Friday, April 1, 2011

Do your CLOTHES tell a STORY?

If the outfit you are wearing right now were to tell a story, what would it say?

I have often thought about this, as people have commented on different outfits and/or pieces of my wardrobe....what do I say each day with what I wear? Do I want to say something? Does it have to say something about how I feel or who I am as a person? Such an interesting idea to think about...

This is also one of the questions at the end of a fabulous book I just read, The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean. My sister passed it on to me while on vacation, and I finished it in one day! It was a fun and interesting read--keeping my attention from the first page right up until the last. I definitely recommend it! Here's a short synopsis:

Dora has always taken the path of least resistance. She went to the college that offered her a scholarship, is majoring in "vagueness studies," and wears whatever shows the least dirt. She falls into a job at the college coffee shop, and a crush on her flirty boss, Gary. Just when she's about to test Gary's feelings, Mimi, the grandmother who raised her, suffers a stroke. Dora rushes back home to Forsyth, NC, and finds herself running her grandmother's vintage clothing store. The store has always been a fixture in Dora's life; though she grew up more of a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of girl, before she even knew how to write, Mimi taught her that a vintage 1920s dress could lift a woman's spirit. Surrounded by regal gowns, sexy sheaths, and Jackie-esque suits from decades gone by, Dora makes a curious discovery: Mimi had been secretly writing down and giving away stories about the dresses in her shop.

Erin wrote this book after she had been writing stories about dresses within her blog, A Dress A Day.
In an interview she gave, she explains,
The idea at the beginning was to come up with a coherent narrative that would link the Secret Lives of Dresses stories from the blog (which tell a story from the perspective of, what else, a dress). But as I worked on the narrative it went from being just an excuse to string a bunch of stories together to being a story in its own right. Voila: novel.

Her Secret Lives of Dresses stories within her blog are SO fun to read.....and SO clever!

This just completely got me excited about owning a clothing store/boutique again! LOVED IT!!! I would LOVE to own any kind of boutique....a vintage shop, a unique local women's boutique, or even a shoe store--but adding that twist, that every (or at least most) of the items in it came with it's own "story" is completely FABULOUS!

I also found a few other books, about dresses with stories, Dreaming of Dior and Dreaming of Chanel by Charlotte Smith. The blog, Dreaming of Dior, has more info about the history behind the writing of the book, but here's a little bit about the first one:

Dreaming of Dior, a new book published by Harper Collins, traces the fashion adventures of author Charlotte Smith who inherited the amazing Darnell Collection from her godmother, Doris Darnell. The 5000 pieces in the collection, dating from 1790 to 1995, have all had adventures of their own, some poignant, some inspiring, but all fascinating with each dress telling a story of its owner's life. The stunning illustrations of Grant Cowan brings the stories to life in a book that is both beautiful and informative.

There are so many books out there about fashion, just as we wrote about Nina Garcia's "what to wear" books in our what? post. There is anything & everything out there about fashion & style....from style guides to picture books, and they are all fun to read, even if you have just a small interest in fashion.

They may even inspire you to write your own, or at least think about what you wear and what is says about you....
what story are you telling when you walk out the door?

Some dresses are worn by only one person,
and so that’s the kind of person they like.

-The Secret Lives of Dresses, Erin McKean

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