Shift to Cookies, Buy Some Diamonds – Marni
Marni – Spring 2012 (entire collection)
When I look at this top and skirt, the brown and teal v-neck starts a little hammer tap in my gut. I want things all the time. Anna’s Ginger Cookies, that I sneak shop from the Glen’s on 8th and Rose, for example. I don’t mean that I steal them. My thieving days were left behind 45 years ago. What “sneak shop” means is that I look around for someone I know. Someone who might know that I profess to not eat such things. Last trip was A-OK. No one saw me. But I do want things all the time.
In addition to simply wanting the outfit, the whole look puts me on the hunt for more guts. And a different brain. How does this outfit work? The blue and the brown top is perfectly clear to me. No special gifts are needed to get that. But how did the designer pick the skirt, how did the happen and why does it work for me? It’s a curious dissonance that I want to get.
So, a skirt and top and a dress. These are easy silhouettes to manage for just about anyone. It’s the colors that are hard and the graphic prints that are even harder. There is still something here for us northern Michigan women. Being middle-aged, I look at these and think, “I am too old. It’s a young woman’s world, those bold diamonds, the silvery fringe that points like a homing beacon to my knees. And that shift dress, sack of potato time. I am already carrying a sack.” God dammit though, I am here to say that I really wanted to wear a dad-blamed shift dress this summer. In fact, every single intention I had around clothing this summer centered on the shift dress, with bust darts of course. I dreamed of riding my bike in a bright patterns, locking it up in front of Horizon, going to GT Pie Company for a cookie and not worrying about my knees. Then heading to the river boardwalk to sit, eat, and watch the ducks. It’s clear what happened. It didn’t happen. Procrastination will be addressed in another post.
Back to that dress. What is going to make that dress work, and my apologies Conseulo Castilgioni, is either hack the sleeves off completely, or shorten them. The other thing that will make that dress work is joy, a great hairdo, and a red or orange chunky resin bangle. For the feet, lots of choices but they are all flats. Bold – black and white penny loafers. Easy – ballet flats in just about any color. A bright Kelly green would work, if your dress was blue. Relaxed – white Keds, and since when we live where we live, you could try Chaco sandals.
Now, the skirt and the top. Entrancing, isn’t it, the little bit of flamboyant fluff at the bottom that’s no doubt been painstakingly hand sewn by a pulpy faced French woman with donut ankles and hands that fly, soft hands, rubbed with a mixture of olive oil and sugar before she picked up her millinery needle? It’s flashy in a way that Midwesterners abhor, it’s youthful in a way that causes you to dismiss it without even completing your thought that it’s oh so wrong for you. Is there any part of you, your earlobe, your collarbone, a cell in the midst of splitting, that is calling out for just this bit of fun? Just this bit of intrigue? If yes, do it. No one is looking but you and you are probably looking too too hard in the mirror. The plain shape, the simple straight skirt, these need to make you stop and consider. The fluff on that skirt is like your laugh, your turn of phrase; it’s a signature, a willingness to prop the door open with a brick and let the breeze blow the papers off the table. I don’t want to press too hard on the ambitious print clashing. That’s fucking fashion skydiving, though we’ll try it in later installments, but maybe a little fringe could be tolerated today. Or next Saturday. I am old and my knees hurt but I like that fringe.