Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sidling up to Bottega Veneta's Dress

If any Gentle Readers live in a college town, or near a high school, or have teenage sons, then you are probably familiar with the emergence of a particular t-shirt style, come spring.

The t-shirt of which I speak is cut down each side, with fabric joined only at the hem and shoulder. It reveals a good deal of flesh in profile, while the front gives the illusion of being fully covered.

I find this style to be particularly unflattering, and am treasuring the years until my six-year-old son discovers it.

Although the side-cut t-shirt seems to have originated with boys, it is becoming more popular with girls, who wear a jogging top underneath.  That doesn't make it any more attractive.

So when I cast a sidelong glance at an ad for Bottega Veneta, one of my very favourite dressmakers, and saw that it featured a side-cut bodice, I could not but sigh.  Although this side-cut is decidedly uptown, instead of for the sports field, or--eek!--the classroom, I think that it cheapens the line of an otherwise lovely garment.

Here's hoping that the dress comes with a little envelope of matching silk thread, so that its owner can place a few important stitches along the side seams.

I'm feeling a little beside myself.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


This feather-photo pillow by the talented designer Louise Roe *

reminds me of my favourite

(and still unidentified)

photo of

* Louise Roe discovered via Natural History

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Going Green in Chicago for Saint Patrick's Day

On Friday we landed in Chicago, ready to test the winds and sample some new cuisine.

Having read in the news that St. Patrick's Day was observed on Friday, I wore my Christiane Celle Calypso Julia dress in an iridescent almost-jade silk. 

It's green enough to count, but not green enough to look like it's on purpose.  (I also avoid matching my clothes to the "holiday," so it's orange cashmere at Christmas and chartreuse for Valentine's.)

My colour.  I remove the elastic from the sleeves;
puffs are perfect for Anne of Green Gables but are too little-girl for me.

But I was a little concerned: I had planned to pop into the Calypso boutique that evening, and realized that I would feel foolish wearing the house dressing, so to speak. But that's my "green" dress, so c'est la vie, I thought. At least it wasn't balsamic vinagrette.
I'd done my part for St. Patrick.  Even if the rest of the city didn't seem to be following suit, curiously enough.  Where was all the Irish spirit?  And the green beer?  I settled for delicious green, organic stir-fry at a terrific Thai joint.

So I was confused when I awoke the next morning to discover green t-shirts, furry green hats, green antennae, and even green painted-on shirts(!) parading about Michigan Ave.  Of course the "real" SPD was on Saturday, and Chicago was luxuriating in it.

In my coral dress I walked with my family up to the Chicago River, where we watched the plumbers dye it green. 

The first of three green stripes.  Source

The process was fun to see: a boat emitted a steady burst of fluorescent green/yellow color into the water and two chaps in a speedboat followed at high speed, zig-zagging through the dye to stir it up.  The process reminded me of marbleizing a cake.


And yes, a feisty but polite leprechaun did pinch me on the bridge for wearing my coral dress. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Monocle Mentions Miss C's Article

I was delighted to learn from Selvedge's brilliant editor, Polly Leonard, that my piece, "Thoroughly Modern Modesty:  The Allure of the New Demure," received a shout-out from Monocle 24, the broadcasting arm of Monocle magazine. 

The editor, Tyler Brûlé; the broadcast editor, Gillian Dobias; and the editor of Eye magazine, John Walters, mentioned it during a conversation about Selvedge.

The review is below, and my piece is mentioned (and pictured!) toward the end.  Along the way, you'll find many sumptuous Selvedge covers to feast upon, and some thoughtful words to ponder.