Monday, May 14, 2007

The Want Monster Nibbles at My Exposed Knees

I saw this dress at Intermix yesterday and I just about fell over.

It's Matthew Williamson, it's called "Poppy" and it's truly gorgeous. This photo doesn't come close to doing it justice -- those are sequins covering the dress, beautiful, colorful sequins and beads that make the thing weigh about a ton but who cares because it's so freaking gorgeous. We all know I like sparkly things, but these aren't cheesy flashy sequins, they're gorgeous, rich-looking, jewel-like sequins. Truly drooly.

Now, much as I adore this, the Want Monster is only whimpering, not roaring, for a couple of reasons. The first one is the price tag: this baby is going for about $2800. Not so much in my price range.

The second reason is: look how dingdong short it is!

Everything is short right now -- it is a very cruel summer for those of us with less than perfect stems. I knew we were going to be facing this when I saw the Onslaught of Minis that was the Spring 2007 shows, but I was hoping that hemlines would drop down a little more than they did. Surely, I thought, surely the demands of grown-up Fashionistas will cause hemlines to drop nearer to the (perchance not-so-lovely) knees. But no, not so much. So here we have a dilemma: when does a trapeze become a babydoll and vice-versa? Is this distinction even important? And how is a person who is not 24 years old or possessed of runway legs supposed to deal with this? Even Diane von Furstenberg, that always-reliable purveyor of wonderful, wearable dresses, has gone high-hemline bonkers. Of the 56 garments shown on the "Dresses" page of her website, only four of them cover the model's knees, and two of those are floor-length!!

One solution that is being posited a lot is the tights/leggings/pants underneath the dress look:

(on sale at Neiman Marcus!)

I actually bought this dress yesterday because it's adorable, and it's made of a lovely, light-as-air silk & cotton gauze which will be wonderful & forgiving in the Austin heat. It's not quite this short on me, since I'm not 7 feet tall like most models, but I still am undecided about it. I may try taking the hem down a little bit, although I'm not sure the construction is going to allow for that. I could get myself a cute little pair of leggings, like the ones shown above, but it's going to be 912ºF for the next five months here where I live, and the point of the floaty summer dress is to stay cool in the brutal Texas heat. (Not to mention that I'm not entirely sure I can pull off this look without distinct whiffs of mutton emanating from me.) I'm going to have to sashay around this house in this thing a little bit & decide. I think I'm leaning toward taking it back -- I'm trying to live by the philosophy that if I'm the least bit unsure of something, it doesn't belong in my life.

How are you guys feeling about the hemline sitch? Am I the only one feeling a little frustrated?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go do my Fluidity workout in a desperate attempt to tone up my legs...

Photos:, style. com,

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WinterWheat said...

At 6' tall, I sympathize with your frustration. I will admit, with some embarrassment, to wearing skinny jeans and occasionally knee-length leggings under dresses. I know people are sick to death of this look, but until I can sit down in a dress without directly feeling the seat with my girlyparts, I'm wearing something more substantial than a thong underneath. Period.

StyleSpy said...

Dearest, I am all for covering your girlyparts, don't you worry.

Must admit to tiny envious sigh for 6' tall. I'm sure it must not have been fun when you were 13, but I can't help but think it must be great now. Man, if I were another 6" taller I could eat a LOT more junk food...

Iheartfashion said...

I think it was Halston who said that the knees are the ugliest part of a woman's body. Even most models don't have very pretty knees; they're either bony or lumpy. So I understand your dilemma about short dresses. And leggings or stockings defeat the purpose in summer! But short is all that's out there right now (other than maxi-length), so I'm looking for dresses that aren't obscene on me. I bought the Kate Moss for Topshop gold muscle back mini, but it's more like a shirt on me.

StyleSpy said...

iheart -- sadly, I think our buddy Halston was right about this. As he was about so many things...