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

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The pear-shaped public profile


For the next four years (hopefully eight) we are going to have a lesson in how to dress the pear-shaped woman. At our election night party someone said, you know she shops at H&M, and peering at her red and black dress I said I rather doubted it. The dress is Narciso Rodriguez. SS09.

Here it is on the runway.
Interesting to see how it looks on a woman with hips. Interesting, too, to see how a dress is altered for production - the side panels added and the lace removed.

But whatever you think of this dress (and I loved it) I can only commiserate with any woman who has had to spend weeks shopping for a dress to wear for her big night.

12 comments:

lagatta à montréal said...

Michelle Obama seems to have been able to convince them to lengthen the dress a bit. She is as tall as a catwalk model, and having hips would normally hike the hemline.

I liked the dress too. The girls' red and black dressed looked great as well.

Linda Grant said...

They have also altered the straps. And didn't those little girls look divine?

Nancy (nanflan) said...

It seems that Michelle O. shops at every price point, and that's a good thing.

There are photos of an H & M outfit that's been making the rounds. She also made an appearance on the Tonight Show, wearing an outfit from the J. Crew catalog.

I didn't particularly care for the Narcisso Rodriguez dress, but the girls were adorable as always.

Arabella said...

Michele could save my relationship with J Crew, if they pay attention.

I always used to swing my hips into their cord pants, until they seriously changed the cut to fit a six foot adolescent boy: gaps at the back, bulging at the crotch and pockets sitting below the buttocks. Their T shirts, once regulars in my wardrobe, now are cut so long and straight in the body that I can sit on them.

I don't like the dress (I imagine the gasp of horror at a party table as a cold red summer pudding lands in the lap) but she wears it well.

lagatta à montréal said...

Michelle Obama isn't a model; she is a successful lawyer with a high profile in community service - also attended Princeton and Harvard on full scholarship, coming from a working-class background. But I'm hoping that the high profile she will inevitably have in the press round the world can help reverse the unfortunate trend towards the disappearance of Black models - and all models of colour - in recent years. It is very strange to flip through the pages of UK, French or US Vogue or other glossies and see how little they reflect the lovely mix of humans in the streets of major cities in those countries.

Fashion has always been about fantasy, not reality (though it always has drawn on reality), but in this case the fantasy is far more monotonous and far less lovely than the reality.

knittinggeek said...

She needs better stylists... that dress made her look like the underside of a black widow spider.. the red hourglass look not so good...geez..

Ms Baroque said...

Nah, I loved it. I loved the way the family dressed as a unit, his tie, the girl's wonderful dresses - coming so soon after their tracksuited appearance at the polls - and her unashamed stylishness.

desertwind said...

I loved it, too, Linda. I liked that it was such a striking statement. A bit risky. And, also that it was a real world translation.

It sure didn't please everyone!

Geraldine said...

I thought they all looked divine.

fay said...

I think that photo of the family will go down in history and they look wonderful.

phyllis said...

The neckline has been altered as well. She would have hit a home run if she had not worn the cardigan, which added nothing at all.

Duchesse said...

Just watch, she's going to get it from both sides, for excess if she wears designer (let aone couture)and for not representing the country or the status of her position if she wears H&M.

On another topic, why don't J Crew start another business for womens' sizes?