Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Little Romance: Dior, Riding Boots and A Little Lace, Netting, Feathers and Black Roses

I read one of those Book Of Rules which makes one itch to be on the Don't Do This pages. There were rather strict warnings about one's hair style being very dating; actually there were pages and pages of things not to do. Having the same hairstyle for your whole life was a Don't and yet when I reluctantly went from what I thought was dull and tired (straight one length hair with bangs, shoulder length most of the time with an occasional - mistake, mistake - chic shorter bob) to some kind of beach-bed-bad hair, I didn't really look like me in the mirror. There was even a rule on having a wardrobe of fragrances. I reluctantly (this is a theme, isn't it) added Opium and Chanel's Coco and alternated between my beloved Shalimar and the other two, winding up with little red itchy things on my wrists - which had never happened with my Shalimar. There was a dire warning about not wearing, quelle horror, skirts above the knee if one was past their early twenties. Of course there was a picture in Vogue shortly thereafter of Lauren Hutton wearing a mid-thigh simple Zoran dress. Everyone else in their middling skirt lengths looked tired and dull. I think it's as contrary to still be in love with a sort of reckless romantic beauty that is as rooted in Edwardian riding habits, those old-time side saddle days, as it is in the impossibly cool girls that Helmut Newton might have posed in their jodphurs and a silk poets blouse, maybe leaning against a Ducati with one leg thrown over the handlebars (is that what they're called?) or with a few wild looking black stallions in the background, implied danger for sure.

Versace sexified that look early on, and did it modern and money; a look even the refined Milanese ladies could wear for a meal at the venerable Bice. But in the ways that I love sleeping on a few feather beds which is certainly old-fashioned, Princess and the Pea stuff, I love John Galliano who brings his evocative beauty and whimsy along with luxury to his collections. His equine mood carried over from Spring into Fall. These would possibly be a big fat NO in some equally dry, stringent book of rules; I think it's because beauty intimidates and maybe it is easier to accept the cliches - low cut dresses and Armani-ish suits and stilettos.

Which brings me to the point of this. The equine influence here in John Galliano's Dior picture, the classic riding boot - stiff, indestructible, comfort is not the thing: this one is an all weather boot, details here, that retails for, blush, less than 90.00. The next boot takes my breath away, and managed to sell out at Barney's. It's a Fiorentini & Baker, insanely well made and comfortable and, I think, perfect. The two hats are from Romance Remembered (link here).

I think jodphurs or riding breeches are absolutely necessary and that the real thing is the right thing. Equestrian shops carry several styles, leather trim on the seat or inner thighs as you like, and it's essential to try them on - and they tend to be under 300.00. The poet's blouses and riding jackets ... well, there are many possibilities. A very Hermes and Ralph Lauren kind of thing, but also very vintage. Tight jackets in gabardine and tweeds from the thirties and forties would be a nice touch, I think.

There was a story about a very fancy restaurant on the Sunset Strip having a dress code even into the late '60's. Ladies could not wear trousers and gentlemen were handed a sports coat or a tie if they came without. A very chic lady wearing a Halston long tight tunic sweater over matching knit trousers was told of the dress code as she waited for her table.  She smiled and simply removed the trousers.

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