26 January 2009

Pumps and Circumstance

So, I'm going to work the kinks out of this thing as we go along; try to bear with me. I'm simply looking for some sort of easy access outlet to my meandering and frequent thoughts on current day vestiture. I (try really hard) to promise that I will not spend a significant time praising and/or criticizing celebrity fashions, that I will spend at least some of the time reviewing runway shows each season but not ad nauseum (I'm not that writer), I will provide many delightful links to fabulous things that we really all should have (and trust me, I am nothing if Queen Bargain of the Bargain Shoppers) and that I will always try to make fun of myself along the way.

A little background on me: my favorite toy of all time was Fashion Plates. Do you remember those?? They were fabulous. All it took to change your look was to switch out your plates and swap up some crayons. Wouldn't it be nice if, say, Monday morning was like that? Nursing the Sunday evening blues while waltzing half-eyed into your closet just sucks doesn't it? Yes, it does. Or the George Jetson machine...the one that got them all dressed (granted, in the same duds) every day? I'd give up all the money in the world for that machine (assuming it can be reloaded with each season's confections). I started reading Vogue, like I said over "yonder," when I was about 8. My mother was terribly fashionable and my eldest sister was a model. My other sister and I struggled to keep up with the extreme pressure having two such scene- stealers in one house could put on a young girl (I'd like to report that we both turned out fine, thank you...better than fine even; although I will say the middle sister kicks all of our asses in the name of fashion on a regular basis).

But I digress. I started sewing when I was in the 7th grade, well that's when I remember sewing with patterns. I think I was doing it long before then in an attempt to alter hand-me-downs in any way possible that would give them some individuality.

I grew up in South Carolina so sewing and typing? I hate to say, taught to us girls at a very young age. I was typing 60 wpm and sewing stuffed animals piece by piece by the time I hit 8th grade which was when I was lucky enough to move to Atlanta. Now, having grown up just a "stone's throw" (read four hours) from Atlanta, I was already quite used to the staggering difference between it and my hometown of Greenville (and it was staggering, believe me). What I wasn't prepared for were the extracurricular options for middle schoolers such as "Fashion Design 101." Um, k, sign me up? Immediately!!

So a few poodle skirts, theatre costumes and various and sundry items I never needed later, I was absolutely out of my skin to go to fashion design school. I devoured every book I could get my hands on on Dior or Chanel. I made the trek to NYC as many times as possible in my early twenties, usually just to see what the Costume Institute had on display at the time as I was obsessed over anything vintage -- truly vintage; the detail of a Worth, the bias of a Vionnet, the power of a YSL (thank you, Discover Card, for allowing me that lengthy payment plan on that one slightly spur of the moment four day shopping extravaganza that granted me my very first Annick Goutal parfum when I roamed around in Saks for five hours after the Haute Couture Costume Institute Exhibit of '99..I am forever in your debt...well, no not literally, I did eventually pay them off....didn't I? hmmmm).

Of course, I applied to design school but my finances wouldn't really allow it, and neither would my parents. So I floated about a while, played around in textile design (fiber science? not so much) and eventually figured out a way to go to a local school for design. But, alas, it was not meant to be...I could barely afford the year I was there let alone the four required for the degree. Why are all the cool majors so expensive anyway?

So I wound up with a much beloved English degree. Writing was always my first passion and I kind of knew I would always mix the two at some point, I just never dreamed it would come about in a blog. I write a lot of poetry, I dabble with short stories, screenplays and have a novel roaming around in my head somewhere, but I think this will work nicely for the outpouring of fashion DNA so painstakingly carved into my fiber.

I am one of those people that cannot remember dates so much as I can remember exactly what I was wearing, down to the hosiery (I think, alternatively, I would be GREAT for the FBI because I could describe anyone after seeing them for less than two seconds...it's a gift...weird, yes, but a gift nonetheless). I remember an outfit I wore when I was three; I remember that the first time (and there have been many since) I spent a ton of cash (well, $300 which was a lot of cash to me at the time) in a little French boutique (I have a quiet obsession with anything French, by the way) on body lotion and parfum because I was heart broken over some ejet guy I was wearing ratty boyfriend jeans with a gaping hole in the knee, black men's shoes (that I actually, in my non-conformist high school rebellion, purchased at the Goodwill in Durham) and a horrid (really horrid) satin Gap vest over a black t-shirt (90's fashion, no bueno) (I should also "worn" you that I am a huge fan of paren's and ellipses, in case you haven't noticed...); I remember that my dress for my sister's Bat Mitzvah was the lightest lilac poplin with white eyelet and I felt like an absolute superstar because it was Gunne Sax...it was the 80's, Gunne Sax was a big deal (to a 9 year old at any rate).

I think fashion is one of the purest forms of self expression and, quite honestly, we could all use as much as that as we can possibly wrap our pashmina's around. So pull up an Eames chair and humor me for awhile; I'm bound to make you laugh at some point or in the very least encourage you to buy $600 heels.