Friday, August 22, 2008

Plain Style

In Soho I paid an extended visit to Morgane Le Fay: there were two brides to be and me, trying on dresses.

No layers of white for this lass, though; I was drawn to a transitional dress made of lovely light blue-gray jersey. It wasn’t really my style: it was cut to the knee (good), had short sleeves (good), a straight drop waist (hmm) and a thin tie at the neck (yikes).

But when I put it on with a pair of heels and stalked around the cavernous boutique, gazing out the window at the gray-white pillars and cobblestones, it seemed right.

Mr. C. came in with our lad, after having spent some time at BAPE, and broke my reverie with three pointed words: “Remember the Amish.”

Suddenly I wasn’t dressed for a day of lipstick and patent four-inch heels; I was ready to thresh hay and bake a pie, all without electricity.

That’s the brutal thing about context.

I once taught at a college close to Amish country, and was smitten by the beauty of the clotheslines I’d see daily—the deep aquas, greens, purples drying in the sun.

But I didn’t wish to emulate or, worse, imitate plain style, no matter that Chloe Sevigny once declared the Amish her style influence. (I don’t like Chloe’s style anyway; I always think she needs a good scrub and a cut.) The Amish are, of course, a culture, and they don't need a fashionista appropriating their thoughtful dress for a moment of style.

The dress thus remained chez Le Fay, waiting for an owner who didn’t have a memory of whoopee pies and clip-clopping horse-drawn buggies.

And truly I’m glad, because for me to dress Amish would be a miss.

10 comments:

WendyB said...

"Remember the Amish" -- hilarious!

enc said...

Thank goodness Mr. C told the truth. Now you don't have to look amiss with a miss.

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I guess I'd have to see the dress, but it doesn't sound at all like the Amish.

P.S. What do you think of Bapes?

miss cavendish said...

What do I think of Bapes? I had the same problem when Nike came out with its Liberty Dunks--love the idea; would never wear it. To me, sneakers are for running; I'll wear a sleek Puma for running errands, but Bapes just look too HOT (in terms of temperature) and clunky for me.

Sal said...

1. I remember stumbling on Morgane Le Fay while visiting a dear friend in NYC. I was mesmerized. I wanted to live there.

2. My hubs does this, too. With clothes and music, mainly. And he means no harm but can be such a buzzwrecker! Don't you think you could've happily rocked that dress had he not commented? If you'd been left to your own vision for the dress. I mean, I know he was looking out for you in his way, but he also squashed your happy a little. Right? Maybe not, I don't know ...

3. What the heck is a whoopee pie?

miss cavendish said...

Hi Sal, Whoopee pies are two cookie-size chocolate cakes with a delicious creamy filling between them. I was actually relieved to hear Mr. C's take on the dress--it saved me money or an obsession (as I tend to idealize that which I do not purchase).

materfamilias said...

de-lurking to honour the pun -- or I am imagining it, since no one else seems to be groaning ;-)
Wouldn't want to be guilty of A-mishing anything (and yes, yours was much more delicate).

miss cavendish said...

Glad you caught the pun! No, you weren't imagining it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I do agree about Chloe.

Sal said...

Wow, Whoopee Pies sound like HEAVEN! And I'm glad to hear you were saved from, and not denied, a fun purchase by Mr. C's input.