“Fashion must be the intoxicating release from the banality of the world.” -Diana Vreeland
I recently had a Saturday with no agenda and decided to spend some time in the Pearl District. My first stop was Powell’s Books because one of my goals this year is to read more books, rather than just skimming articles or surfing the web. I browsed in my usual spots- the cookbook section, the French language section, and the fashion and design section. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the history of fashion because I’ve relied on little snippets in Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar for way too long. Powell’s had some great coffee table books about clothing and shoes, but since my goal is to actually read more, not just look at pretty photos, I bought a copy of Diana Vreeland’s autobiography, D.V, published in 1985 edition. I can tell I’m going to enjoy reading about her life. She loved shoes, particulary decorated shoes and shoe clips, and she wasn’t fond of silly stilettos one can’t walk in. She also loved Paris – my kind of woman!
My next stop was at a charming little department store, moulé, which is a four store, family-owned chain based in Canada. I tried on a grey flannel pair of trousers, and a faux fur cape/poncho. My first inclination was to buy the trousers but a little voice said that Ms. Vreeland would have bought the fur. It’s fun, unusual, and elegant. I’m not blaming Ms. V for my choice but I’m proud of myself for not going for the boring, usual choice.
Part of what I love about fashion and style is its fantasy element. Yes, I’m a librarian but wearing my cape, I can imagine myself in another world. A Parisian salon in the twenties, perhaps, but something less banal than real life. But in real life, it’ll keep me warm, and add a bit of fun to my day.