On the subject of wardrobes and style, there was an article that I really enjoyed in the New York Times that I thought I’d share and comment on. In a newly released book called “The Killer Detail, ” style icons are depicted with photographs by some of the best photographers. What’s unique about the images is that each sartorialist had a “charming flaw.” In one portrait, Marlene Dietrich is shown wearing a tailored pantsuit, ankle-length overcoat, shirt, tie, and sunglasses. Offbeat? Totally. But very MD. Then there’s Louise Bourgeois (love her), who, in a photograph taken by Robbert Mapplethorpe, carries a 24-inch model of phallus under her arm and wears a really ugly black fur coat.
Ms. Quin, one of the authors of the book, said it best: “The elegance of each character springs not from haute couture, but from individuality: the wonderful flaw, the stylistic rebellion. It’s the unique touch, the dash of creativity that attracts our attention and defines a certain brand of chic, even if it sometimes verges on bad taste.”
I’ve been having a lot of fun following Colette’s Wardrobe Architect. I think it’s a great concept that we build a wardrobe, which includes our sewing projects, around our lifestyles, body, and feelings. But as I think about the ways I can construct a better closet, throwing out some things and holding onto other, it’s important for me to hang onto the things that make me… me. My charming flaws. What are those? Well, for one, wearing bold patterns. I mix and match them to the point where I look like Picasso on top and Jackson Pollack on bottom. When the weather allows, I wear Converse’s with a dressy dress. Fashionable? Um, Chuck Taylor says so. One of my favorite outfits pairs a white, Free People lace dress and a J. Crew camo jacket. It’s perfect for when I need to go into stealth mode. I’m not sure if my sartorial choices are charming, some may consider them bad taste, but hey, it’s just clothes and everyone’s a little flawed.
Also, there’s been a lot of chatter about sewing according to your lifestyle. Both Sallie and Novita wrote great posts on how they want to make garments that they will wear everyday. For them, that means sewing more basics like Grainline Studio’s Archer and Sewaholic’s Renfrew. But here’s the thing with me… I wear the pretty, the ridiculous, and the extreme. In sewing terms, I wear the icing and not the cake. Did you see Marce’s fabulous pinkness yesterday on Project Sewn? I wear that type of garb to the grocery store! I work in the fashion industry, so dressing wild everyday is a part of my life and who I am. Sure, I get dressed down on weekends, but that usually involves overalls like these velvet ones. So, while most sewer’s TNT me-makes are simple, mine aren’t, and it’s important that I stick with that.