A Return to Gingham Style

I’ve long been a fan of gingham fabric. Aren’t most girls, if they read the Little House books?

A periodic serving of gingham is so refreshing.
But the gingham in the top you are seeing today was incidental to a larger imperative.
An imperative realized

Even I must occasionally yield to the aphorism discretion is the better part of valor
While sifting through the Barney’s end-of-year sale after Christmas, I happened upon a garish, but irresistible dress made of sunflower gold lace, denim, and purple/indigo gingham. It pulled me in, but I declined to buy it because I could not envision a way to make it wearable.*
Instead, I looked for other things by the designer, CF Goldman.

How had I not known of CF Goldman until December 2018? Think of all the time lost.
The label is defined by layering, emphatic shapes, bustiers. Doesn’t it seem as though I could be CF Goldman’s muse?
Yes, Directrice, you could be

Here, it seems important to tell you something.
This top was not actually a top when I saw it. It was a ballgown. Full length, with a dramatic skirt. But it was marked down 85%, which made it the price of a top.
Making the front a little shorter than the back was my idea, but bringing the back to an asymmetrical point was Fatima’s inspiration. I brought the dress to her and she snip, snip, snipped the skirt off while I was changing. She is fearless.
See the point over my right leg?

What is this thing? These things?
Perhaps you are saying aloud, “Directrice, tell me what I’m seeing.”
I am wearing a tissue-weight cotton turtleneck under the top.
The black ballgown tank is made of a luxurious silk-wool blend. It has the most beautiful, sculptural hand and a light sheen. The tank is very full and is cinched by a flannel, gingham corset.
The pants you know and love: my stowaway stripe cropped wool trousers that you’ve seen here and here and here.

CF Goldman shows these corsets done up and partially undone — a look that I told The Photographer made me think Blowsy Milkmaid.
Blowsy indeed; one hook undone
The back is completely respectable

Top: CF Goldman; Turtleneck: JCrew tissue tee; Pants: JCrew; Shoes: Taryn Rose; Bag: Barbara Bui
Dubious Directrice contemplating life as Blowsy Milkmaid

* This is the gold/denim/purple dress. I couldn’t wear something under the dress because of the lace. I thought about buying two of the same dress and having Fatima meld them into one dress . . . and then closed my laptop.
The dress that set the wheels in motion; cute, right?
You see my problem?
But I took one look at this and said: Business Casual!

A final tip! You may want to check out these JCrew dresses.
Tie-waist Shirtdress in Stripe; this shirtdress is beautifully designed — very like a more expensive one by Rejina Pyo; it also could be turned into a Big Tent with only a little tailoring
Tie-front Dress in Mini-Houndstooth; this dress looks like one I showed a few years ago . . . but truly knee-length

12 thoughts on “A Return to Gingham Style”

  1. I like restyled fashion myself and purposefully make things over only to fall in love again with something interesting I own or want to enjoy anew. Bravo!

    • I thought about asking her to make a full skirt for me and then realized that I didn’t really have a need for one and that it would take about 6 inches (horizontal) in my closet to store it properly. So I left the fabric with Fatima to use as she chooses (or not). The fabric really is beautiful.

  2. Two very interesting dresses! I love the gold/purple/denim dress from the front, especially the purple gingham, but it really does take backless to a whole new level. And I’m so glad you described the black/gingham dress, as in the photos the sheen of the black fabric made me think it was leather!

  3. I think you should buy the gold lace/denim/purple gingham dress, and have Fatima create a customer panel to fill the back. From what fabric, you wonder? Why, the rest of the former ball gown, of course!
    I do love your top, too!


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