3.27.2008

old clothes

A weekend visit to Edith Machinist (the mahvelous vintage store whose eponymic owner [or is it the other way around?] just randomly happens to be the daughter of my mother's decades-ago dissertation adviser) turned up a truly amazing white heavy-linen a-line trapeze dress with a boatneck and single-button placket and then holy shit when you look at the tag you realize it is from 1890 and it is in fact underwear and the red embroidered initials are not some fashiony flourish but are in fact the initials of its presumably now-dead owner who probably was personally acquainted with the Civil War. And then you try it on and it fits perfectly even though you are the size of a house and then you have an awesome conversation with Edith about how it is basically a museum-quality piece and how it totally looks like an avant-garde anti-fashion dress made by someone like Marni or Prada and yet it is cooler to the power of seven kinds of infinity because it is from the freaking goddamn nineteenth century. So of course it had to get bought. Boughten. Boughtest.

Anyhow, I put it on to wear this morning but then chickened out, because I'm not yet sure how to get the effect of carrying around a sign that reads "ask me about my 120-year-old dress!" without, you know, actually carrying that precise sign. Also I will probably spill something very un-1890s on it, like Kraft Mac-n-Cheese or a spicy tuna roll, and Edith (who is lovely & awesome) will somehow find out, and will chastise me, and I will feel bad because I let her down.

Rest assured, however, that when I do work up the nerve to wear a dress older than my grandparents' parents, there will be a drawing, and lots of exclamation points.

3 comments:

-j. said...

1. Apparently both Edith and the store are eponymous, although more commonly the term would apply to Edith (the source of the name).

2. PFFFFT on "size of a house", unless of course you mean my old friend Cheryl House, whose size you actually do approximate. I'm guessing this is precisely what you meant.

3. Yes, drawings and exclamation points, please.

4. Hi Helen! <3

A is A said...

I don't know you, but if I ever visit New York (please let it be soon) and I see you on the street in said dress (don't worry, I'll know by the description) I'll stop and ask you about it (for instance "omigod, that dress...where did you find it, and where can I get one?!), just so you can tell someone about it without fishing for compliments/inquiries. Of course I'll already know all about it but you won't know that, and you can relish in your fashion/vintagy dominance over all others, none the wiser.

Of course if I do actually see you, I might have to gush about your blog, thus ruining the whole facade for everyone...but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

nadarine said...

well, holy shit. I was there on Sat, tried that on, and put it back as I was unsure if I was actually cool enough for it. I'm glad you now get to rock it and prove that you are certifiably cooler than I!

(I did score a clearance-rack brown pleated dress with some crazy tiering, so all was not for naught at Edith Machinist. Dolce Vita had a great many lovely dresses on their sales rack as well, which made my credit card tired.)