Especially for you today – a glimpse into the concentrated vegetable protein that comprises my mind. Fellow Hackney blogger Quink some time ago devised an excellent e-game called Elegantly Dressed Wednesday. It instantly attracted many participants. But not me. Although I have had moments in my life where I have even passed for semi-glamorous, I cannot currently conceive of a single element of true elegance nor recognise it in others. In the spirit of joining in, however belatedly and pathetically, I offer Wednesday Addams who is by default elegant simply because she is being played by Christina Ricci on this occasion. Her apparel is the alternative elegant as seen in the underworld or a Horrors video.
These days I spend most of the time in my pyjamas. I am nearing the end of two major projects and quite possibly my sanity so I cannot even imagine getting out the dressing up box. I own a string of real pearls but they have been ruined by a combination of my propensity to glaze my décolletage with Amarige and omission to remove them while surfing. I somehow got pearls confused with diamonds and erroneously imagined them to be composed of very tough material. It turns out that they are very like tooth enamel in that once it erodes, it’s gone for ever. This explains why people do not clean their teeth with perfume nor do they create styli out of pearls for their Dansettes.
Many EDW participants may be planning today to feature the LBD worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s that sold at auction this week for £467,200. There is no mention in the press reports of why the odd amount. Perhaps the purchaser found that vital extra 200 quid in her, or indeed his (hello Elton), parking meter compartment and offered it up to secure the dress lest it should be spirited away by someone whose absolute limit for a dress is £467,000. I can still remember what it’s like to have a frock speak to you. It happened to me once at
Portobello Road market when I used to be in a retro swing band. A white tulle and lace backless ball gown in the 1950s debutante style once hummed a chorus of I Feel Pretty at me and I was smitten. The damage was £15.
Hepburn once said,
‘My look is attainable. Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large sunglasses and the little sleeveless dresses.’
She could have saved Victoria Beckham a lot of grief if she had added,
‘But It doesn’t really work if you are a thick, anorexic chav… er… dahling.’
The most elegant piece of clothing I have ever owned was a baby pink Christian Dior coat which I bought for £2 at a jumble sale in Dalston in 1982. Unfortunately, the moths got at it so it had to be thrown away. I did feel quite wonderful in it so that was sad because I’d still be wearing it today. Now it would be called ‘vintage’ and worth a lot of money on eBay if it was still in its pre-moth pristine condition. Interestingly, when I bought the coat it looked as if it had never been worn so it was quite a mystery how it turned up at a Dalston church jumble sale. I’ve got the odd Armani and YSL piece from Oxfam but, other than that, I’m fairly style-free these days.
Having just watched Gordon ‘Scrooge McDuck’ Brown’s pre-budget speech I have become almost sick with nostalgia for those carefree days when I thought nothing of casting off my pyjamas and heading out into the world, safe in the knowledge that I may still be able to afford to eat in old age. The more he tries to entice us to become involved in these decisions ‘that affect us all’, the more I think it would be like playing strip poker with a rapist. He’s so obviously OCD. Have you seen the way he pathologically ‘tidies’ the papers in front of him every two seconds? Actually, he’d be crap at poker because he has ‘I’m conning you’ tattooed across his forehead.
These days not even the pickings at jumble sales are likely to yield so much as a Marks and Spencer cardie with elbows intact never mind a Dior coat. There are just no surprises left any more. I’m done with consumerism anyway. In the words of Holly Golightly,
‘I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's.’
Once you’ve tarnished the only set of pearls you’ll ever be able to afford and let moths devour the only Christian Dior coat you’ll ever dig out from under grandma’s bloomers at a church jumble, you know elegance is out of your reach for good. So pass me the black lipstick and point me in the direction of the Horrors. I’ll be fourth ghoul from the left…
Picture from www.movieforum.com