Flowers for Spring

Directorate, given the way we dress now, I still have pre-pandemic inventory to share. That means my commentary will be heavy on theory and light on shopping links because the pre-pandemic inventory is three or four years old and no longer in stores.

I did, however, just see this Rokh dress on The RealReal — where I have had excellent luck finding all the things that slipped away from me on Matches Fashion and Nordstrom in years long past. So, bear that resource in mind.
I found this beautiful dress in late 2019 or early 2020, but I think it was a spring/summer dress from 2019. I loved the floral print, in its vivid and bleached-out color schemes. Combining the vibrant and faded versions reads lively and poignant at the same time. Cue the Bartok Quartets!
Do I even need to say “such a lady” here?

The vivid print combines International Klein Blue, cornflower blue, black, white, green, and yellow. The bleached-out variation is celadon, taupe, pale blue, gold. This variety creates lots of options for shoes. Possibly too many options. But since most of my shoes are black, a lighter black (black with some gold detailing) seemed like the best bet in my closet.
Not sure if the shoes are working, but the colors in the dress offer a lot of latitude
Adding the shiny blue bag to the black and gold shoes seemed like a reasonable next step

The cut of this dress is very demure: a simple sheath with a slightly flared skirt that falls fairly straight because the fabric is light and fluid. But one feature of the dress is a little different from the common run.
Do you see something unexpected — I mean, extra-unexpected — from the side?

Big, circular cut-outs on the sides.
Interestingly, this dress was styled by one retailer with a chartreuse jersey underneath and taupe suede booties (a very good look, but too bold for me) and by another with nothing underneath (bare torso! much too bold for me!).
I am wearing it with a navy camisole layered over a full-length slip in a color somewhere between ecru and coffee. I am wearing the slip to provide coverage under the skirt, which is very thin.
How about now?

I must confess that when I saw a turtleneck in this same print on The RealReal, I bought it, thinking I could turn it into a camisole (snip, snip, snip) that would camouflage the cut-outs entirely. That project is currently on a list.
How about now? It’s a black (navy) hole!

Elegant, close-fitting neckline
The circular cut-outs are elasticized, creating a little ruching at the waist. And for reasons I don’t fully understand, the cutouts make my waist look smaller than it actually is, even though no color contrast (creating a silhouette of positive and negative space) is involved. It’s a flattering illusion.
Equally charming is the neckline, which is elasticized to create a high round shape. Very pretty, I think.

Come closer and inspect the fabric.
This is another Rokh pattern “stamped” with the seasons.
Printemps, but also hiver? Hmmmm

Dress: Rokh (several years past season); Shoes: Tory Burch (old); Bag: Coach (ancient)
So what’s the lesson in this post of old things? Don’t be put-off by cut-outs! I have a couple of summer dresses that have a back vent (slit) at the waist and I have big layering plans for them. Big Layering Plans, so stay tuned.
A vivid city scene

7 thoughts on “Flowers for Spring”

  1. I’m contemplating how you got from that dress to Bartok Quartets. “Lively and poignant at the same time”. Okay! [nods]

    Once I played Bartok Hungarian Dances (not from one of the quartets, but still Bartok, so) for somebody’s wedding. That’s the only time that piece has been requested. It was while I was at Yale. Of course.

    • Well, you know how Bartok can sometimes sound almost sprightly and then suddenly the axis tips and it’s sour notes for you . . . not easy beauty in the style of Mozart or Bach, but compelling and beautiful all the same.

  2. Very pretty! I love the two florals – and I really liked seeing the close-up photo where the two florals meet (melt into? burn into?) each other in that sort of pentimento effect, and while I don’t love the cut-outs, the shaping they create is so flattering.

  3. I don’t even mind the cut outs given your solutions – plus it’s got a modest neckline and SLEEVES! I’m a fan.

  4. That is one very interesting dress. Your management of it is a study in and of itself. I like the entire presentation.


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