Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ah youth!

American Apparel Double U dress, $36; Sergio Rossi slingbacks, $225; the confidence to stop traffic, priceless.

Le Duc mentioned this photo appreciatively... no kidding.
(Click on photo for full va-voom.)

I'm not sure, even in my days as a young thing, I'd have had the courage to go this red, this tight.


Do I ever look remotely like this?

Did you?

I have to cast my mind waaaay back. Plunging necklines, micro skirts, stilettos, I do recall.
I feel wistful. Days gone by!

Did you display your assets, or were you shy, modest... or scolded "Where are you going like that?"

In college, I lived for awhile in a sorority house, and the memory of 40 or so young women preparing to go out, the air filled with perfume, girls flying about, trading clothes, doing hair, that electric intersection of anticipation and excitement, is a fond memory. The casual beauty, the unforced glamour of youth.

I know women who are mired in mourning for their lost effect. What is the point? I'd love to be able to carry off this dress, but know (and most of the time accept) that the natural arc of life has removed that possibility.

Let's have a moment of appreciation for our bodies, whether voluptuous or lean
, smooth or lined, soft or firm. What we were, and on our journey, what we have become.


Photo: The Sartorialist blog

9 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Ah, I needed to read this today. I once had a wonderful exchange with the late Maya's Granny about how at some point we realize (though acceptance comes harder) that no matter how much we dye, diet, paint, we will never be the pretty girl in the room again. We missed our opportunity to have that moment (through insecurity mostly), and it will not come again.

I was always so self-conscious about my body, I rarely wore anything that overtly attention-getting. But of course, with the omniscience of hindsight, I realize that just being young was attraction enough. Youth is wasted on the young, indeed!

Anjela said...

I was modest. I recall I was.I did have one amazing vibrant blue knit dress- it had lace sleeves and a slinky body. It was the dress I wore in Italy-the day I got pinched on the bottom. I was on the center line of the road. Traffic stopping to allow me to cross- a man- handsome, gorgeous very Armani type....unstructured suit- much older than my 20 something years was beside me- to guide me-he pinched me! The good old days. An initiation. Before PC.

I thought people would wake up one day and throw me off the catwalk, thinking I was an intruder. Even if that sounds like a contradiction in being a model.

I was probably the least likely to go out on Friday night. Preferring to be alone (with my Hunters....of course)
I was totally anti social. I still am.
I wore wide legged pants and skinny blouses with huge sleeves. I wore hot pants and over the knee white boots and hair long and cascading or worn in a chignon.

I don't think for a moment I knew how I looked. Hell, if only I had known I would have accepted gifts given- married the good providers. But I lived on fresh air and love. I would have amassed fortunes. Ah but no, not me. I was idealistic. I could have married 'Richard Rich' (I could have been a contender)instead of rescuing men like pound puppies who painted in attics and lived on bread and sometimes chocolate. And taught me things I only dreamt about in catholic boarding school.

But I like how I look now. I suppose I can appreciate it more-
I don't think about it when I am in America. I do think about it when I go home. A bit:)And besides I have integrity (whatever that is)

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I needed that today.

Anonymous said...

opxluA l'occasion et seulement à l'occasion je jete un regard vers hier et je me sens un peu triste mais aujourd'hui je préfère de beaucoup jeter mon regard vers demain avec une confiance et une sérénité qui ne m'sont venues que tard dans ma vie.Finis les malaises et les insécurités de la jeune fille trop évertuée.


Orane

Anjela said...

Duchesse,
The dress is probably just a symbol- siren red for danger and all its subtle undertones to a man may be a promise of something- as projection not unlike the red sports car- a promise of skirting the curves- going around bends- of survival- I can see you in THAT red dress-you could make it yours ...maybe in a modified hood down, 120 horse power version.Hah hah I mean that! You'd look amazing- and from reading yuor blog I also know you could carry it off in a sensual and very elegant way..Hope you don't mind my saying that....

Duchesse said...

Anjela, to carry any red dress I'd need extremely forgiving draping and very serious shapewear. In my day, I was more the leather jeans (no pleats!)/silk cowboy shirt/Larry Mahan sapphire blue boots type. The one red dress I recall owning was a Kenzo soft wool shift, very mod.

cybill said...

I could never wear anything that tight when I was young, even if I had that figure I don't think I would have. I don't like to share that much 'information' with strangers. She sure is an amazing specimen though, isn't she?

materfamilias said...

I've never felt confident about my body, convinced from adolescence on that my breasts were too small (a conviction inherited from my mother, who's very tiny). But I did occasionally recognize and tap into "the power of the legs" and eventually even learned that a fit body could be attractive no matter what size the bustline. I remember especially hot pants with opaque coloured tights and oxfords or platform pumps with heels (I had a fabulous purple pair of hot pants with a two-tone (mauve-and-purple) midi-shirt-dress (unbuttoned from waist down to show off the pants, of course). That was a moment in the sun!
And in our late 30s, my gf and I coincidentally each bought one of those lycra "bandaid" dresses, altho' by then, with little ones to shepherd, we were as likely to be wearing them with Birkenstocks. And they weren't red.
Even now, I try to find ways to keep the "sexy" in my dress, but it's in much more subtle -- and, admittedly, careful -- ways.
A great, thought-provoking post -- You've got me still thinking as I leave your comments site -- have a good weekend, my friend!

WendyB said...

I did go through my period of wearing short and tight...