My Grandmother Alice was a very fancy woman. She bought the best in quality and fine detailing (really, she was a hideous snob!). Some/most of the fancy things she was drawn to would be totally impractical to most but she existed around her things, not really using them. When I was a kid she used to wear these tailored, smart looking (at the time), belted ultra suede dresses in the most fabulous colors (With coordinating jewelry, of course). According to the Met in New York this very dress was perhaps Halston's greatest commercial dressmaking success in the 1970's. (See photo of lilac dress from the Metropolitan museum). I remember she had this dress in Navy, Coral, Aqua, Purple and Kelly Green (many had matching coats, hats, bags and shoes). The best part of this dress was that it went into the washer and dryer. I remember baking with her and she spilled some batter on the dress (the navy one), I said “Oh no Grandma what should we do you spilled”- her reply was “not to worry dear it’s drip dry!”. This was amazing to me that something of grandma's (oh woman of fancy living) had anything that was this fabulous and DRIP DRY- REALLY!!!. When we went to visit her house you had to be on best behavior (the fear of breaking or staining anything was crippling).
I remember temporarily liking the feeling of being in her house, like a fancy princess in a castle of priceless treasures. For about a minute- then I had to be a kid again- in our house at home where (unfortunately) NOTHING was fancy-except in the museum room (we all grew up with a room like that). Everything was shop worn and/or chosen for kid proofing or extreme comfort. I have thought about this drip dry concept a lot in my life. I now have little kids, two dogs and a sloppy husband and I need this drip dry but fabulous concept in my whole life- not just my wardrobe. The fact that my very cerebral/professional parents never really cared how our house was decorated or looked for that matter has forced me into a life of constant craving for visual fabulousness. I am caught somewhere between their practical, relaxed no nonsense ways and my Grandmother's impractical fancy formal style. I have been asked many times what my personal style is, and I always say “traditional on acid” but maybe I should add “fabulous and drip dry”.
The Daily Hunt
19 hours ago