22nd 2010
Fab farewell

Posted under: art, European history, fluff, unhappy endings

Sarah Jessica Parker

There was a memorial service Monday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London for designer Alexander McQueen, who sadly killed himself earlier this year.  It looks like it was a fitting tribute–fashionistas turned out in McQueen’s designs, and Vogue‘s Anna Wintour spoke in tribute.

I could never, in a million years, wear shoes like these, but I thought SJP’s ensemble (at left) was adorable.  I tend to go for more tailored looks, but it would be fun to be able to dress more romantically and theatrically sometimes.  Living in small town Colorado means that I don’t get the opportunity to dress up very often.  People don’t even dress for dinner in downtown Denver.  I went to tea at the Brown Palace Hotel recently, and people were seated and served in jean short-shorts and tee-shirts!  (Needless to say, Historiann and companion classed the place up with our summer frocks.)

I don’t often miss having long hair, but every once in a while when I see a ‘do like this, I’m nostalgic!


30 Responses to “Fab farewell”

  1. squadratomagico on 22 Sep 2010 at 9:58 am #

    I love that look and would have many occasions to wear it — but you already knew that, didn’t you?

    As for long hair: I had long hair until last week, when I cut it to shoulder-length. While it *seems* like a good idea to go for those sorts of up-dos, I never wore them because they cannot be done by onesself — they require staff. I don’t do staff.

  2. Historiann on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:03 am #

    Yeah–she’s probably got a roll underneath that updo. (And, to me of course, shoulder-length is long hair!)

    Of course, I thought of you immediately when I saw that outfit, Squadrato! How cool that you still can play dressup.

  3. Fratguy on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Hey! that’s hardly fair, I wore my very best Tim Tebow Bronco’s jersey to tea that Sunday afternoon !

  4. Historiann on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:15 am #

    HA-ha. You’d never dare.

  5. Indyanna on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:26 am #

    I had rather hoped Historiann would have trumped the _Times_ and shown us what Stella McCartney wore to that event, but whatever. Maybe somebody out there knows more about this, but I just the past two weeks noticed that young women on this campus are wearing skinny high-heeled shoes in droves this fall, not ones like these, and not to class, but at night, on weeknights, with shorts, with jeans, walking awkwardly as if still practicing, on uneven paved and unpaved surfaces, etc. I’ve been wincing, as it looks painful. But is this something that just hit, or did it just hit two years ago, and creep (wobble) into Transaltoonia a little bit late? They weren’t wearing them to tea, alas, as we don’t have any tea joints. But if we did, I’m sure a Tee-bow T-shirt would work just fine.

  6. Emma on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:42 am #

    “I don’t often miss having long hair, but every once in a while when I see a ‘do like this, I’m nostalgic!”

    As Kristin Chenoweth says, it’s easy to buy more hair.

  7. Shane in Utah on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Heh. One of the things I like about living in the west is I rarely feel underdressed for anything. Footwear more formal than hiking boots or Keen sandals generally make me the best-dressed man in a room full of academics…

  8. Kathie on 22 Sep 2010 at 10:49 am #

    The link to the memorial service at the beginning of Historiann’s post has a further link to a photo gallery that includes a shot of Stella McCartney, though her outfit is mostly hidden under a black cloak. I was particularly taken with Daphne Guinness’s hat and shoes.

  9. Katrina on 22 Sep 2010 at 11:07 am #

    People were served in shorts and t-shirts for afternoon tea at a hotel? The horror. At least some hotels wouldn’t let someone in dressed like that.
    (synchronicitously, I just posted something about dress in public, before I clicked over here!)
    I think SJP’s outfit is great, but I struggle with heels that high. I recall once years ago she was on Letterman and was RUNNING down a hallway in mile-high Manolos. She’s been my hero since then.

  10. squadratomagico on 22 Sep 2010 at 11:12 am #

    @Katrina: I think it’s easier to wear high heels when, like SJP, your weight hovers around 100 pounds — fewer pounds per square inch pounding onto the feet. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Actually, when I wear heels I often prefer platforms, for the cushioning they provide on the front end. I have a couple of pairs that are quite high, but they are manageable for this reason. But I also wear flats…

  11. Indyanna on 22 Sep 2010 at 11:54 am #

    Mea culpa. I clicked the link, but not the gallery. Thanks, Kathie.

  12. Historiann on 22 Sep 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    “I think it’s easier to wear high heels when, like SJP, your weight hovers around 100 pounds. . .

    Yes. She’s really short too, so there’s also less height as well as less mass to balance. (And Squadrato–I love the wedge. I don’t really wear high heels, but when I do, the wedge heels are so much easier and more comfortable to walk in!)

  13. Susan on 22 Sep 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Totally cute outfit — I wear shirt-dresses with a similar cut, but not the tulle, fluffy stuff. And those shoes; well, as someone who has been known to turn an ankle wearing sneakers, it’s not going to happen.

    The other day a colleague told me my style was east coast and chic — I thought it was historian frumpy. I was intrigued to look at the NYT on fashion week, and see that some designers are doing things a little less revealing. Maybe we’ve gone as far in the casual direction as we will, and there will be a little reaction. Maybe Mad Men will propel people to dress like they have spent some time thinking about their clothes?

  14. Perpetua on 22 Sep 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I would love it if everyone would step it up a notch in the formality department, not that I am smartly dressed. I feel like my wardrobe has yet to recover from grad school. I have one amazing suit, and a re-wearable wedding dress I’ve never re-worn. But at least I’m not wearing peasant skirts and Crocs. But maybe if I *did* someone would nominate me for What Not To Wear and then I would have $5000 to buy new clothes in NYC.

  15. squadratomagico on 22 Sep 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Actually, today I’ve been working on a very fancy costume for the Fall Arts Ball, so the discussion is timely. I suspect some rather high heels ultimately will form part of the ensemble…

  16. Comrade PhysioProf on 22 Sep 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    People don’t even dress for dinner in downtown Denver.

    I don’t know how to break this to you, but people don’t dress for dinner *anywhere* anymore. In NYC, jeans and a t-shirt get you into 99% of the outstanding restaurants in the city, even on a Saturday night. The only places that give a shit what you wear are the grossly overpriced celebrity-chef clip joints, where the rubes might get restless if the illusion of magnificence that justifies the ridiculous prices they are paying for mediocre food is disturbed by the presence of other patrons in non-magnificent clothes.

  17. koshem Bos on 22 Sep 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    I teach in t-shirts and shorts, but for dinner at friends I put on nice pants and shirt (preferable Italian). I’ll dress up for a dance company at the Kennedy center but not to my office or talk to the Dean. If he is offended, he can always resign.

    I am offended when people come to a gallery opening with the crummy tie they wear to work.

  18. Feminist Avatar on 23 Sep 2010 at 5:38 am #

    Well, I am EXTREMELY grateful that people no longer need to dress up to eat out- who could be bothered with that!

  19. Multanemo on 23 Sep 2010 at 8:09 am #

    You people are eating out! I need some of that income redistribution to do that!

  20. Historiann on 23 Sep 2010 at 8:30 am #

    I’m sorry that dressing like adults is a thing of the past. It’s interesting to note that the requirements for adult clothing have relaxed to the point of non-existence in the same years in which many Americans insisted on dress codes and uniforms for schoolchildren. But, that’s the kind of selfish libertarianism that dominates American political culture these days: dress codes, gun restrictions, and no privacy for thee, nonvoters, but not for me!

    I’m not saying that jackets and ties should be required–it’s just that there are NO standards whatsoever. I don’t mind the jeans and cowboy boots look–in fact, that would be a real improvement over (for example) cut off jean short-shorts or sleeveless Broncos jerseys. Who wants to look at too much exposed flesh and hairy armpits?

    And sadly, I realize that it’s not just Denver.

  21. Susan on 23 Sep 2010 at 8:52 am #

    I’m with you, Historiann. When I go out to dinner, I want people to look as if they thought about what they put on. I’m not picky beyond that, but…

  22. FrauTech on 23 Sep 2010 at 9:01 am #

    LOVE that outfit. Of course, I’d never have anywhere to wear it. That’s one thing I like about going to see the local symphony perform, it’s an excuse to dress nice, and most other people there (who are often senior citizens) are dressed nice too. Of course I don’t sit down in the cheap seats with the masses either, as for me it’s experience as much as hearing the music.

    I kind of like the relaxed dress codes, also in the West here. Business casual means I can wear khakis, a sweater, and ballet flats one day or nice slacks and a crisp looking collared shirt with a nice cardigan over it the next. I love to surf Nordstroms or other sites and look at their trendy outfits. I don’t really have the waistline, budget, or skill at heeled shoes though to pull a lot of it off.

    I don’t think you have to be short and stick thin to wear heels. I think honestly it just takes practice. Like Indyanna’s college students, I’m probably visibly “practicing” when I occasionally wear heels. I think better to get the hang of it younger or in college rather than be older and still trying to figure out how to walk in heels or how to wear makeup. I mean, it’s nice that society didn’t force these things on me, but because they’re “expected” I have to hide my novice level at them now that they interest me.

  23. squadratomagico on 23 Sep 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I should do a post on this topic. I seem to be the only person on this thread who feels like she would have ample occasions to wear something like SJP’s outfit — and I think it’s a reflection of the particular social group I run with, which engages in a lot of “costuming.” That can mean anything from simply “dressing up” to quite elaborate creations involving lots of layering, wigs, gloves, masks, etc. This dressing subculture is clearly a direct response to the rise of casual attire “uniforms” that do not require any thought: my friends take dressing up beyond the norm and go to the other extreme of intense planning and creativity for major social occasions. Dress-up is fun — particularly when there are no rules or expectations.

  24. squadratomagico » Blog Archive » dress code: fabulous on 23 Sep 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    [...] posted a brief piece yesterday about a memorial service for the late, brilliantly artistic fashion designer Lee [...]

  25. Comrade PhysioProf on 23 Sep 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m sorry that dressing like adults is a thing of the past.

    I am afraid you would be very disturbed by my teaching attire.

  26. Historiann on 23 Sep 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    A wife-beater and jorts? Now, that would be bad.

    (ZOMG that jorts man is just nasty looking.)

  27. Comrade PhysioProf on 23 Sep 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    No way am I clicken on some fucken “jorts” linke. I don’t even know what “jorts” are, but I sure as fucke am not clicken on itte.

  28. Historiann on 23 Sep 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

    (Jorts = jean shorts, and they’re this year’s fashion disaster.)

  29. susurro on 25 Sep 2010 at 9:59 am #

    I own a very similar version of that coat in a light blue (it has the same folds, seems, etc. but has black outstitching on everything to take it up a notch more) I wear it to class in my conservative town all the time. I blame Judy Butler b/c this little femme couldn’t get thru the day without a little performance or too. :p

  30. susurro on 25 Sep 2010 at 10:00 am #

    “or too much unexamined visual manipulation in that town” :p something cut off the end of that sentence

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply