31 May 2007

The perfect LWD

When I first saw Kate Winslet on the set of her new film Revolutionary Road in this '50s-era white tea-length silk shift with extended cap-sleeves, dainty-thin cinch and decorative shoulder buttons, I stopped short, tilted my head to the left and after about 20 seconds of breath-held awe, let out an audible sigh.

This is the dress. This is what I look for every time I enter Annie Creamcheese in Georgetown or Psyche's Tears in the East Village. The accentuation of the waist-to-hip contour, the conservative neckline and the dramatic sleeves all contribute to a silhouette that to me epitomizes prim, ladylike beauty. Instead of relying on a short hem or racy décolletage, the sexiness from this dress comes from its cut and slim fit. The skin that is showing is minimal but strategic in that what we see - the arms, the calves, the ankles and that which the neckline scoops out - is innocent flesh, flesh even the most modest woman would bare in public. Beyond the sheer sophistication of the way it looks, I think the main reason why I'm so drawn to this dress is that the woman wearing it is able to channel both the sultry siren and the church pastor's wife.

And really, isn't that every woman's objective when she stands before her closet each morning deciding what to wear?

This dress isn't something I would ever expect to see on that other British Kate or Giselle or Cameron, in part because I don't think they have the good taste to pick it out, but more so because they don't have the zaftig figures - more specifically, Hollywood's modern interpretation thereof - to make it look as the designer intented it to look.

In short, the way it looks on Ms. Winslet.

Mom, liberate your JoAnn Fabric card and sewing machine from storage -- Boefie wants a new dress and she wants it in white, black, red and gold lamé.


Anonymous said...

I feel you, J, but the gloves? Really?

Johanna said...

Oh no, no gloves.

and much higher, much more peeptoe-ish heels.

And if it were a formal event, I'd probably have Mom leave off the buttons, too. I like them on the white version, but if I were to actually have it in black or gold - esp. gold lame - I'd go for simple simple simple with just the skinny belt.

Sigh...I just can't stop thinking about this dress. And me in it. Carrying an envelope clutch. In a jazz club in Manhattan. With a cocktail. Okay, I'll stop now.

i think you're brilliant. said...

Love it! Love her!

And you're right, you'd never see Cameron Diaz in this kind of classic shift. It's just stunning, and it would look dazzling on you!

etcetera said...

i prefer the second pic where she doesn't look like she's about to rip the dress down the back with her stride.

and i still think the extended cap sleeves look like part of the Jetsons costumes.

Anonymous said...

I love those sleeves! Very 1950s.

Noelle said...

Both Kate and the dress are stunning!

brown bear '02 said...

Love it. Love it. Love it.

okay, you've convinced me, we'll go vintage store hopping on Tuesday. Fine. But you're still brokering a deal for me on those "Marc Jacobs" sunglasses in Chinatown. And by "deal" I mean get them for me for free.

Can't wait 'til Sunday!

Anonymous said...


This is what I was talking about over at projectbeltway about how this look is so good for my wife.

I agree with the call for peep-toed shoes, but otherwise, it's just wonderful.

justine said...

"And really, isn't that every woman's objective when she stands before her closet each morning deciding what to wear?"

You are absolutely out of your mind. It sounds like you dress for men, not for yourself. Let me guess, not married?

Syd said...

The first pic gives me claustrophobia, but I love the other. Very pretty dress. (and I like the sleeves)

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...


Chill a little. Your husband must be thrilled with you. I don't know about other women, but my wife does dress, in part, for me. She cares what I think about how she looks.

First and foremost its for her own self-image but yes, she thinks about me. And I would expect the same out of every woman--they think about how they feel, then they think about how men (or women) would like it.

I do it for my wife too. First it's my feelings, then it's hers. Why would I ignore what she thought?