Fashion of the Times
Monday, February 18, 2019
The Fashion of the Times used to come out twice a year. Starting in high school, it was my bible. I devoured it. I hoarded it. I practically took the ink off the page. I would look at it for EVERYTHING - clothes, colors, shoes, hair, makeup, accessories. Each category received a separate reading and evaluation. Then which looks were my favorites, which I thought would sell (not necessarily the same) and which were bombs. This took days. Then I saved them for reference materials; my own private fashion library. And I can say, I was very, very good at it.
Eventually, I worked in fashion. My obsession served me well. I have my own very specific sense of style. And it has been recognized. I have been blessed to attend pret a porter as a licensee. You cannot begin to imagine my absolute, utter rapture. And even in that lowly capacity, people noticed what I wore and commented weeks later when back in New York.
I have always been definite about what I liked and did not like. Chanel always resonated. I saw an ad this weekend with blue lace pants and had palpitations. I calmed down a bit when I realized I had nowhere to wear anything like that plus it might be a bit jeune fille for me. Isn't it difficult when you see yourself in your mind's eye one way but the mirror holds a different reality? I liked Versace when Gianni was alive, St. Laurent, Ungaro, Vollbracht, Zoran, a little Valentino, tiny bit of Calvin Klein, Max Mara.
What I did not like: Vuitton, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Armani, Ralph Lauren. I detested Lauren and thought it wannabe and derivative. ( I did say I have/had definite views.) I interviewed once at Lauren and the manager told me I was a classic American beauty. NOT!! And #Metoo. I knew what was up with that gig. I worked for Izod-Lacoste which to me was like nails grating on a blackboard. In my last fashion gig, decades ago, I was told to copy The Gap! Seriously? Seriously. It contributed to the demise of my fashion career.
And a favorite memory from that fashion time, before I had the job that let me go to pret a porter. I was out of work as happens often in the garment industry. I had a temporary job through a connection as basically a messenger and dogsbody for a prominent jewelry designer. I had to deliver some jewelry to Adolfo. Going up in the lift (and of course, at Adolfo, it was a lift and not an elevator) a gentleman said to me. "My dear, you are much too young to be dressed by Adolfo."
I have noticed in the last year or so that I actually like the full page Ralph Lauren ads in the Sunday Styles. I have wondered whether this is due to age, new designer or both?
One of the things that has really bothered me about my condition is my inability to wear what I want to wear. It's how I express myself. I no longer go to work so for the most part those lovely dresses and suits just hang. I can no longer wear the right shoes either. My shoes destroy the line and with it some of the joy. What's ironic is that I am finally thin enough to wear some of the looks I've wanted.
Life changes. It's no longer Fashion of the Times but T. I receive my Sunday supplement on Saturday. In the past, that would have been my Saturday and Sunday. I just opened it this morning. I am still at the beginning. Surprise - I loved the Vuitton; I loved the Gucci; I detested the Max Mara? What's going on? Is it age? Some of it. A new designer? Definitely. So, here's the other issue - I love the Vuitton but it's for the young Versace, Ungaro me. The things I like are too young for me. Well, maybe not the Gucci which appears Chanelesque. More troubling is why I still haven't finishing devouring it. And if I remember correctly, I only tore one page out of the last issue. What's going on? If I have left fashion behind, does that mean as a senior citizen I am finally leaving my youth behind? I don't think this is right. Women much older than me, revel in fashion. Age ain't what it used to be. Is it depression? I guess so. Isn't it said, what happens when a tree falls in a forest when there's no one there? Is the joy gone because no one will see me? Or, that I can no longer afford it? Disclaimer - I have only worn knock offs with the exception of two Emanuelle Khanhs and a Vollbracht. Hair and shoes no longer apply. Something to ponder as I go back to my magazine.