I do not read gossip magazines, not even at the supermarket check-out; I don’t visit gossip websites. I go through life completely uncaring and unaware of how many children Brangelina have or who Madonna is shacking up with. Sort of. When I feel I have lost complete touch with the gossip world, I take a plunge in the Daily Mail UK website . Whoever built it is an utter genius. The site is constructed as a gigantic Russian doll – one little square leads you to want to open another, in an endless succession of pointless pictures and, before I know it, twenty minutes will have gone by looking at mainly harmless shots of celebrities known and unknown. Which is how I came to see the Duchess of Kent wearing a beautiful cream-colored Alexander Mc Queen outfit that I thought would look lovely on me too (minus the hat and paired with different shoes). Which got me thinking that the chances of me ever owning that dress, or any high couture outfit for that matter, were next to zero.
In my 20s I promised myself that, if I ever made a lot of money, I would reward myself with a real Chanel two-piece suit. I graduated to the knock-off but never to the real thing. If I had to express the same wish today, I think it would be an Alexander McQueen – a mix of elegance, extravagance and superb cut and fabrics.
I envision the perfection of a couture piece, made just to suit my body, to do for me what other women think of Botox or surgical enhancements will do for them: it will make me look beautiful, it will give me that confidence we spend years trying to build – I know, a bit of an idiotic notion that something so intangible could come with a dress. But I dream on. And isn’t it what couture is anyway? A dream?
In real life, even given the financial resources, I would probably donate the money to eradicate world hunger, or malaria. Or something. Which is why I treasure my dream even more, in the knowledge it’s highly unlikely it will come true, unless Sarah Burton is reading this and happens to be in a charitable mood (in which case, Sarah, I would be more than happy to send you photos and measurements).
Sofagirl made the point that high fashion is a form of art, not destined to be worn as it is styled in Vogue or on a runway, and I couldn’t agree more. We connect to clothes the same way we connect to most art forms: we either appreciate the expression of beauty or we see a facet of ourselves reflected back. I find it rewarding to see a trait of my personality in an outfit somebody I don’t even know designed for an imaginary woman.
What are clothes if not the easiest form of self-expression and creativity anyway? And if you happen to know Sarah, feel free to forward this.