|India: Happy, getting happier|
Julia Roberts (playing the author Elizabeth Gilbert) embarks for a year in Italy, India and Indonesia with only one large duffle bag–an extended version of my month-long "Express Checkout" wardrobe experiment. Good, I thought, I'll see what she does with it.
Ha! She doesn't wear a single item of what she wore in one location in the next.
Her costume designer (the late Michael Dennison) wanted to show her evolution– from fraught to joyful– by changing her wardrobe her for each phase. Let's track the transition.
2. In Rome, a crisp shirt dress and ladylike sweaters, more femmy than NYC. Losing the black, but still contained.
|Rome: Beginning to lighten up|
|India: Wedding guest's sari|
4. Bali, the last locale: Vibrant and free, costumed in batiks and casual cottons, islandy blues and greens, and–to saunter with Mr. Right in Asia Lite, Javier Bardem– a floaty, sexy dress in peach and taupe tones.
|Bali: Girl, you know I'm in loooove|
To look maximally happy (and possibly enlightened): reach for your colour-drenched shawl or chiffon scarf. Leave highly structured clothes in the closet. Wear dresses that swish, supple cotton or rayon pants rather than jeans. Rich hues– including textured neutrals, but not black– reflect a renewed heart.
I thought of a longtime friend, Laura. After several difficult years, Laura felt hard and cold; "There's a gate on my heart", she told me. She determined to break out of that constricted place.
|Bali: Blissful in batik|
It worked; as her spirit lightened, new ease and love appeared.
Sometimes I see shots of women in the media and flinch; that toughness sneaks up on you, and the camera doesn't help.
"Eat, Pray, Love", light as bamboo wind chimes, provides a pretty travelogue with a bonus, a three-locale lesson in blissed-out dressing.