Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Graduate School Daze: Style Memories

This weekend I went back to school: my graduate school, where Mr. C and I married each other almost two decades ago, and where my dissertation adviser and beloved friend, one of the country's--OK--*the* pioneering feminist literary scholar, was being honored upon her retirement. 

Her former PhD students from across the country came, and, in a wonderful day-long symposium, we presented vignettes about what we had learned from this remarkable woman.  I actually taught her to quilt, back in the mid 90s, so my presentation contained a teacher/student reversal.

Because I was immersed in my graduate-student haunts--the cafe where the waitress had a gorgeously tattooed face (rays on her forehead, curlicues climbing up her neck and chin); the on-campus art museum that was the scene of many a rendevous; the fantastic Irish pub where Mr. C and I had our first liquid date--before I move forward, I must return to my graduate school style, since it is foremost on my mind.

So what did I wear back then?

Doc Martens--the lace-up shoes, worn with long, flowery dresses that were unbuttoned from the calf to the lower thigh.

Tiny sundresses--the floatier the better.  I'd sail through the town on my bike and clip the two sides of my hem together to be proper. 

Authentic Pucci headwraps, the better to complement my waist-length blonde hair (see Pucci cloak above).  Or a skyscraper topknot.

No bra.  Didn't need one; didn't want one.

Tight black cigarette pants, with a high waist, nipped at the ankle.  Good with Doc Martens.

My children tripped happily through the streets and cafes, wide-eyed at the creativity and the humanity around them.  If I squinted just right, I could see my two daughters in 10 years or so, tossing their long hair while sipping a cool drink at the cafe, smoothing their skirts as they bent to adjust their Docs.


Dash said...

Ooh this post brings back memories, I wore long white vintage petticoats with my DM's and vintage bloomers. Either that or my Mothers ski pants teamed with a mohair sweater and winkle pickers.
I still have my DM's somewhere, I will have to dig them out and blow the dust of them, don't think I would wear them now though, but you never know.

Belle de Ville said...

You must have been the most fashion forward of your graduate student group!
How fun to go back and visit the campus where you and Mr. C. must have had a lovely romance.

Jennifer said...

It's amazing how the clothes we wore are so closely connected to our memories. I remember a pair of really cool striped shorts that I wore to our last big bash at my art school. They were a favorite! I was also into the long cutoffs worn with black tights (and DMs of course). Boy, fashion of the late 80s/early 90s was so different!

La Belette Rouge said...

So funny that we were both back at our grad schools this weekend. Loved your description of what you wore back in the days.

K.Line said...

What a convergence of nostalgia and the future!

WendyB said...

Ah yes, the sundresses and Doc combo! I remember it well.

Barbara said...

Great post, Ms. C,
Don't you think the combo Uggs and
softer dresses echo your flowy and
DMs? BTW do you have pics of your grad days for your readers?
Have a great one!

materfamilias said...

Lovely post! And I echo Belle -- you would have stood out, certainly, among my grad school peers. The "cool kids" might have worked up a pair of Blundstones, but no one was combining Pucci scarves with Docs and cigarette pants. Not on the west coast . . .

Miss Cavendish said...

I actually do have a grad school photo on my site--but it's not identified as such . . .

stacy said...

This is such a beautiful post.
I love the part about your daughters... touching. And I love that you wore Docs! Too cool for school.