It’s December and Holiday goodies are on our mind. We decided to come up with a dress-themed holiday wishlist where each of us dreamed up a fantasy gift and a realistic gift to ask Santa for this year. Check out our answers below!
Dr. Rebecca Arnold
Fantasy: I would very much like a Madeleine Vionnet dress – I don’t mind which, but what a dream…
Realistic: I would like the new Richard Avedon biography – Avedon: Something Personal, by Norma Stevens & Steven M L Aronson. I love his work and would enjoy reading more about his life.
Fantasy: Myrtle Snow’s leather pleated gloves by Gaspar Gloves but in black
Realistic: Fetishism in Fashion by Lidewij Edelkoort
Fantasy: Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy designed dress for the 1954 film Sabrina is my dream gift. This is the dress that made me fall in love with fashion, film, and of course Audrey Hepburn!
Reality: My more practical wish list gift is the exhibition catalogue from the V&A’s wonderful exhibition, Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. It was a beautiful show and I would love to be able to have the catalogue to flip through whenever I want!
Fantasy: As the self-proclaimed biggest fan of the Met’s Costume Institute, I would want an invitation to this year’s Met Gala.
Reality: Keeping with my Met Gala theme, I am asking for last year’s exhibition catalog Rei Kawakubo/Commes des Garcons: Art of the In-between.
Fantasy: Custom Gold Grillz. I have been looking to improve my dental bling aesthetic.
Reality: Match Stix Trio in Deep from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. Ready to work on my #fentyface!
Fantasy: A Paco Rabanne 1967 mini disc-dress, altered slightly to be long enough for my tall self to wear — perfect for New Year’s Eve!
Reality: A DSLR camera, so I can take better quality abstract pictures of my surroundings.
Fantasy: Live as Princess Galitzine (fashion designer, model, and WW2 Codebreaker) for a week, preferably, when she created her famous palazzo pyjamas. Princess Irene Galitzine was a WW2 codebreaker, Terence Rattigan muse, Dior model, actress, M&S advisor, TV presenter, Russian princess, and fashion designer, whose most renowned creation was the “palazzo pyjama” suit. Because why not? Sounds exciting doesn’t it?
Reality: An original Kenneth Paul Block illustration, in monochrome framing. I Absolutely love his beautiful and gestural fashion illustrations that are energised and full of movement.
Fantasy: Issey Miyake’s Bao Bao tote is on my dream Christmas wish list. The metallic prisms are attached to a mesh setting, making it is semi-structured—so playful and fun!
Reality: What I really need, though, are more sweaters. It has been a running joke throughout this term that I moved to London with only two jumpers. A cashmere turtleneck would be the perfect winter addition to my California wardrobe.
Fantasy: For this year’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities back in the Netherlands, I would love to wear this gorgeously green, printed silk evening dress made in 1938–1939 by Anglo-American couturier Charles James (1906–1978). Its fabric was designed by the artist and illustrator Jean Cocteau (1889–1963). The masks in the print are portraits of the artist and his love, the young actor Jean Marais. The dress is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (Fashion, Room 40). The colour and print of this dress are stunning, and I adore its construction, with the crossover bodice with keyhole in the front and the slight V-shaped back. A girl can dream, right?
Reality: While writing an essay on Simplicity’s paper patterns, I became obsessed with a sewing pattern designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, which was brought to the public by the American chewing gum company Wrigley to promote their ‘Double Mint Chewing Gum’. In an advertisement in the March 1938 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, Hollywood actress Anita Louise modelled the ‘Schiaparelli Double Mint Gum Dress’ made with Simplicity Pattern no. 2740, which could be purchased at the time for $0.15. I would absolutely love to have this pattern in size 16 to create my own Schiaparelli.