square-awake-patchwork-dress-1

Come, Cross the Rubicon with Me

 
To cross the Rubicon is to take a bold, intentional step from which there is no turning back.
 
Mother, Desh: Look away! You won’t be able to unsee what follows.
 
Everyone else, settle in and feast your eyes.

 
 
I give you: The Pieced Wonder, a truly avant-garde dress of parts.
 
I previewed this dress a couple of weeks ago. I had purchased it, decided it was too tight (it was a size too small) and too weird, returned it, and then reclaimed it a week later . . . in a larger size.
I said I might

Deferred and reclaimed

Take it all in

This is my gift to the city of Washington, D.C.

 
 
The dress required a little alteration (it needed to be taken in along the longer shoulder seam and sleeve to tighten the fit of the bodice), so I brought it to my trusted seamstress and tailor at Bespoke Tailoring.
 
When I emerged from the dressing room wearing it, both of them looked stunned and then laughed with delight.
 
I think it was delight.
 
I announced, and Fatima agreed, that Washington D.C. needs this dress.

 
 
You Look Fab published a post on styles that transcend trends — modern classic, retro, and avant-garde — which I, a person who prizes longevity, found very interesting. According to YLF, avant-garde clothing has a timeless quality — it never goes out of style because it’s never exactly in style. It remains innovative and experimental.
 
This makes perfect sense when you consider other art like, for example, the enduring, eternal modernity of The Rite of Spring. Looks (choreography) and sounds (score) as fresh today as it did in 1913.
Need to show; sister wife

Is this too long? Sister-wife?

 
If ever there were a need for Directrice360™.
 
Twirl, Directrice, twirl.
 
Don’t forget to spot.
up close

Do you think they’ll give me a key to the city in recognition of this extraordinary contribution to civic life?

spin

If lack of discipline

rotating

and a fondness for sweets had not doomed my chances at dancing professionally

very slow

the fact that I was never good at spotting would have settled the matter

 
Let’s zoom in for the details.
 
This close fitting neckline zips up the back.
closer

Echoes of cheongsam, which is such a flattering style

 
 
The apron ties meet over my right hip. I tried to tie them in a tidy bow. Does it look weird?
bow

Yes, Directice, it’s the bow that’s weird; everything else is perfectly normal


really

With a pocket this big, I may not need a bag; wallet, reading glasses, sunglasses, tissues, phone, Kindle, tape measure, deck of cards, tourniquet, drinking straws — it all fits

 
 
So, what to wear with a dress such as this?
 
No jewelry is needed.
The shoes and bag should be stylized (but not caricatures) and keep things light and playful.
 
Fortunately, I have a white patent leather bag! And my new camel sandals . . . which are rapidly establishing themselves as indispensable.

 
I’d forgotten about this beautiful bag.
Don’t ask me how.
what else

Glossy bag looks good enough to eat


 
This dress is, unquestionably, the most advanced thing I’ve ever put on. It represents the public expression of an outer-limit (for the time being) of my style, but not a permanent change. I can’t dress like this every day. I don’t even want to. My plan is to criss-cross the Rubicon.

Dress: A.W.A.K.E. Contrast-panel Ruched-side Dress from MatchesFashion.com; Bag: Ferragamo; Shoes: Giuliana Sandals from Sundance

25 thoughts on “Come, Cross the Rubicon with Me

  1. That is the coolest dress I have ever seen. I would wear it without the “apron” but it looks wonderful on you. Accessories are perfect. Good job.

  2. Bravo! Regarding the fit: Perfection upstairs but perhaps it could be a tad shorter? Promptly went to Matches site, visual on model confirmed that impression. Is shortening a possibility?
    I am lusting after the flowery beige A.W.A.K.E trench coat on the Matches site. Patterned trench coat, hmmm, what about longevity here. Any thoughts from the directional Directrice?

    • Hello AV — I think that trench is beautiful. The cut is absolutely classic (even the exaggerated part of the lapel) and the scattered floral doesn’t seem trendy to me. It’s just distinctive. So as long as you think you will not get tired of the floral, I think the longevity will be long. I would only add that this trench will look best with solids and perhaps subtle stripes. If your wardrobe leans more toward graphic prints, it might not be the best choice. But I love it!

  3. At the first photo, I wasn’t sure. At the third photo, I was thinking, “what if the apron were a more palatable color like white.” By the last photo I got it, the military-uniform colored apron makes it. And now I love it!! Tell us, how did Washington DC receive the pieced wonder?

      • I will let you know once the dress has spent a full day out and about! I wore it last weekend in my own neighborhood (in part for picture-taking) and no one said anything . . . unlike the time I wore my awesome knitted double-pompom hat (i.e., winter mouse ears), when everyone had something to say.

    • Pieced Wonder is a much better name than Pieced Creature — note that I have changed it above. The Pieced Wonder has only been worn once so far, in my own neighborhood last weekend (in part for picture taking), but I’ll probably wear it downtown (which involves Metro) in the next few week weeks . . . perhaps we will go to a museum together!

      • How thrilling, my is going to DC next week for work. I will let him know to be on the lookout for the Pieced Wonder in the metro. We are both admirers of The Directrice!

  4. Because it is you wearing it, I like it. Bravo for the fearless art lover that you are. Your style is adept at taking under its wing some that would be lost on a lesser person. Your pretty look and gravitas make it a splendid piece. Kate

  5. This is completely fabulous on you! Brava for taking a risk on an avant-garde choice – big win! I don’t even like dresses but this is, like someone above said, one of the coolest dresses ever.

    Love your writing, BTW. Only found the blog in the past week but am already a fan.

  6. I love it all! It reminds me of a kimono. You’ll have to head to Tokyo with this ensemble. It is very beautiful! Bravo to the brave.

  7. Girl, it is totally bizarre but I love it, not least because it makes you look really TALL! So happy that your mother likes it. Waiting to hear Desh’s reaction, but how could she object?? She is an ARTIST, after all!

  8. I love it! The Directrice has become a fashion icon! I love how you embrace the avant garde. You’re right: the avant garde is timeless. You’ve inspired me to find some of my own avant garde pieces in my closet (I favored Miyake, among others) and start wearing them again, now that I’ve left beach/canyon country and live in a city once more. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I love this dress! In my opinion DC is much too conservative in its fashion for such a large and bustling city. You are raising the bar.

  10. This is really wonderful! How did I miss this post?
    This seems as good a time as any to say that usually I cannot access your blog. It does not seem to be a problem with my internet or ipad – I get a message that your server is taking too long to respond, whilst every other site I try opens without trouble.
    So once every few weeks it works and then I gorge on all the posts I’ve missed.

But what do you think?