Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Redressing the Issue

The other day, on Cathy Horyn’s blog, I quipped about “redressing,” a term that I (think I) resemanticized to represent the phenomenon of a design house lending a special dress to two individuals, each woman thinking that her dress is unique.

If memory serves, this has happened (at least) to Kristen Dunst and Reese Witherspoon (redress by Chanel) and Lauren Davis and Sarah Jessica Parker (redress by Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci).

This practice annoys me, as it’s duplicitous: an actress debuting her film or attending a swishy event should be secure that she’s wearing something unique. That’s fashion.

But what about the other version of redressing—an individual wearing the same dress twice?

Blogger Melissa C. Morris, who attends many a New York party and event, confidently announces that her dress for the Parrish Museum Midsummer Gala is the same one she wore to a wedding in Nashville this past May. That’s style.

And across the pond, Jemima Khan so liked her girlfriend’s emerald green dress (what is it with emerald-green dresses in England?) that she wore it the following night. That’s style too.

Although I’d like Chanel and Theyskens to redress their wrongs, I also like the idea of a woman redressing—on her own terms, of course.

13 comments:

WendyB said...

Agreed!

Anonymous said...

I am a big fan of your blog. I do believe the designer in question is Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci and not Narciso Rodriguez.

enc said...

It's one thing to redress of your own accord. It's quite another to be duped into it. I'd be horrified if it happened to me.

miss cavendish said...

Anon--You're so right! My mind has been swirling with too many designers lately.

K.Line said...

This seems to be a populat topic: Princess Anne did her own redress in the same outfit she'd worn to Princess Di's wedding 20 years ago! I think wearing something again and again (with new touches) is fantastically stylish. But getting duped into wearing the same outfit as some other fancy starlet on the red carpet - not so cool. (PS: I'm sure that was just some big fuck up that someone's already paid for. Maybe, if these stars went searching for their own clothes (and not nec. this season's big trend), this kind of thing wouldn't happen so often. Ooh, I'm being a bit hardass.

Kelly said...

Taking cues from someone else's style and re-wearing outfits you love should come naturally to everyone, I should think. I certainly won't buy an outfit I plan to wear only once (except my wedding dress!)

But I wouldn't copy a friend's exact dress in an event one day after she wore it. I might if I saw a stranger in a dress I love, but not someone I actually know. That is, unless I mentioned to the friend that I love her dress and it would be perfect for something I'm doing the following night (and then gauged her reaction to see how she would feel about my doing so)

I agree that to big, highly photographed events (like film premiers), a celebrity should be able to have confidence that she is wearing something unique. But when magazines chronicle stars wearing the same clothes multiple times to less publicized events (like when they are out to a personal dinner or what have you), it is ridiculous. I don't think of a star as some kind of wonderful person for daring to wear the same outfit twice on a "nothing day."

miss cavendish said...

Oooh--thanks for reminding me about Princess Anne! I thought she looked great, but did a double-take when I realized she was wearing the "Diana" wedding outfit. Did she wish to hex the new couple or something?

miss cavendish said...

Kelly, I think that Jemima actually borrowed her pal's dress, so all was on the level, so to speak. But I do get your point about not copying a friend just after she debuted her dress!

Jill Sherman said...

Did you know this site is stealing your content? Damned RSS feed hi-jackers!!

http://sisterhood-group.blogspot.com/2008/07/flower-power.html

miss cavendish said...

Thanks, Jill,

So, fellow bloggers, what to do? This parasitical site had credited me (in teeny print) but it doesn't have permission to import my prose. I asked for this and any other MC posts to be removed.

K.Line said...

Something tells me that woman doesn't have issues with hexing :-)

Oh, and on the topic of the thievery, while it's unconscionable, it's vaguely flattering, non?

Always In Style said...

I totally agree - anyone can buy a new frock but re-working an old one is the definition of style!

pve design said...

Oh, good, I can wear that old chanel suit that I bought before I had children and money was not object. tee hee. Love re-dressing and seeing woman wearing an article with style displays confidence and a certain loyalty.