitten. I like its moody lack of clarity, its haunting bridal features, and its splotchy icing-sugar dresses.

Anyone for day-after cake?

7 comments:

enc said...

I'm with you. Perfection always bothered me.

riz said...

Haven't checked out the latest W but I will...
so very McQueen-ish methinks... I can't stand wedding attire either!

trend de la creme said...

Day after cake? Yum ;P

P.S. I did the crazy white wedding with husband #1. Toned it down with husband #2. (All before the age of 30, mind you!)

Imelda Matt said...

Only if the icing has hardened. There's something confusing and dark about this picture. Perfect because I'm heading home this weekend for a wedding!

Carla said...

Your description of genteel decay is delightful. Wow!

Kelly said...

genteel decay. Perfect description.

Mary-Laure said...

Great post!
Miss Havisham is one of best characters in literature - I am a Dickens lover and worshiper.
I so very agree with you about how tiresome those frothy cliched wedddings are...