Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ah, goslings, again I've gotten behind on everything: periodicals, scandals, health care reform, correspondence of all kinds. I haven't even been shopping with my usual elan. Akhenaten, my young Egyptian lover, fears for my health, considering this current lassitude. If I had my druthers I'd curl up in a silken cocoon that was edible (tasting like rose-infused Turkish Delight, or mashed potatoes, depending on my mood) and there I'd snooze like a pupa, occasionally awakening to nibble, until spring. Or at this until that holiday is over. The one that starts with an X. I can never remember what it's called. I can summon sufficient enthusiasm only to practice the banjolele and watch silent Greta Garbo flicks. And of course my favorite winter sport which is drinking hot cocoa. Maude help me, I've already got the winter blahs already.

And my over stuffed closet has been put on a starvation diet, so I haven't been eyeing the racks much. I'm keeping myself off ebay, and staying away from my usual haunts. But as I am always on the lookout for Egyptian kitsch, and couldn't resist this Cleopatra Play Suit. It's an original uncut sack dress on sale by Etsy seller Stellaranae. And it is a rare one indeed. I positively salivated when I saw it. The text alone is priceless, and the muted colors create an ancient Egyptian tableaux. The truncated limerick absolutely slays me. I want it engraved in gold on my closet doors. Too often I face my enormous wardrobe and see nothing to wear and would like a queenly response such as this. One could say the text goes too far, that there is no need to proclaim that this is a Cleopatra PlaySuit, but it is precisely that self-reflexivity that makes it so charming. Now the mask and asps are genius. I imagine coming up with some way to turn the asps into a hand bag and the mask into sunglasses (magically, of course). I love that it is printed with a trompe l'oeil faïence collar, and that the pyramids appear to be sporting TV antennae. Come in closer to see that the sphinx on the bottom is having her coiffure tended to with an enormous can of hairspray. And just when I think I couldn't love it any more, it declares itself a play suit. Putty, I tell you, I am putty in the hands of this sack dress.

I would be sorely tempted to wear this. Not just on those "Nothing To Wear"/Comb Down My Hair days, but everyday and all the time. I'd like an army of these dresses, some lined so they could be worn with tights and a turtleneck underneath for winter. An extra few for pajamas, even. But in this case, truly, I think the best use of this uncut sack dress is to be framed. To be contemplated upon getting dressed every morning.

But wait, there's more: Stellaranae has another, just as charming.

I'd be an old bag in a sack in this one for sure. Go check this one out. More unabashedly Pop Art, I love the proscription: Trim with Ermine for Formal Wear. I would love to have a sack that could be dressed up for evening and down for day and even has instructions for doing so. I like how the text here is repetitive and slightly off, as if poorly translated. I like the broadsheet style, evocative of the printing of advertisements in the early 1900s. And I do think there are days when I should be wearing a frock that says: Handle With Care.

Again, I'd be tempted to cut and wear this one, but agree that it would be best preserved uncut and unworn.

I feel like there must have been others in a series. Cotton sack dresses for all moods and means. What could they have been? Other historical figures (Catherine de Medici? Boadicea? Lady Godiva? Judith beheading Holofernes? Are those too obvious? What would a Joan of Arc Play Suit look like? Would Catherine de Medici come with poison?) What other feelings could be channeled? Was there a Fight the Power dress?

I love the idea of a personal uniform. As with the work of artist Andrea Zittel. But I don't have one myself and often have to re-invent the wheel each morning. With the cold snap I've taken to wearing Whiplash Sweaters, you know, the sort of light colored turtle necks that look like neck braces, with loud shirts and boots.

What are you wearing these days? Is it your ideal uniform? What would your equivalent of the Cleopatra Play Suit be?

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