Monday, July 18, 2011

Isn't This Fantastic?

I met artist/designer/handweaver Patricia Palson at an art fair a bit over a month ago. At that time, I fell head over heels in love with this coat, an amazing show-stopper of a piece which fit me like a glove and begged for me to go home with it. I didn’t, but I’ve thought about it an awful lot.

What have gotten my attention are two things: What makes a piece of clothing just right for someone? And how much is clothing costume, representing who we wish we were?

My daughter will tell you that I have often been known to utter, “This would work in my other life” when I see clothing that is attractive to me but which serves little purpose in my life or lifestyle, which would likely be a purchase I would probably come to regret, or which exemplifies someone I wish I were but am not. You know, the clothes that you admire on someone who you fantasize has a better life that you have.

As I have aged, I have felt more and more confident about my style, and while proud of that, I recognize that I also fall into ruts. While dating a really exciting man last year, I bought many new dresses, busting out of that “safe and married” look I had cultivated over the years. The good news? Those dresses have remained a happy part of my wardrobe long since the romance ended, evidence that I wasn’t putting on a costume, but rather was trying out a part of me that had been submerged for a while and was dying to come out.

And as for this wonderful Patricia Palson coat? Yes, it IS me, albeit a me who goes to more exciting events than I really do and a me who makes more money than I do. Should I have an invitation to something spectacular which requires a statement-making piece of clothing, you can bet I’ll be on the phone with Patricia in a nano-second. But until then, it will have to stay, like a great crush, in my mind.

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