Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mood Indigo: Dosa, J Crew, and an 80s Flashback Photo

In the mid 1980s, when I worked for Sarah Clothes on a hiatus from university, one of my favourite items from that designer was an indigo, collarless shirt. Actually, I didn't like it when I bought it, because the indigo was a deep, midnight blue, and the shirt felt stiff.  But after months of wearing and washing, the shirt faded to a soft blue in both colour and feel. and I loved it. Eventually I wore the shirt to shreds, quite literally, and still miss its easy presence in my wardrobe.

When I saw this dress for Dosa's Spring/summer 2015 collection, I was immediately brought back to that glorious mood indigo. This dress has the simplest, most utilitarian lines, and I love it for that. I'd wear it with a patterned canvas sneaker (how I wish I had known about last spring's Liberty of London Strawberry Thief edition of Vans before they sold out in my size) and run all over town.

Perhaps indigo is the technique du saison, because J Crew is singing the blues as well, with its "faded adire" print. I like this one too, but balk at the obviously too-sheer sweater front.The beauty of indigo is that it shouldn't need a cami underneath; its glorious colors and patterns should speak for themselves.

And speaking for myself, tonight I opened my precious Crabtree and Evelyn wooden treasure chest (a display item I purchased in the 1980s and in which I store all my photos from that era) and found this mug shot of myself, taken old-school style--holding a camera backward and hoping for the best (but coming up with glare). But even with that glaring flaw, there's the indigo shirt, mid fade . . .

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pattern Perfect: Valentino (and Miss C) in Selvedge 63

I don't think there could be anything more lovely than a Selvedge magazine cover. And when that cover is devoted to pattern, its charm multiplies.

This issue contains my story on Valentino's spring/summer collection, which is full of gorgeously rustic patterns--a nod to the Grand Tour taken by European aristocrats. I see a postmodern Lucy Honeychurch (who took her own Grand Tour in A Room with a View) in these clothes and, truth be told, I'd like to see myself in them too!

My story includes a quote from the always spot-on Maryam Montague, designer and curator at M Montague and proprietor of Peacock Pavillions, who knows a thing or two about pattern (have you seen her stencilled walls and staircases?).

My favourite dress (gown) for now is the one on the far left, the multi-tiered ankle-grazing beauty. Its perfectly mismatched patterns (two to each tier!) recall table linens and dining al fresco. I could eat it up.