First Place Summer Fun Dress

I told you that I bought two dresses to bring a little cheer into my WFH habitat. The one I showed you last week was the understated dress.

This is the other dress.
It has brought me considerable happiness each time I’ve worn it. I wear it every week. Sometimes more than once.
Giver of joy

There is nothing wrong about this dress
As we know, it is wrong to put too much value on material things.
But the happiness this dress has given me is not material in nature. It’s visual, tactile, and kinetic.

First, let’s discuss the print. It’s called a “Dutch Wax” print. Some of you may remember my post on Vlisco from 2016. This fabric adds another layer to the Matryoshka story: it is a U.S. interpretation of the Dutch luxury fabrics that evolved — in response to a high demand in Western Africa — from an inexpensive imitation of Indonesian batik that was originally made in the Netherlands for sale in Indonesia.
The print is dark purple, light purple, and orange on a light cream field.
I feel like I would happily disappear into this print if I stared at it long enough.
I am a Tall Ship in this dress

Second, the weight of this dress, despite the many yards of fabric in evidence, is nothing. It’s as light as feather. The cotton is fine, smooth, and crisp.
Third, the volume of this dress causes constant changes in its shape and movement. There’s swishing when I walk and audible poofing when I sit or kneel. The sleeves are like bellows. They can be puffed up or batted down.
Here, sleeves are in a medium position; they can look bigger or smaller.

Look at these sleeves! Have you ever seen anything as wonderful and ridiculous? On me?
These sleeves would have satisfied Anne Shirley

I think it’s fair to say that this dress is not “a classic” — though I will give serious thought to being buried in it — but I do think the print qualifies as timeless. After questioning whether I had room in my closet for a dress that might look dated in a couple of years, I played around with it and realized that the sleeves and skirt could be narrowed to slim proportions and that it would still be a charming dress.
Sold! To me!
A pattern that will always be in style

Dress: Ulla Johnson Juniper Dress; Shoes: The Sandals of the Summer (the J/Slides)

12 thoughts on “First Place Summer Fun Dress”

  1. This looks so fun to wear ! My tailor makes little cotton dresses for me from Dutch (and derivative) wax print which I bring home from the African market in Paris. The vivid colours and strong graphics go down as well with architects and gallerists as they do the kindergarten crowd, in my experience. And it is always an enjoyable little exercise in creativity to figure out a design that plays well with the scale of the print, as it does in your beautiful dress.

    • MC Bontemps — You are living the Directorate’s best life for all of us! Parisian market, textiles in your suitcase, custom dresses. You can send photos to me care of harper@the if you are so inclined. . .

  2. I like this dress very much. It inspires dancing and twirling about. The sleeves balance the long full skirt. The color and design are indeed fascinating.

  3. Love the Anne of Green Gables reference – a true favourite for this Canadian. And the dress is a home run. Your hair is so pretty too – there are positives from COVID-life.

  4. Directrice I LOVE this dress on you and I LOVE the dress in any event. It’s wonderful. Thank you for your excellent description of the fabric and print and the ‘kinetic’ energy effect of the dress and fabric, which I’m sure have captured the joy of the dress perfectly. You don’t wear much print, I think… hmmm… I might have to look back through your archives. This one is so flattering and interesting. Fantastic post! This is my favourite dress on you together with your black Moschino cotton dress that you wear with a belt (I tried to find that dress when you posted about it without any luck). What does the photographer think of this dress, I wonder? Do the cats like it? The cats’ fur probably wouldn’t cling to this dress and, even if it did, would ‘disappear’ into the pattern and be invisible. Another merit of the dress?

    • The Photographer likes the dress. He finds the print very intriguing. The cats are harder to read, but I have found that the skirt of this dress is also very good (like others recently featured) for cat-doming.

  5. A different style for you but very nice. It makes you look young and carefree. I say this with the utmost respect, and as one who is older than you, not to be impolite at all!!


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