Sometimes the difference between fantasy and reality is the difference between a Gucci designed duvet and a lumpy mattress. The cosmetics can be eye-popping but it won’t result in a good night’s sleep.
Sitting down to thumb through the latest edition of Town & Country, I opened to a page with an idyllic scene. A beautiful young woman and a handsome young man were sitting together in the countryside on warm summer day. A picnic hamper perched beside them. A bottle of white wine sweated in the ice bucket nearby. Pure romance, I thought.
But was it as romantic as it seemed? Frankly, the grass looked dry and the ground beneath it hard as concrete. If the shoot had carried on for long, even those two youngsters, seated in their twisted poses, probably heard their bones creak when they attempted to stand.
I know. I know. Who doesn’t love a picnic? We all look for a secluded spot, preferably with a view, then spread a blanket and anchor it with food. Of course, by the time the paper plates get passed around, flies are making kamikaze dives into the fruit salad, and the wind is transforming potato chips into butterflies. This is Puck’s world where fantasy merges with uncomfortable reality.
High fashion strikes me as much the same. What looks dramatic on a hollow-cheeked model appears as bread wrapping on me. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal, so I’m prone to linger over designer illustrations. One dress ensemble impressed me with its deep organza collar, stiff as a medieval ruff and high enough to threatened the model’s lower eyelids. How she was to eat was the question. Probably, she didn’t, which is why I’d guess her dress size was a minus zero.
We all know high fashion has nothing to do with changing a baby’s diaper or scrubbing an encrusted stew pot. Which explains why I prize those who can translate those fantasies into something wearable. Coco Channel was such an artist. So is Diane Furstenberg. Her jersey wrap dress endures because it respects a woman’s need to move as well as pose.
Though I’m addicted to high fashion, finding it chic, fanciful and sometimes whimsical, for everyday life, give me Channel or Furstenberg designs. Better yet, give me a pair of Brook Brother’s men’s pajamas.