Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ms Pants Regrets She's Unable To Launch Today

I have no interest in clothes any more. To me, all clothes are now pyjamas. If they have sequins on them it makes for an uncomfortable night so I avoid those. However, I’m so overjoyed by the return of the blogger formerly known as Quink whose fabulous Hackney Lookout petered out just as I discovered it, that I have decided to take an interest, if not in clothes per se, in the elegance of them when beautifully worn. Quink, in reality the author Ben Locker, is the originator of Elegantly Dressed Wednesday and I am delighted to report that his new blog Scorn and Noise features this wonderful meme. EDW was a rudderless ship without Quink. But now it’s to be born again, like hotpants! Even one's beloved Guardian has featured an EDW this week - on retro regency dandy Maloviere. Except they did it on Monday. But that's The Guardian for you.

Vowing to be an active participant now that I no longer care about elegance unless it refers to phrasing or physics, will require some creativity on my part. I am not so far gone I can’t recognise that would be a very good thing. Cynicism and subversion would be inappropriate to the spirit of EDW. The only EDW I’ve previously done was one on Wednesday Addams. You can only get away with that sort of thing once, besides I don’t know of anyone else who’s called Wednesday.

I offer Katherine Hepburn as my first EDW of the new era. It was a toss up between Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor in Giant. The Philadelphia Story and Giant were my two favourite films when I was a kid. This is because they were shown so often on television that I could pretty much recite them word for word.

The scene in Giant where the children discover their playmate turkey has been slaughtered for Thanksgiving relaunches in my brain whenever I see any potential poultry walking around.

Child in Native American feathered headdress pointing at huge cooked turkey,

‘Mommy. Is that Pedro?’

Liz in immaculate blouse,

‘Yes darling.’

Cut to Liz on stairs fielding difficult questions about brutality of man and absent Daddy with three snotty, sobbing children completely unable to penetrate immaculacy of blouse.

It had to be a contender. Maybe another Wednesday.

The term clothes hanger might have been invented for Katherine Hepburn. Despite her weird, wooden face, she did look wonderful in clothes. You noticed the clothes. She was way ahead of her time in that respect. Hepburn had a brilliant ability to send herself up. She was privileged by wealth and didn’t need to earn a living from acting but it must have taken a massive level of skill to exploit that quality successfully. It starts in Stage Door where she plays the superficial whimsy of Terry Randall’s second rate acting against the literal do-or-die aspirations of Kaye Hamilton’s mega-talent. Within a bouquet of organza, Hepburn immortally delivers,

‘The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower - suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day; now I place them here in memory of something that has died.’


Whenever I hear Claire de Lune, I automatically recall Chill Wills explaining to Liz’s politically marginalised Texan rancher wife Lesley Benedict,

‘There’s a little Claire de Lune in all of us.”

She may have been thinking Kill Bill rather than Chill Wills but you wouldn’t have gleaned it from her unruffled Broderie Anglais. I’ve got to do Liz at some point.

All through The Philadelphia Story improbable pretexts are created for Hepburn, as the spoilt rich divorcee Tracy Lord, to wear every conceivable item of themed clothing from nightwear to swimwear to messing with journalists’ heads wear to re-swooning ex-husband wear to wedding gown. It’s not possible to choose a moment when Hepburn doesn’t look like the reason EDW was invented, so this week’s EDW she is.

Out of character as it may be at the moment, I’ve gleefully engaged in another blogventure in a good cause. I’ve joined the search party for Adam – the fictional missing persona of Caroline Smailles’s forthcoming book In Search of Adam. I’d like to say it’s as easy as pissing one’s pants, but the reality is I needed a masterclass from the dauntingly smart Stray who built the widget-thingy that tantalisingly invites you to join the search. Click on the button and follow the instructions to get Stray to help you too.

Finally, since you ask, I draw your attention (again) to the latest Moon Topples Short Story Competition. Maht at Moon Topples is so spectacularly community spirited that one is tempted to rejoin the human race.

I feel the love people. Tonight, I will wear sequins in bed…

Photo of Katherine Hepburn from


Janejill said...

Dear Pants just do it -twinkle twinkle - sorry I ran out of time to read - catch up later x

That's so pants said...

It was a BIG mistake. My face looks like a fairy cake this morning.

Ben Locker said...

Bravo! Hepburn is definitely a much better choice than Taylor. I think I'll have to make a list of EDW enthusiasts on the new blog. In fact, I will do it now...

That's so pants said...

Hi Ben - Welcome back to blogging. A list of EDW enthusiasts - another great idea. Would it be fair to say that I'm an inspiration? I'd like to think so.

GoAwayPlease said...

Tonight, I will wear sequins in bed…

of course you will.

Joan Crawford would have.
I have often thought that some Hollywood costume of past eras has been superior to French Haute couture.

(but I really just popped over to bring to your attention a Gippsland photoblogger atin case you are interested in pretty pictures of Gippsland

That's so pants said...

Cheers Gappie - how very thoughtful.