When I was 14, my sister Dale told me I needed to learn how to dress. She took me shopping and taught me. Since her favorite places to shop were Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, she also taught me how to spend. One of Dale’s rules in 1968 was that you never mixed plaids and stripes (unless you really knew what you were doing — which apparently she did and I did not). And you never, ever, mixed two different plaids. Well, unless it was patchwork, and then — yet again — you really needed to know what you were doing (again, she did and I did not).
Dale hasn’t been around to see how styles have changed. Plaids and stripes, and plaids and plaids “work” now although they didn’t work in the ’70s. But, I still find myself judging pattern combinations by her standards. On my way home today from an autumn fair, I saw a combination that Dale most certainly wouldn’t have approved of. At first it made me shudder just a little. I walked behind the guy for about five minutes and realized the combination had started to grow on me — “like mold,” I could hear Dale saying — so I slowed down and let the moment pass. It was less a moment of inspiration and more a moment of nausea. Nope, you still won’t catch me wearing a combination like that. But, I hope it makes him happy.
|MAYBE THE TWO FRIENDS SHOULD HAVE COORDINATED THEIR OUTFITS.|
When I was 22 (and knew what I was doing), I bought a patchwork shirt at Saks. While writing this, I remembered a photo of me in that shirt. I had a good friend who was Italian and owned a marble exporting company based in Carrara, Italy, where I worked here and there (barely) as a way to pass the time. No pay, but a very nice life. The marble was quarried in the mountains above the Italian Riviera where Michelangelo got his marble. That summer (of the patchwork shirt), my friend and I went up to the quarries one day. I watched as she selected where she wanted them to cut. Sorry you can’t see the shirt clearly. Apparently my friend’s assistant didn’t think my shirt was all that important.
|SUMMER OF ’76.
THE SAME PATCHWORK PLAID SHIRT, I’M SURE, THAT MICHELANGELO WORE.