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Posts Tagged ‘pandemic 2020’

The Tear Dress by Elsa Schiaparelli.

 

In difficult times fashion is always outrageous. 

Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973), Italian born fashion designer.

Schiaparelli is my favorite designer of all time. Known for her collaboration with Surreal artist Salvador Dali, Schiaparelli designs were unique and fanciful and very much of the Art Deco era.  She turned the shape of a shoe into a hat and circus animals became buttons.

In this quote I wonder if Schiaparelli means that the idea of fashion during challenging times is outrageous. Or is she saying that fashion itself is (or should be) outrageous during such times.

Let’s go with the latter, and if it’s true then 2020 should see some extreme fashion, like the Schiaparelli dress pictured above. The Tear dress was part of the designer’s Circus Collection for summer 1938. The printed image on the delicate fabric is of cut skin reveling dark red blood underneath. There are actual slashes in the mantle worn over the head (pictured above left), which reminds me of the popularity of slashed fabrics during the 16th century.

Judith Watt says of the dress in her book Vogue on Elsa Schiaparelli (Quadrille Publishing, 2012), “The Tear dress remains a singularly hostile work … Taken out of political context in which General Franco was to seize complete power in Spain and Hitler was poised to annex Czechoslovakia and Austria, its meaning and impact is lost.”

Hostile garb for hostile times. What do we wear to reflect our current state of outrage?

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Jennifer Garner and Judy Greer in 13 Going on 30.

During this pandemic I find I want lighter entertainment. One of my favorite go-to movies is 13 Going on 30, which came out in 2004.

Jennifer Garner does a really nice job playing 13-year-old Genna, who has magically been granted her birthday wish and is suddenly “30, flirty, and thriving.”

Genna wakes up and finds she has everything she wanted: she’s a successful fashion magazine editor, she’s popular, she has a stunning wardrobe, and she’s all grown up! But she soon realizes that adult life is not so perfect.

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This is a sweet film, funny and lighthearted. Garner is very watchable – she really tapped in to all the innocence and vulnerability of a young teenager and she does some excellent slapstick comedy. Mark Ruffalo with his boyish charm plays her love interest and Judy Greer plays a convincing bratty frenemy.

The early aughts fashions are fun, but the real fun is a peek back at teenage 80s fashion and music (Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield). Also, there are many great shots of New York City.

13 Going on 30 is a total escape film that makes me smile and recently lifted my pandemic-stricken spirits.

 

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