A Work of Art


Emboldened by our trip to the Lincoln Memorial, The Photographer and I struck out last weekend for one of my favorite spots in Washington, D.C.
Can you tell where we are?
I’ll give you a clue: We’re between The Capitol and The White House

Does this help?
Does this help?
Perhaps if you back up a little and I come into brighter light?

You’re right! We’re at the National Gallery of Art on the Mall, using Henry Moore’s Knife Edge Mirror Two Piece as a backdrop.
Does this help?
I.M. Pei’s beautiful East Building of the NGA; angles so sharp that it looks two dimensional, like you could knock it over with the flat of your hand

Work, Photographer, work
Now on to business!

I showed you this dress a few weeks ago, holding forth about the virtues of a classic dress. This one has turned out to be more virtuous than even I had imagined.
The lines are very simple: a fitted waist and an a-line skirt. But the split shirt-tail hem is really ingenious.
I am wearing a knee-length (just above the knee) slip under the dress, which doesn’t seem to be showing through, but is doing its job — preventing my thighs from showing through the fabric.
Knowing Italians, clever hem

With a substantial belt (Belt of Substance) and interesting sandals, I am dressed.
Close up
Indisputably dressed

I was going to wear this dress with an animal print belt, but it was too big. While waiting to take it to the luggage repair shop to have another hole punched, I improvised with this wide, glossy belt and am actually very pleased.
More closer
Kick-ass belt, which you’ve seen before (here and here)

Also seated
Resting after rippling; preparing to flutter

A few other notes on this dress.
As charming as this dress may look in photos, its true genius is revealed in motion. The weight and structure of the fabric, combined with the cut of the skirt and hem, give it beautiful movement. A movie is attached below so that you can see what I mean. It ripples and flutters.

The Directrice: She Walks!

The dress was too long for me, but rather than taking up the hem — which would be difficult to do because of the shirt-tail shape — my seamstress took it up at the waist.
Side view
Now it is the perfect length; original hem preserved

Now that we've got the basics ticked off, the fun begins; what could be more fun than one Directrice?
Now that we’ve got the basics ticked off, the fun begins
A large group of children has moved on, so let’s go explore the courtyard of the West Building, adorned with I.M. Pei’s pyramids.

What could be better than The Directrice?
A pair of Directrices
A pair of Directrices

You disappoint me
You honor me, but I think you need to think bigger
Why pick Two Directrices when you could have anything at all?

Why, indeed?
If that’s the direction of your inclination, you should at least demand Three Directrices.
Three Directrices
Three of us could get so much done: daily postings, litigating, linen closet re-org . . .

You need to free your mind
You need to free your mind
Why stop there? Four Directrices?

Four Directrices!
Can you believe he said that to me? No. I. Can. Not.
The Four Directrices appear to be in conversation . . . dissecting an old slight or minor criticism. Oh no.
Maybe there can be too much of a good thing.

One final thought: If you ever need to buy a dress that is unquestionably correct for a variety of work and other adult (lower case “a”) purposes, and you want to look stylish but classic, you should look to Max Mara or Hugo Boss.
Dress: Max Mara Ande Dress; Belt: Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti from YOOX; Shoes: Donald J. Pliner Fifi Sandal; Bag: 3.1. Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel; Bracelet: John Hardy; Watch: Michele Urban; Sunglasses: Illesteva Milan IV Amber

18 thoughts on “A Work of Art”

  1. What a lovely post! Everything from the dress, the photos, the writing, to ripples and swirls in the video has brought a smile to my face. It’s also lovely to see the photographer in action.

  2. I suggest a postscript — the Directrice photographed from UNDERNEATH the glass pyramids in the cafe, perhaps with a group of giggling tourists watching — as they were no doubt doing while you were posing above!

    Love the dress — what a great outfit for steamy DC summers.

    • Up-skirt oglers! But I am ever-circumspect and took these photos after the museum had closed. I do love that tunnel.

  3. I thoroughly enjoy seeing the Directrice ‘out and about’, mixing it up with the art and architecture of D.C. And ‘the photographer’ is capturing your style and uniqueness amidst the art magnificently! Kudos to you both!

    • The Henry Moore is a pretty spectacular backdrop, isn’t it? The Photographer was very dubious when we arrived, but I was able to bring him around.

  4. I love The Directrice on location! And with video, too. (I had the audio muted on my iPhone, but I pictured runway-style thumping rock music while you strutted and fluttered.) Fabulous dress. The fun hemline is a nice surprise that wouldn’t be apparent behind a desk. And I have a little crush on this belt now.

    • There actually is a heavy bass sound in the background because there was a concert on the mall that evening (part of the July 4th run-up). It was all very festive!

  5. best yet! And we got to see the Photographer, what a treat. More of these, please! take us around the world. Next stop, the pyramids!

    • Good idea, Rebekah! Would render me less dependent on luggage repair shop — which is a small business and was unpredictably closed on July 2nd!

  6. This shoot was fun and I enjoyed being an armchair traveler. The dress hangs well and in part due to that slip. I love how fabric responds to a good lining or the classic slip. Belt and shoes really are spot on for this look. That’s another never out of style outfit. The heat is on there with summer days but chic wins with this one. Kate

  7. I love (and miss) the National Art Gallery, inside and out. I wonder if there is any way to really capture the feel of the glass/waterfall underground between the buildings. This also reminded me of the giant typewriter eraser statue by the ice rink (so random, so fun!), which I forgot to mention in my last list of suggestions.

  8. Fashion, art AND architecture – winning combination! I think more fieldtrips are in order, however, just your cat with your outfit is also fabulous 🙂


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