Monday, November 15, 2010

Blushing letters: Workhorses and Bad Girls


I need the workhorse dress for the season. Will you show me?

Much love,



So many workhorses for so many women; with luck yours is in here. If it is the last, I will toast you tonight.

Wishing you great parties!


Narciso Rodriguez

Disclaimer: The dress that follows has no business being here. It is no workhorse.

It took me a second to process it on paper because it was at once so fearlessly right and so categorically wrong: The softest black lamb skins tanned to be millimeters thin and trained into feminine movement grabbed me. Then so did the obvious presence of the closet renegade in the studio. That designer who took the country-club party dress notion and slapped it square across the face; Riotously cranking up all that baby soft leather in blackest-black, laser cutting it to shreds, and (sometime long after over-driving the fifth gear of childhood madras dress resentment) stitched it all up into something haltingly feminine but overtly bad girl.

(Note to the closet renegade: That must've felt good, huh? 'Cuz: damn.)

It is that last part which, when this dress steps into the predictably Tory Burch/ Nanette Lepore clad party it is headed to, will tip the balance between got-a-nice-dress and this-girl-needs-no-introductions. If a dress could be a good girl gone bad and come (tenuously at best) back, all the while fearlessly owning up to her scars and tendencies, this is her.

The girl in this dress prefers you not labor under misconceptions. At the split second her chin rose when the zipper reached the top of this dress, and she wiggled her hips gently to set the seams on her curves, she defined herself with perfect clarity.

While it may be no workhorse, the juxtaposition it declares for the woman in the dress is the unavoidable workhorse in her character - the "And Model of Identity" as it were - as coined unforgettably on these pages by LPC (right here). The girl in this dress came from conservative turf but she has taken it on the chin a couple of times. She has definitive texture and not just in her dress. She's packing an unburied hatchet in all that soft skin. Proceed with caution.

She can come sit next to me.


LPC said...

Thank you Catherine. You and I will tell her all our secrets. Workhorse dresses are like workhorse mothers, not always appreciated, and not often understood to be quite sexy.

pretty pink tulips said...

That Andy and Deb dress is calling my name. When I look in my closet what I mainly see are black dressed. And every now and then I have to rebel against that and get some color!

Karen said...

Love all the dresses, but love love love the last as well as your always welcome commentary!

ADG said...

Workhorses and Bad Girls...there's a place for both no?

Will said...

Beautifully written...

Karena said...

Catherine, love these models and dresses. Where are you? Miss your postings!

Remember to enter my $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!

Art by Karena