writes about clothes, shoes, hair, make-up, accessories, fashion - anything that's appearance-related, and a good deal else, because appearances are just the beginning.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Buy of the month
Hands up if, like me, you haven't updated your idea of Laura Ashley fashion these past 30 years. Even back then, when long granny print dresses could pass unremarked down any street, her Little-House-on-the-Prairie look was too much for me. I whole-heartedly embraced ethnic girl but drew the line at pastoral maiden, in spite of regular breadmaking and an impressive vegetable patch.
Nowadays this style looks positively sinister. Only the lowish neckline on this one counteracts the impression that its wearer belongs to some nasty fundamentalist sect that marries 14-year-olds off to old men to kill time while they wait for the end of the world. Think Big Love's strait-laced Nicky (played by Chloe Sevigny), for instance. The sight of whom immediately calls to mind her evil prophet dad, played chillingly by Harry Dean Stanton. First-rate television, and I wonder if we'll get another series. But I digress.
Even Nicky would draw the line at Laura Ashley's home furnishings. These were cut from the same cloth as her fashions, with enough flowers and frills to make you fear for your sanity.
This afternoon, however, I stumbled on a second-hand shop I didn't know existed, right on Lambton Quay. Its prices were already good but it was also running a 20%-off sale.
For the grand sum of $111 I picked up two luscious, new-to-me tango items: a Keith Matheson black silk chiffon skirt, which not only has a frill at the hem but half-a-dozen diamantes too, and, yes, a Laura Ashley dress. The dress is utterly plain raspberry silk - bias-cut and sleeveless with a cowl neckline. As unfrilled and unbeflowered as you could want.
I've spread these two beauties on my bed and keep sneaking in to take another look at them.
I'm a writer. Sometimes I write fiction and sometimes I'd rather do something else, like earn money, travel or dance tango. Whatever I do, I never stop looking. So this blog is about looking to write, writing to see, and seeing to think. I was once the kind of feminist who believed it was wrong to delight in such things. Now I'm the kind of feminist who doesn't believe that at all. I will never, as Linda Grant puts it, go beige into that good night.