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

Monday, 15 September 2008

Oh what am I going to wear Pt 2

This afternoon I went to the Jaeger SS09 show at London Fashion Week and managed to snatch ten minutes beforehand with Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue, in which I talked her through my what-am-I-going-to-wear issues. I shan't divulge the content of a private conversation, all I can say is, my view that it was pointless to go looking for an evening dress with sleeves was confirmed.

More on Jaeger tomorrow

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finding an evening dress is pretty much impossible, much to my chagrin.

Even worse, it has become increasingly difficult to find a dress that has wide enough straps that you can wear a bra with it.

For a while we had pashmina wraps to cover our shoulders, but those are now out of style.

Apparently if you have any kind of arm issues or non-tiny breasts, you don't get to dress up.

Can you tell this topic hit a nerve with me?

Toby Wollin said...

Linda - somehow, some way, we will find you a dressmaker in London. There has to be someone - as a matter of fact there have to be multiple someones. I'm starting to think that perhaps you might want to speak to your friend, the older lady who is the head of Brown's. If anyone knows someone who knows someone who knows 'that chic little dressmaker', I think it might be her.

Bronwyn said...

Ask Helen Mirren nicely if you can borrow her red silk number with the lace sleeves! It's gorgeous.

Seriously though, if she can get a wonderful thing like that, someone must be making things with sleeves. Booker Prize is not QUITE the Oscars, I know, but still...

miss cavendish said...

Oh dear--did Liberty not come through? You have about a month until the awards. Surely your friends at Vogue can work some magic for you . . . And Toby has made a fine suggestion . . .

Linda Grant said...

I have not yet checked out Liberty, because I was busier than I expected yesterday. AS warned me NOT to go the dressmaker route.

greying pixie said...

Linda, although I agree with AS regarding the dressmaker route, my offer remains open if you find yourself in a panic as time goes on.

Don't people realise that the dresses worn at the Oscars are on loan, made to measure and cost thousands?

My only evening dress is a black chiffon long kaftan with heavy beaded embroidery around the neckline and cuffs. I wear it with a black long silk slip dress underneath. I bought it in Browns Labels for Less in South Molton Street. Have you looked there yet?

Linda Grant said...

I very much haven't forgotten your offer. I haven't really started yet because I need an open ended day and I had rather absurdly forgotten about the Jaeger show yesterday. There is quite a bit of juggling in my schedule at the moment as things keep popping up in relation to the Booker and I want a clear, uninterrupted time-scale so I don't feel rushed into a decision because I need to be elsewhere. I bought my dress for the Orange prize in 2000 after two hours in Liberty. Alex made a suggestion I'd like to follow up, but the virtue of the conversation was that she impressed on me that evening wear at our age is not easy, even when money and access to designers is no object.

Geraldine said...

I love all your posts about your dress worry, Linda. It's like reading Jane Austen. I mean, it seems such a little thing to worry about what with everything going on in the financial world ATM, but we, your dear readers, absolutely know it's not. And if you think I'm being sarky I'm really not. I'm dead serious. It makes for great reading!

Linda Grant said...

As it happens the next door neighbour of a very good friend of mine works for Lehman Brothers London office. He's in his fifties, isn't going to get another job and it looks as if he and his wife have lost everything. He and his family aren't the Wall Street mega rich, he doesn't live in a wealthy neighbourhood, just people who expected to have a comfortable retirement. As well as dresses, I was thinking about that too, yesterday.

Anonymous said...

It's been a depressing couple of days in the US (and abroad, I'd imagine) with the news of the tragic death of David Foster Wallace who such an extraordindary genius and observer of American culture, followed by the financial chaos of Monday. I, too, have been thinking about the precarious world we live in and the ways in which it affects and doesn't affect certain aspects of living. Even during the Great Depression, people were still interested in fashion, suggesting how such things keep one going foward and looking up. Linda, I thank you for sharing your quest for the perfect outfit with your readers. All the best to you in your search and, of course, with the Booker selection committee.

dana said...

Amazing that men never have to think about what body parts they will/won't bare to the world when they have an evening occasion. Can you imagine if they did?

Nordstrom seems to have some good options that aren't too mother-of-the-bride. I keep coming back to shifts, personally, as they cover all but the legs (the last to go, says mom). And shifts look cool with opaque tights.

lagatta à montréal said...

I've been translating something on aid for the victims of the recent hurricanes in Haiti and Cuba, and I don't think your search is frivolous at all. It is normal to want to look your best at an important public event, and given the theme of your book, you want something other than basic black.

I can assure you that people with little of anything in Haiti, Cuba and other countries care deeply about looking smart.

Nothing to do with a lack of concern about weightier matters.

karenP said...

How about Jaeger Long Jersey V Neck dress at £350 ? (see website). Yes it is black but could look fab with the right accessories - I love the balloon sleeves.

Linda Grant said...

I have in fact tried that on, but it's not really a black tie evening dress. It's a day dress that happens to be long. And everyone I have spoken to who knows about these things says don't wear black.