I’ve generally always prescribed to the adage “All dressed up with nowhere to go”. Post Nico though, that phrase has become a “fun” game of sorts. I say fun of course, taken with a huge pinch of Epsom salt, given the limitations of what one can do with a two month old baby in tow. But when you snatch one or two hours from the day, whilst tethered to the house for fear of carting a screaming baby around town, putting together elaborate outfits at home is sadly about as good as it gets.
All of this fanciful dress-up that’s been confined to the home happens to fall in line with both current season Prada’s marabou frou frou fancies and Miu Miu’s well-tred territory of retro geometrics. Miuccia Prada has long held fascinations with bygone notions of femininity, reflecting, reproducing and subverting them in a myriad of ways. For S/S 17, Prada was quite literally dusted down with the help of a 1950s Stepford homemaker’s feather duster. For Miu Miu, Miuccia imagined frolicking around on a beach in simpler and more innocent times. So it stands to reason that my homebound state should be accompanied by the most ornate of idealised haus frau attire. From these collections, specifically a and a rendered in a print fit for a mid-century chaise lounge become integral puzzle pieces to this love-in with retro-tinted domesticity. Abigail’s Party esque entertaining, ridiculously over trimmed peignoirs and negligees (those very words invite cynical chortles) and Western-lensed chinoiserie best expressed in Vladimir Tretchikoff’s kitschy The Green Lady painting all come to mind. These are the sort of clothes that are made for lounging artfully at home amidst pieces of Danish furniture and strategically placed plants.
Alas, I’m only make-believing such antics in my N15 hovel. You can’t see the brushed aside piles of Pampers 2, Water Wipes and milk-drenched muslin cloths. Brow-raising feminists out there will be glad to know that this temporary fascination with airbrushed visions of housewives of that mid-century era is fortunately only an aesthetic one. I am slowly easing myself back into the land of the working, having snuck in a business Skype call and a casual writing deadline here and there. Still, if I can’t get to ze fashions, ze fashions will come to me. Even if they’re destined for breast milk stains and poop smears.
(Top: Vogue Mar 1969 photographed by David Bailey, Bottom: Vogue Jan 1968 photographed by Gianni Penati)
(Top: Vogue 1953 photographed by John Rawlings, Bottom L: Vogue Dec 1966 photographed by Henry Clarke, Bottom R: Twiggy in YSL tunic pyjamas)
worn with vintage peach bed jacket from Fat Faced Cat, vintage quilted housecoat, Ayame tights and Prada SS17 flower sandals
Vogue Patterns 1967
Oriental Fashions 1960 photographed by Stan Wayman
worn with Jenny Fax smocked top and matching flares,
worn with Miu Miu knit floral top, Jenny Fax smocked flares, Malone Souliers slippers and
Raquel Welch in Geoffrey Beene’s ostrich-trimmed pyjamas Vogue Mar 1967