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.