Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

In days of yore



For the past few days I have been doing this newfangled thingy called a 'wardrobe edit.' I hauled everything I wasn't actually wearing at the moment into a rail in the spare room at which it was revealed that I actually had far more clothes than I thought I did because I could actually see them. The envisaged scenario is that at the end of summer I'll do another edit and rotate some things back in again.

It seems that our dear Princess Anne has also just done a wardrobe edit, observing this summer's trend for florals:

Let's not for one minute suggest that Princess Anne's decision to dig out the dress she wore to her brother's first wedding in 1981 for another family wedding 27 years later was remotely connected to thriftiness. Anyone who can afford a designer dress, and has the space to store decades worth of posh clothes in palatial wardrobes, isn't too concerned about her bank balance. No, Anne's decision to recycle - or, to use the appropriate fashion parlance for this phenomenon, to repeat - a floral print piecrust-edged wrap dress is actually a common fashion practice.

However, as Imogen Fox points out in the Guardian, if you wear what you wore last time this fashion was around, you have to do it with a leetle bit of a modern twist if you are not to look in the miror and recoil with shock and disgust at how old the neck has got above the collar.
In 1981 she wore the dress with a yellow floral and net hat, and accessorised with pearls. Fast-forward to this weekend and she's wearing the same hat and yet another pearl choker. This isn't just a sartorial aberration either - the princess has form in repeating outfits without imagination. A blue-and-white dress worn to a film premiere in 1986 was trundled out again with the same white gloves 14 years later. A bonnet was worn twice 17 years apart, each time without irony.

Excuse me, you're on a hiding to nothing if you're looking for irony from a member of the Royal Family. Particularly Princess Anne. Isn't irony what they put on the horses' feet?

Anyhow, what with the Goth look coming back this Autumn, we're all warned against hauling out the gear from our early Eighties Madonna phase. Imagine that stuff on Madonna herself, with her weird reptile face and creepy arms. No, what we do is gesture to the look, gesture. I hope that's straight now.

13 comments:

Wendy said...

Lucky Anne. I wish I could still fit into clothes I wore 27 years ago!

Geraldine said...

It's all over the media today. Just heard she's the President of the Fashion Export Council!!!! Bit like putting Captain Hook in charge of the creche!

Phyllis said...

Wendy my thoughts exactly! It's not a bad dress either, although I would have gone with a new hat.

miss cavendish said...

Indeed, she's probably thrilled she fits into her dress.

Toby Wollin said...

Everyone else has covered my exact thought - shoot, the woman can actually FIT into the same dress she wore almost thirty years ago. If I could do that, I'd haul that baby out on every occasion I could find. I would, however, switch up the hat and accessories, though, just to jazz it up a little. But Anne is known for this - fits, no stains, appropriate for the occasion..yep, on it goes.

Anonymous said...

I read the whole story and I certainly hope Imogen Fox was being ironic in suggesting that the Princess Royal should have switched to gladiator sandals. Somehow that would have been even worse than seeing that hat again.

I too would have been thrilled to fit into a dress I wore in 1981.

StyleSpy said...

I'll add my cheers to the chorus of "Good for her!" for maintaining her figure for 27. I'll also take a moment to marvel at the idea of having enough storage space to keep all my clothing from the last 30 years. Since I wasn't invited to her brother's wedding (invite lost in the mail, no doubt) and had never seen that photo, I would have had nothing to compare it to if you hadn't shown me the earlier one, and honestly, I think she looks great -- silly little hat & all -- both times. Yes, it's always good to update. On the other hand, if it ain't broke...

Gorgeous Things said...

She has aged remarkably well, as has the dress. The same cannot be said for the hat. Too reminiscent of a "Dynasty" reunion episode. And I have never been a pearl choker fan, but that's me.

Belle de Ville said...

I too am in the process of editing my wardrobe and getting rid of clothes that I love because they no longer fit me. Well played Anne for wearing the same dress that you wore to Charles and Diana's wedding 27 years.
Last weekend I was browsing vintagedress.com and saw an Albert Carpraro wedding dress similar to the one I wore 27 years ago. Mine was also Carpraro but in ivory not dusty pink and without the gathered bodice. Both Capraro dresses based on Princess Diana's dress...of course.
God. when I think back to the Dynasty dresses I wore in the 80's, even if they still fit me, I wouldn't want to wear them...well maybe the Scaasi and the Vicky Tiel...

Kelly said...

It is a lovely dress, and with some more modern sleeves it would be one that I'd snap up in an instant if I saw it in stores today!

But I am surprised that she wore such a white dress to two weddings. Is that not a taboo there? It has the yellow flowers, but still it is a white dress overall. I wouldn't wear that to a wedding, and I'm not a queen trying to set an example for the whole country, either.

Duchesse said...

This dress looks like a piece of pie crust dropped in a flower garden.

Geraldine said...

As well as thinking she looks a fright I think it's in really bad taste that she wore the same dress that she wore to THAT wedding, with all the connotations. I mean, if I were the Bride I'd be looking over my shoulder! Talk about the Spectre at the Feast!

Rollergirl said...

Ah, I call this 'Using What You've Got' which is why I'm against the old 'throw away anything you haven't worn for 6 months' mantra. If I did that I'd never had rediscovered my (albeit rather battered) Bass Weejuns...