The Pendulum Swings Back

After a summer of excess — excesses — I find myself drawn to something simple, understated, and neat.

I said I might
Excessive excess
Excessively excessive excess

My brain is craving a little quiet. Like this:
Blessed silence
Ahhh, blessed silence

Is there a catch?
Perhaps you are asking, What’s all this, then?
A simple A-line dress with sleeves (another thing I am craving) in a navy wool gabardine.

With low block heels in black patent leather, it’s just the thing for fall.
Just the thing!
Just the thing!

Back in style
Good news! We’re back in style
These are my old block heels, back in style after several years (too many years) of stiletto madness. I’ve been wearing them throughout the stiletto years, but it is gratifying to see that the world and I are back on the same page.
Also: there are many block-heeled, low pumps in the stores this fall, which shall be the subject of a forthcoming post!

My beloved dowager brooch works well with the fabric and cut of the dress.
Focus on brooch
I said I wanted a simple dress, not a moribund one

The Photographer is trying to take a close-up of the brooch and while he is fiddling with focal length and focus, I have moved.
Ever helpful Directrice

I’ve shared this brooch’s origin story before — which frankly is not a “story” and is more fairly characterized as an account or, if we are being grandiose, an object lesson. I found this brooch in a store that sold religious candles, icons, many things related to the the Day of the Dead, and vintage jewelry while taking a break from a somewhat tedious conference in San Antonio.
The universe rewards the Directrice for getting up, moving around and going outside

The lesson? There are two: first, it’s good to get up, move around, and go outside; second, you should always find a little time to see a place that you are visiting for work.
Despite the apparent simplicity of the dress, there is art to the effect. A contoured seam runs from my left shoulder diagonally to the waist where it leads to the inverted pleat that creates the A-line skirt.
Can you see the seam? You may have to enlarge the photo

Simple, but not excessively so
Note: Rather than a black bag, I am carrying a glossy navy blue tote.
Could I have carried a black patent leather bag that matches my shoes? Bien sur. But I like the subtlety of matching the finish of the bag to shoes and the color of the bag to the dress.

This deceptively simple dress is Jil Sander. It comes in a number of colors and fabrications — wool gabardine, neoprene, cotton, etc, so there is one for every occasion and season.
Dress: Jil Sander from YOOX; Shoes: Tory Burch; Bag: Coach Poppy tote; Watch: Michele Urban with black alligator band; Brooch: the Universe, which works in mysterious ways

9 thoughts on “The Pendulum Swings Back”

  1. That outfit is calm and luxurious, fits like a dream and the block heels are so au currant though I never gave them up either. They are really safe for walking on cobbles, unfamiliar terrain and comfie into the bargain. I find them stylish in some newer designs using new materials as well. The purse nails it. You hit this out of the park. Kate

  2. It’s almost royal looking! I’m so into that dress – the seaming is what makes it outstanding and expensive looking – and the sleeves make me delirious. In a good way.

  3. That outfit could have been boring in less skilled hands, but you’ve made it memorable!
    I’m not sure how I found you now, but it was a few weeks ago at the beginning of a solo Scandinavian holiday. You’ve entertained me, inspired me, and educated me during my travels and now that I have read the entire back catalogue, with comments, I’m pining not just for the fiords, but for more Directrice. Thank you for your company!

    • Welcome home, Liz! I love the idea of you reading The Directrice on the fjords, under the Northern Lights, at the Volvo Factory in Gothenburg . . . I am sure you’ve noticed that the commenters on this blog are smart and funny. Did the Swedes make disparaging remarks about Norway and the Norwegians say similar things about Sweden? Apparently the rivalry in cross-country skiing is very intense.


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