We Begin Anew

Another New Year! Another fresh start!

I bought this dress several months ago and lost track of what season it belongs to. You probably cannot see this in the accompanying photo, but it’s a sleeveless dress. I am wearing a turtleneck under it.
full lenght front

Not yet fully revealed unto you

action shot

An action shot

A little sleuthing informs that this dress was SS2017, which seems questionable to me. The dress is sleeveless and unlined, but the fabric has a certain weight to it and is described as “satin.” I have decided it’s a cool weather dress if layered appropriately.

The first time I wore this dress, I paired it with a whisper-weight cotton turtleneck (black,
bien sur) and riding boots. And it was all wrong.
The combination of tall boots with the midi-length — which I admit is a challenging length — was too visually dark and unvaried. So, I swapped the boots for low, block heels and the cotton turtleneck for a lightweight merino wool turtleneck . . . and it was better, but still lacking something.
Under such circumstances, one should always try a belt.
more side

A belt! If you took away nothing else from the Obama Administration, you should have at least learned that

This belt is a little loose. If it were an inch tighter, it would be perfect. But this is the belt I have. Beggars can’t be choosers.
3/4 self-satisfied look

For those wondering why I haven’t pulled out the kick-ass belt: I think it would be too much belt with this dress

While fiddling with his settings, The Photographer captured a range of personalities.





Laughing Allegra



I’ve moved into better light so that you can see the interesting fabric of this dress.
It’s very mod, isn’t it?
Pulling at my turtleneck

Pulling at my turtleneck

Standing like a lady

Standing like a lady

Sharing the back of the dress

Sharing the back of the dress where exaggerated ruching is most apparent

Come closer to see the details.
The product description described this as ruching, but I think it looks more like origami folding. Regardless, it’s an interesting detail.
detailes ruching

Headless, ruched

And the slightly too big belt. Because the belt closes with snaps rather than a buckle, I don’t think it can be made smaller — even if I could find the right type of snap receptacle, where would I find the hydraulic equipment needed to punch the receptacle into place.* But perhaps this is a matter to take up with Fatima.

Fixed belt

Please feel free to share your New Year’s resolutions. Despite numerous ways in which I know I could improve myself, I haven’t made a resolution yet. Remember: The key is finding something that will bring you some appreciable happiness or satisfaction, but not take a lot of time or effort.

Dress: Isabel Marant Ravenax V-neck Satin Dress; Turtleneck: JCrew; Shoes: Tory Burch; Belt: Mauro Griffoni

* Where? WhERe? At Expert Shoe and Luggage Repair on Northampton Street. Foolish, foolish Directrice.

8 thoughts on “We Begin Anew

  1. A very chic dress and what a terrific fit ! Looking forward to seeing it in warmer weather without the underpinning.

    I haven’t made any resolutions either. But I will be in Beijing for work next week, a conference I attend annually, during which I typically try to stay indoors the whole time. This year, I decided I wouldn’t cower inside and instead have booked myself a hike on the Great Wall, to which I’ve never been (embarrassed about this). To do things properly, I’ve opted for an unrestored ‘wild’ stretch of wall, rather than the popular heavily-restored bit with cable cars up and toboggans down.

    Fingers crossed now for ice-free and not too windy.

  2. My New Year’s resolution takes NO time or effort, yet it is apparently impossible for me to achieve, as I’ve had the same one for years now: Stay in my lane.


    So, I love the origami folding of the bodice of this dress. It’s kind of how I imagine my perfect bra, when I mentally create it of stretchy, ace bandage-like fabric, folded and pleated to the form of a mannequin. I can design the bra, but I can’t figure out how to create the fastening. More roadblocks!

  3. Okay, I like Bette’s comment. I ,too, have trouble “staying in my lane,” at least how I interpret Bette’s meaning.

    I’m going to go with a style resolution here: I resolve to fork over the money to get a couple of those statement pieces slash basics that I always talk myself out of. Right now, I am regretting a cool, classic-but-with-a-twist velvet jacket I passed up just last week. I didn’t feel the burning love for it in the store, so I waited. Then I got sick (a cold, nothing serious), and by the time I realized it would be foolish not to get it, it was gone. And I don’t even know the label, so I can’t sleuth for it online.

  4. Happy New Year, Ms. Directrice!
    I love this belt – the mini zipper and mismatched snaps are wonderful eye-catching details!
    My resolves for 2018 are oft stated ones…….live with renewed HOPE and demonstrate more GRATITUDE!
    And so as your title indicates ‘We Begin Anew’!

  5. Really, really like this outfit that looks so elegant, timeless, and yes, even effortless on you. Love the belt despite your worries. That whole outfit is a keeper. For all seasons. My new year needs also to include more gratitude and paying it forward. Being more , as the young people say, present and mindful. Onward and upward…. Happy New Year! Xo

  6. Happy New Year to the Directrice! Thank you for this blog, I am a faithful reader but tardy commenter.
    Resolutions: Still percolating, but after too many rounds of antibiotics in 2017, probably to focus on my health.

  7. You’re probably right about not bringing out your other “kick-ass” belt, but what about a thin one? or a metal one?

    The dress is smokin’ – love it.

  8. My main resolution? Go to bed at 8:30 pm (I find 8 hours of sleep much more restful starting at 8:30 than 10 pm). So far this has enabled many good things, getting to the office early and writing before things get busy, having more energy at the end of the day, being more cheerful. My other resolutions? Always use dish gloves and buy a kickass belt!

But what do you think?