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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Of Silken Gorillas

Did you ever not buy something that you really couldn't afford, or didn't need, or couldn't justify, and then regret it for years afterwards?

For me, that thing was the most plush, lovely, sweet-faced stuffed gorilla. I was about 15 years old, and we were on a family vacation, and the gorilla was on the top shelf of some store in I Can't Even Remember Where. He cost $20, if memory serves, and was about a foot high. I held him, stared into his sweet face, fingered his price tag, and longed to be richer until finally my mother said it was time to go. Regretfully, I put him back on the shelf. I was too old for toys. I didn't need a stuffed gorilla. I certainly didn't need to spend $20 on one.

What I could not know, of course, is that there were years of teenaged longing still ahead of me. There were scores of nights in which I would be unable to sleep because He (whoever the He of the moment was) had not looked at me once in Physics class, or had looked at me but not like it meant anything, or had looked at me like it meant something but still hadn't called...or whatever. You remember those days. It would have been some comfort to have had a mute, constant, huggable companion on all those lonely nights of youthful heart-ache. To this day, I still think I ought to have bought that gorilla.

My current obsession in the category of Things I Pine for That I Cannot Justify Purchasing But Might One Day Kick Myself for Resisting is this dress:

It's bias-cut silk charmeuse, which for those of you who don't sew, can be roughly translated as "guaranteed to hug your curves properly, fit and float like a dream, and make you feel like a million dollars every time you wear it." Or, more succinctly, "luscious." Also, the style could not suit me more if I'd had a personal visit from the designer who then concocted a dress specifically for me.

It's also $242. Which, given inflation in the (mumble)ty-four years since I was 15, and the fact that I now earn more than $1 an hour which was my going wage back then for babysitting, is roughly the price of a 12" stuffed gorilla.

The designer is Amai Unmei, whose work I have never seen before I came across this dress, but whose collection quite simply stuns me. These are simple, gorgeous, elegant pieces that are grown-up without being the least bit frumpy. And oh-my-stars are they well made. How can I tell? Just by looking at how they hang on those dress forms. One thing you learn when you sew a lot is that there is absolutely no substitute for a well-cut garment. And these dresses, my friends? Are design gold.

That sound you hear is me, sighing quietly with longing.

For in all those years since I did not buy that gorilla, I have yet to find a scholarship that funds the purchase of deep and heartfelt but not really necessary consumer desires. But, oh, doesn't that silk look magnificent?

11 comments:

Marinka said...

Ok, I'm not one of those math weirdos, but I don't understand how you can afford NOT to get that dress. You were made for each other!

Annje said...

I regret everything I haven't been able to buy... for a few days, and then I forget about it. I do splurge occasionally though, and that dress would make me want to. It is beautiful. I hope you have something coming up (b-day, anniversary, flag day) where you can "justify" it.

Lise said...

That's a gorgeous dress. I would look awful on me - the curve it would hug would be my poochy, four pregnancy tummy - but I'm sure it would beautiful on you.

LceeL said...

hubba hubba! *ahem* That, I would like to see on you.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

That is SO pretty... But $242?!? Yikes. That is more than a "splurge" for me. That's an entire month of groceries...

Mrs F with 4 said...

I really, REALLY want the 'Bias Red Silk Velvet Polka Dot Dress with Off the Shoulder Cap Sleeves and Bows'. However, I fear it may not suit (nor even cover) what the children kindly refer to as my 'wibble'.

the mama bird diaries said...

Cute dress!

Longing follows us through life - doesn't it?

Melissa said...

I always have to say in times like this do I need it or do I just want it and then there are the times I say effe it and I buy it anyhow. Since becoming a mom that has not happened much at all!!! Love the blog I am following you.

Momo Fali said...

It's so pretty. I hope you find a way to get it!

anymommy said...

oh i don't know, if you have places/occasions to wear it and you haven't splurged lately? Tis gorgeous.

Jaina said...

Wow, that's beautiful. I think I'm falling in love with the dress too...and I definitely need a little black dress, I do not have one. (shocking, I know) That's really expensive though. I'll just have to dream I suppose. I hope you are able to get the dress. Early Christmas present?

 

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