I told you the other day that I found some great stuff at the flea market weekend before Christmas, and here's my new favorite piece of clothing, oh, IN THE WORLD:
Ta-dah! Folks, feast your eyes on a sumptuous piece of sequined heaven in the form of this almost-didn't-fit Bob Mackie dress! My dad and I were walking through the antiques building when I was blindsided by this dress hanging on the end of a rack marked 50% off. As I ran my fingers over the beadwork and ooh'd a little bit at the label--you mean Cher's Bob Mackie!-- the my-age vintage reseller running the booth offered helpfully that I could try on the dress in the ladies' room if I so desired. Did I! After a harrowing experience in the sports arena restroom, which was....well, what you would expect from a fifty year old cinderblock restroom, plus the mirror had a weird distortion effect where you momentarily expect to be in some Silent Hill/ Jacob's Ladder horror world, I emerged with the glad news that it fit, it fit! The dress was marked $55, half of which would have been $27.50, but she gave it to me for $20. Score!
The dress features row upon row of tiny seed beads, out and out sequins, gold braid-- almost every inch of the bodice part of the garment is embellished. Anything you see that isn't gold is black satin. While the skirt is shorter (and weirder! It has a minor "poof"/ almost bustle effect to the back that baffles the wearer) that I would necessarily like it to be, it looked yet weirder with an additional skirt under it. I was just careful to bend at the knee, not at the waist, for the duration of the wear. Another strange thing about the construction, it's cut Joan-Collins-neckline-low in the front. Accordingly, I added this little neckerchief to give it a little oomph while also distracting from the lack of cleavage I have to offer the world. Who would be looking at your neckline when this whole dress is like a neon light, anyway? Sequined garments like this tend to remind me more of thirties' musicals/Busby Berkley type productions than late eighties'/early nineties' septuagenarian evening wear, which has gotten me into trouble in the past for the sheer number of dresses/separates in eyeblinding combinations that I have in my closet. This dress, though, I think looks surprisingly young. I wore it to the McClarnon's Christmas party with this hat, the tie, and knee high boots, going for a kind of Russian--Faberge-egg-meets-the-Rockettes look as "Christmas/New Years" attire was requested. It was a hit! (And I obviously love the pre-party pictures I took, as I'm bombarding you with them in this post) And we had a whale of a time at the party. Success!
Detail of the dress (what did I tell you about all the sequins and beads?!):
"It's Diooooor, dahling," I want to crow when I wear this as if I were Eddie from AbFab. Ok, technically it's from Christian Dior's department store label from the fifties' and sixties' (thus making it different from the label "Christian Dior Chapeaux Paris", which would make the hat from the actual atelier). I added a large brooch I've had in my jewelry box forever to tie the look together. The shape of the hat is interesting, it kind of reminds me of the bearskin hats on the guards at Buckingham Palace. Do you you see the three little swoops/folds on the left there? I just pinned the brooch to the spot where the three folds connected.
Last but not least, as I outsourced the taking of the detail-photos to Matthew this morning (he has the day off work, I'm stuck in the office), I checked my email while writing this post to find 1) the closeup photo of the dress on the couch, 2) the closeup photo of the Miss Dior label, 3) the photo of the hat on the table as you see above and 4) this picture:
You bettah work, Bab! I can't lie, I cracked up; it kind of made my morning. Thanks for the free labor! "You look mahvelous!", as Billy Crystal would say.
So! Have any crazy go nuts plans for tonight? We're going out to dinner with friends and then drinking from the ad hoc mimosa bar I'm setting up in our living room (Mad Donna's different-flavored-mimosas have changed my life, so we have pomegranate, grapefruit, and orange juice on hand for cocktails). Are you staying in/ going out/ throwing in the towel at 9/ staying up to see the ball drop? Let's talk! It can be your last comment on She Was a Bird of 2013! :)
Have fun tonight, stay safe, and I will see you guys tomorrow IN THE NEW YEAR. Yay! Til then.