Sometimes I feel my writing is following lines in circles which bring me back to the same old places year after year. I can’t tell if it’s a pleasant or uncomfortable feeling; what I know for sure is that resisting the impulse to write about the same topics again and again is pointless.
Take the kinderwhore-style staple, for example, that black baby-doll dress with white collar (and cuffs) made famous in the 1990s by Kat Bjelland and her once partner in crime Courtney Love (and spotted on Kurt Cobain, too). I extensively wrote about it in 2009; four years later I’m at it again and I don’t feel sorry about it. Call it obsession, define it as you wish, whatever. Forget the endless debate about who wore it best because the past is past and all this babbling about it, playing the “if” game is pointless and frustrating. At the same time, don’t think they first came out with the idea of wearing it because Divinyls’ Chrissy Amphlett had already done it: she used to perform in school uniform and fishnet stockings, and sported the aforementioned dress on the cover of the 1983 album Desperate. Kat and Courtney wore mostly vintage clothes back then, so the origin of such a dress must be found in an earlier past.
They never wore Yves Saint Laurent, but it’s interesting to see how the French designer had the idea for a dress with the same main features many years before. His Haute Couture spring/summer 1967 collection included a black dress with white satin collar and cuffs, created for Catherine Deneuve as Séverine Serizy in Luis Buñuel’s Belle de jour. There’s a thin line connecting these two garments, I agree, but let’s play a fashion game: what would be the result of mixing them together?
Hedi Slimane, currently at the helm of Saint Laurent, did it in his fall/winter 2013 collection and let me tell you the result has stopped me in my steps. What is special about this black tweed lamé baby doll dress with Claudine (or Peter Pan, as you prefer) collar? The price for sure (it’s $ 1,890.00), but nothing more, yet I’m here dreaming of having it in my closet and wearing it like there’s no tomorrow. Yes, it’s been certainly be designed for a completely different type of woman, but I can see my name all over it. Maybe I’d need a custom-made piece (my hips need space), but it’s a style dream come true.
The same collection includes many other versions of this dress – a drop-waist dress with pleated skirt, a velvet dress with slightly flared skirt, a chiffon shirt dress (this would probably suit me best) – but the one above is the perfect combination of Severine’s Parisian chic and Bjelland’s scruffy and child-like look, which is – in my book of style – a match made in heaven. If only fashion gods listened to my prayers…
Bonus read: kinderwhore revival in Meadham Kirchhoff’s collections.