Celine (not Dion) and the flat out liar lady
The Tigers are losing to the Kansas City Royals and acorns are bombing my roof. Let’s move onto something not distressing – Celine, Spring 2012, designed by the beloved Phoebe Philo. Full collection here. These clothes remind me of a gin and tonic – slightly sweet, bracing and crisp.
Tonight it’s quiet in the neighborhood, but these clothes aren’t this neighborhood. Maybe a place like this: A flagstone deck, a blue Adirondack chair made of recycled pop bottles, a watch plaid throw rug, Lake Michigan (private beach) , the night whispering up your neck, a cup of Darjeeling tea in a pale jade mug, clasped with two hands, a bandage on the index finger from chewing a hangnail. And felted wool slippers.
I must be forthright here – no one in Northern Michigan would wear any of these clothes in this scenario (wool slippers with $1500 pants?), but would you journey with me as we imagine that someone might?
She’s someone who dresses above her paycheck, who drives to Chicago by selling her dead mother’s gold jewelry and not telling her husband, finds an upscale resale shop and shops for three hours and comes home with a white silk top and decides she can figure out how to make her own wide white belt. Her tummy isn’t quite built for the pants outfit, but the top she found was just a bit longer and she’ll tuck it in and blouse it over the belt and let the back hang loose. And her Lake Michigan is public and the chair is splintered, but night falls the same way, with a whisper, and it’s not tea, but a bottle of Short’s Bellaire Brown. Her nails are impeccable. Her husband isn’t quite sure where she is, but he’s stopped worrying since she always comes home, and he could drink in the smell of beach, apples and wind that nest in her hair all night and never complain. She might even bring his sissy soft hand under the blouse and take him straight away to an unmade bed. She’s that woman.
You can see that she’s confident, secretive and probably a flat out liar. And a flat out liar can wear that dress for certain. Even wear it to the office on a Wednesday. Maybe even wear it less than pristine undergarments. It’s confusing to her co-workers. Doesn’t she slide on her chair wearing that dress? How does she clean it? Is she Skyping at lunch with Saks Fifth Avenue for job interview? When she looks in the mirror she sees this: a message to all the naysayers who think that clothing is utilitarian, who think that only movie stars dress like that. It’s just a simple shift with an alluring illusion over the top of black lace and silk satin (probably). It’s like wearing a slip on the outside. OK, it’s out there. Try this though – shorten it to a top, separate the sheer outer layer from the plain underlayer (cami and blouse), wear white clam diggers, velvet slipper shoes and go to Amical for dinner. That would be cool and very possible.
As for the flat out liar, I think fashion is often about the lies. My skirts lie and say I have no saddlebags. My bra lies and says my breast are almost pert. The lie is just fine. Truth plays a role, too. The truth of buying the right size, the truth of not wearing beige near your face because you look like shit in that color, the truth that an outfit can change your day for the better. Doesn’t have to be couture or high anything. Something you like that tells lies you can live with.