Adornment is never anything except a reflection of the heart. ~Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
There was a time, and a very funny time it was when the author of this blog dressed in glitterati sequined tops, shimmering minis and fluorescent eye-shadow. Hair was accustomed punk style. 17/18 years of age or thereabouts. And that was just to do the odd exam or attend a lecture. Those were my salad days/bright green days when I would hear ‘she looks like she is constantly going clubbing’ walking into an 9AM class. The joke was on me, especially days when I wore orange feather earrings and matching feather necklace. Mater told me that I looked like someone who had got carried away in a fish tackle shop. Some young lads that I bumped into on the street corner told me that I looked like a peacock.
I had a pink rose in my hair, that was permanently attached, and the family doctor (Dr. Ronan Gleeson RIP) used to sing ‘are you going to San Francisco, remember to wear some flowers in your hair...'
But in recent years, a grave dignity has come upon me, and I will only be found wearing longish skirts, jackets that look like they were stolen from Miss Marple's wardrobe and more tweed than is found in a Tory retirement home. And I’ve swapped the 6’ heels for 6mm flats. What’s the point in looking taller than everyone else?
Oh, and the ‘conservative’ brown eye-liner. All very Mark and Spencers as opposed to the my David Bowie groupie punk rock look.
As testament to my new, old school, traditionalist and tawdry look is the fact that I spent quite a bit of time labouring over whether or not to buy a jacket in Zara. Hence picture of said jacket.
Yes, I took pictures and carefully sought the opinions of Anna and Angela, fellow in-mates at our abode. Was the jacket a bit too garish and bright? Did it hug my figure a bit too securely? Ahem, was it therefore risqué? And most SCRUPOLOSLY OF ALL – was it too flashy? My friends laughed at my suggestions. I concede; it's not the sartorial stuff that will send hearts racing.
The jacket was going for a few quid (literally) and was a lot cheaper than the 80 quid that had originally been asked for it. But yet, I sweated over buying this woolly creation with rich silk lining and cuffs finished with velvet. The cut was Chanel, and the quality excellent. But I troubled myself thinking that if only I were to give the few pounds towards a Mass intention. What if I forgot about buying the jacket and stuck with my grey and black schock instead? The thought came to me that I would not be able to buy the velvet or the silk that lined the jacket for the sale price of the jacket.
So, on Saturday last, I boldly snuck into Zara on High Street Kensington, plucked the jacket from the rail (anyone would have thought that I was buying a car costing 90 grand, not a sale item that had a pound shop price) and taking a deep breath, I proceeded to the cash register where I handed over the jacket to be de-labelled. They treated my beloved red and black creation as though it were a sack of potatoes, and flippantly folded it into a bag. When I had paid, they waved to the next customer.Those folk behind the counter had missed the exhilarating, dizzy head moment, where I went from longing to possess the jacket to actually carrying the jacket as my own purchase, in my own bag. I get excited just at the memory of that faithful moment.
On arriving home, I tried on the jacket, twirled around the kitchen and turned and fled for fear that kitchen greasy smells would find a home in my new treads.
That night, I could be found wearing the jacket with my pjs, and that next morning, Sunday, I wore it to Mass. When others commented that I had a nice garment on, I went into hyper-gushing mode. ‘You like it? Wow! You won’t believe how much it cost. And I believe they still have one or two of this jacket left. You could run along...’ God forgive me for all the times that I have bored the jackets off others with my clothes-talk. But, those vibrant red hues! Those blue flowers around the neck-line! It’s re-awakened all the girly garrulousness of years gone by.
Only this time ‘round, I’ve managed to intellectualise my absolute all-encompassing love of clothes with a line or two of poetry.
O what a sight were Man, if his attires
Did alter with his minde;
And like a dolphins skinne, his clothes combin'd
With his desires!