Friday, August 21, 2009

Vanity, vanity

It's raining and I'm a bit nostalgic. So of course, what I do to combat nostalgia and get some writing inspiration is to visit the Anthropologie site. Not only do I love their catalog for the fantastic shots and layouts, but there's just something about the vintage-meets-modern looks that makes my head spin. And the spinning wheels eventually turn to more productive pursuits than lusting after clothes...but for just a few minutes, I'm going to indulge my baser instincts.

How do I love this dress? Let me count the ways.

The print reminds me of August and going shopping for school supplies, of walking in rapture down the aisles stocked with freshly sharpened pencils and the smell of crayons, the dizzying variety of notebooks to choose from and the familiar, reassuring smoothness of those composition notebooks I used until about 5th grade. Doesn't the fuzzy black and white look just like that pattern? There's a little loose belt, and that's kind of school-girl too, and slightly fetish-y, providing something to tie and untie, keep one's hands occupied when class is boring or one's mother is lecturing about how homework must be done before she'll let you sneak off to the bedroom and read a stack of novels.

There's also the faint line of green. It's the sort of green I used to find on the seats and knees of my summer jeans, grass-stain green, evidence of sliding down the hillsides, climbing trees, chasing cats or siblings through the fields. And, the dress-up box sleeves, grown-up sleeves that hawk back to the days when I tottered around in hand-me-down heels five sizes too big and one of grandmother's old blouses worn as a dress.

Okay, okay. I hear you. You're saying, "Enough already about the dress. We got the picture..." I'm sorry. I get carried away!


Embarrassing fact about me: Every time I travel, I buy a Vogue or a Harper's Bazaar. I make my mother save the fashion catalogs that arrive at the house for when I make my once-yearly trip home. And then, on rainy days, I read them cover to cover with scissors in hand, saving the clippings and pasting them into an "inspiration book." It's not really for shopping, though if I had a bazillion dollars, it's possible I would try to buy some of those things. No, that book serves as a gateway into my imagination. For some reason, colors, textures, the drape of fabric and an exquisite seam...pictures of fantastical models and unreal lighting...it makes me dream. And when I dream, I write.

I don't suppose there's anyone else out there who knows what I mean?

3 comments:

Ellen said...

There is an Anthropologie store in the West Edmonton Mall, and it made me think of you.
I turned to Biruk and said "My sister, Jenna. The one in Brazil-"
"You mean the girlie one? Who likes all the shoes?"
"Yes, that one. She loves this store, she goes crazy over the magazine. But I just like to cut the pictures out of the magazine."
If you come to Brooks, taking the three hour drive to Edmonton might be worth it for you to visit the store IN PERSON!

Anonymous said...

I chuckled as I read this, as your Mother used to just sneak off to her room to read. Whenever I didn't see her,I knew where she was. Fruit does not fall far from the tree. I too, like the dress. I like things a little different from everyone else's. I just bought a new blouse,with wooden flat beads sewn on the scoop neckline. You don't need a necklace with this one. Only thing is,I hand wash it, but it is dressy, so I hopefully won't get it stained. Grammy

Peet! said...

My head is always in fantasy land. You know this. the best part about colours and textures and fabrics is that they transport you places. Exotic, blissful, energized places or like you said, straight back to memories that few other things can do. i always have these flashes when i find a skirt or a bracelet that catches me. And since I'm required to provide proof of inspiration for projects in my art classes now, I have noticed how useful it is to keep the things that catch your eye. i just love where it takes me.