Naive Kangaroo

Naive Kangaroo

Surely the title of this post caught your interest!

You may remember, if you’ve read my bio, that I started this blog because I couldn’t find a blog that spoke directly to me: a professional woman in her mid-40s, interested in looking interesting in a sophisticated, evolved way (i.e., not trying to look 20 years younger than my actual age). I still haven’t found exactly what I want, but I nevertheless read a few blogs because they help me ferret out new designers and interesting on-line retailers.
After seeing a scuptural Desiree Klein top in a post titled “Get These Emerging Brands On Your Radar Before Everyone Else Does” I could not rest until taking possession of this curious, stiff linen-cotton dress.
The Directrice wants to know the new things
The Directrice wants to know the new things

Desiree Klein is a German expatriate living in Los Angeles, where she has a small workroom-atelier and boutique. This dress has the irresistible feel of something handmade — though it is machine-sewn and completely polished. Her clothes are both avant-garde and naive such that I could probably tell half of you, I saw the directrice of a contemporary gallery in Berlin wearing this dress and tell the rest of you, I went to Amish country and saw a woman selling shoo-fly pies in this dress and all of you would believe me. Right?
She wants to have her finger on the pulse
The Directrice wants to have her finger on the pulse
To be on the cutting edge
To be on the cutting edge

The dress is essentially a rectangle, but coarse drawstrings running through the flange sleeves are used to gather the neckline and bust for a close fit under the arms. Another drawstring wraps around and defines the waist.
A sacque of sorts
A sacque of sorts

Are you wondering about the demi-peplum?
It’s a pocket. I would prefer the silhouette if the pocket were in the back,
but it would be significantly less useful.
The Photographer likes the dress, but finds the marsupial pocket unnerving.
Which sounds like sachretorte; I wish I had one right now
“Sacque of sorts” sounds like sacher torte, which makes me wish I had a piece of one right now

Tied up
Tied up
The drawstrings need to be tied in the back as well. I tied the back-side strings before putting the dress on.

In case you are headed to the movies
This dress is a nice weight for an 85 degree day, but if you are headed to the movies . . .
A denim jacket for warmth
you’ll want a denim jacket for warmth
Do you see the cute girls running across the lawn? Five minutes later they were stringing up a pinata, which I really wanted to be a part of
The girls in the background are getting ready to string up a pinata, which I would have liked a chance to swing at

These are the blogs I consult weekly: Wendy’s Lookbook, 9 to 5 Chic, Atlantic-Pacific, You Look Fab, Who What Wear, Style at a Certain Age, and The Accidental Icon. Occasionally I look at Style du Monde. I would love other suggestions, so please share your favorites. I am equally interested in general interest and personal style blogs.
Dress: Desiree Klein Sonya Dress; Sneakers: NikeId Cortez; Bag: Orla Kiely
The apple of my eye
The apple of my eye

16 thoughts on “Naive Kangaroo”

  1. Not a fan of this dress (and laughed at the shoo-fly pie reference) — but I’m a fan of yours, always!

    I read the over-40 Euro bloggers — and esp like No Fear of Fashion (Greetje in the Netherlands) and Midlife Chic (Nikki in England), both of which I read for the infusion of gladness these women bring to their blogs, as well as for the clothes. Greetje has a great list of blogs she follows, you’ll find inspiration on the right-hand side of her pages.

    Also, important to note, neither of these women are hawking clothing lines, beyond what they wear and love — and I appreciate that. I almost immediately unsubscribe when I sense a marketing ploy disguised as a blog.

  2. Appreciate the list of Directrice-vetted blogs to check out!

    Fascinating dress, but the kind of garment that makes me think that after the first time I wear it, it’ll never be that crisp or unwrinkled again.

    Plus I travel so much for work that I really value clothes I can pull straight out of a suitcase and put on (although of course a lot of stylish clothes I adore don’t meet that test).

  3. Love the dress and belated congratulations on 300 posts!
    Blogs I love: Passagedesperles; Not dressed as Lamb and The Sequinist for their writing. Image heavy Bittersweet Colours is original and how I would dress in a fantasy life. And finally, not a fashion blog per se, but with a strong sense of style, your namesake, Victoriaelizabethbarnes. Love her writing and her dedication to GFT (giant fancy things).

    • Oh thank you so much for VEB and her GFTs! My kind of woman – but my man is not quite as keen as hers, and I live in a tiny apartment in an ancient city with no room for most of them, so he’s probably right 🙁

  4. This kind of interesting volume is so good in a light-coloured summer dress, the light colour allows you to see details and the cotton stands enough away from the body to hold whatever interesting shape its designer intended. Do the drawstring collar/ front pocket flap about in a breeze or when the wearer is in motion ? That would be a kind of fun effect I imagine.

  5. What an interesting garment. I’m conflicted. Traditionally, I like my clothes the way I like my music. Uncomplicated, mind-numbing, easy. This one requires some thought and prior assembly, it’s the sort of dress you actually have to pause, ponder, then put on, you know. And I’m not certain I could be convinced to do all that for an item of clothing. Perhaps for now, I shall just live vicariously through your undertakings with it 🙂 and in other news, the colour looks really fetching with your skintone and those oversized collar flaps are rather intriguing 🙂

  6. Cool dress, as always. As for style/lifestyle/design blogs – man repeller, une femme d’une certain age, the frugality, that’s not my age, garance dore, cup of jo, girls of a certain age, swiss miss, design crush, I want to be her, miss moss, the cut, and for terrific, funny, mostly travel writing, the everywhereist, are all great at what they do.

  7. It’s an interesting dress, I like the collar aspect at the neck. Whether I would spend every trip to the Ladies room adjusting the drawstrings is another matter. The front pocket/apron would either be good camouflage, or call attention to a tummy. I’d have to try it on to know. It looks fine on you!

  8. I have read every post of The Vivienne Files. Because of Janice, the blog author, I can travel for 2 weeks with only carry on luggage.

  9. Super-cool dress! I could never pull it off, but I like it on you. Try it with sandals?

    By the way, can I have dibs on “Naive Kangaroo” as a band name?

    • Yes, Violiniste, you can use the name Naive Kangaroo for your band because MY band will be called Poised to Harsh. I wish I could take credit for that name, but it actually comes from a former colleague’s novel, in which the protagonist (a high school student) played in a girl garage band.

  10. There you are again, touting an apron-like garment! The dress has an almost medieval quality to it –
    maybe because of the ropes being the closures. I like it!

    And thank you (everyone) for sharing a list of blogs. I have to say, since finding The Directrice, I haven’t really ventured off into other blog territory. I’m a loyal fan… but you’re all helping me grow.

    I did like looking at Stylish Murmurs, but she stopped posting a while back. Please keep delighting us Directrice!

  11. The fabric looks delightfully cool for a hot summer’s day, but I kept wanting to reach out and smooth the wrinkles above the top drawstring, front and back. I’d vote for sandals, too. Your shoes, while really cute, seem too heavy the for feather-light look of the fabric. Your bag is great with that dress!

Leave a Comment