Festive Fantasies

This is not a joke: last year, I made a Keynote presentation of things I wanted for the holidays. It was called ‘Lacey’s presentation-chic 22nd Christmas-cum-23rd birthday vision board’. It culminated with a a request for balloons, and I made it entirely for the pleasure of creating it—and presenting it to my mom.  

St. Vincent said something about how seduction occurs when the invitation to the party is actually better than the party. This is true about so many things, including the holidays. Who cares about one day when you get the build up of a month’s worth—at least!—of lights, fir trees, wreaths and baubles, roasted chestnuts, the Grinch and Charlie Brown music?  

I realise this isn’t universal. (For example, talking to my friend in Paris the other week, I learned that, despite having gone to college in New York and having two small children, she had never seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I quickly remedied that by showing her the best Christmas song  in American history.) But bear with me. I think we can all relate to the thrill of anticipation, a thrill that overshadows whatever it is that it’s building towards. There’s such unattached delight in knowing that state of affairs from the onset. 

This year for the holidays, we have turned to the timeless wish list—dress-related, of course! I had such fun reading about everyone’s desired objects, whether they be fantastic or grounded in reality, and hope you do as well. 

Happy holidays from the Class of 2018-2019!

Daisy

Not coming from a Fashion or Art History background, the first time I saw Cristóbal Balenciaga’s work was at the V&A Shaping Fashion exhibition earlier this year. I absolutely fell in love with the vivid green colour and incredibly bold design of this dress. It is probably completely impractical and I have absolutely nowhere to wear it but I love it and I just want to have it so I can stare at it!

Installation view of V&A Balenciaga Shaping Fashion exhibition showing evening dress and cape, silk gazar, Cristóbal Balenciaga. Credit: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/balenciaga-va-7-reasons-should-see-fashion-exhibition-year/

For some reason I was watching the ‘Never Forget You’ (The Noisettes) video a few weeks ago and I thought Shingai Shoniwa’s punk-esque outfit was amazing, particularly the silver docs. My go to outfit for a night-out is a sequin dress with black patent docs but I would love to upgrade to a sequin dress with silver docs!


Ellen

My dream present is this Giambattista Valli autumn/ winter 2015 haute couture skirt. I love this because of the bright ombré colour and the exaggerated size and volume of the skirt. I can only imagine how it would feel to wear this, and I love that it has next to no practicality. In essence, this fulfils my childhood dreams of a bona fide princess skirt.

I am ashamed to admit that I’ve avoided getting a sight test for 2 years and, furthermore, have had the same glasses for four years… So, I have decided to get a new pair. I love the idea of clear frames, but these are slightly tinted a blush pink. I wear my glasses all the time (I’m lazy and haven’t sorted contact lenses), so I aim for a mixture of something practical but also stylish.


Fran

So, the gift on my list that will never arrive (boo Saint Nick, you bore) is a Christopher Kane AW18 crystal-embellished black, twill blazer. I would dress this bejewelled number up with a black tailored flare-trouser and a classic Chanel-red lip. Maybe even a pair of huge, over-sized Oscar de la Renta crystal earrings—though that could be overkill. OR be a little less theatrical and wear it with pair of classic Hedi Slimane Saint Laurent leather trousers (maybe AW15?—I am still very much in the realm of fantasy here, in case you were confused.) Running with this theme, I would paint my face with some YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Fuschia Innocent and a dash of jet-black mascara (and most likely a splattering of glitter). 

I am desperate to sit by a log fire with an amaretto-infused mulled wine and read Emily Spivack’s Worn in New York: 68 Sartorial Memoirs of the City (2017).

Another (less dress/fashion themed) publication I am very interested in is Sarah McBride’s Tomorrow Will Be Different (2018). I listen to an amazing podcast called How to be a Girl by Marlo Mack, and the last episode (Episode XXVI, 6 November 2018) was dedicated to McBride’s inspirational career; she is an amazingly strong woman. Also, listen to this podcast NOW—it’s a whole thing.


Imogene

I would want a front row ticket to a Chanel Haute Couture fashion show… that would be a fantasy in itself.

Left: Chanel Haute Couture Show Spring 2017
Right: Helmut Newton photo of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Le Smoking’, ‘Rue Aubriot, Paris, 1975’, 1975, French Vogue

For my more realistic gift, I’d like to have an enlarged photograph of an iconic fashion image – a Helmut Newton photograph or a photograph of a Grace Coddington fashion editorial.


Jeordy

In the alternate reality where I have rich friends and family and have fashioned myself after Eartha Kitt, the ‘Victoire’ Clutch with Shell from Rocio (or literally any of their other clutches) would be on my wish-list.

Acacia and shell ‘Victoire’ clutch by Rocio. Photo taken from the author

Each stunning, limited-edition bag is handmade in the Philippines using native acacia wood. This clutch is acacia and shell, and features an 18k gold chain and clasp, and faux suede lining. It would look simply marvellous with a silk or velvet evening gown, don’t you think? It is available at Fortum and Masons, if anyone wants to be my Santa Baby this year!

Even realistically, buying clothes for your loved ones for Christmas is risky business, especially when they (I) wear mostly vintage clothing. For this reason, this year I have my eye on the novel and extraordinary bespoke creations at The Emperor’s Old Clothes, a vintage and one-of-a-kind clothing boutique in Brighton.

Cropped jacket and miniskirt sets from The Emperor’s Old Clothes. Photo courtesy of Instagram

Their unique sets—either a pencil or circle skirt and crop-top, or cropped jacket and miniskirt— are handmade with vintage fabrics, making them especially one-of-a-kind. The Emperor’s Old Clothes’ all-female team are paid a living wage, making their products ethical on top of being environmentally friendly and unique, all of my criteria for a great gift.

Top and skirt sets from The Emperor’s Old Clothes. Photo courtesy of Instagram


Lacey

It’s not just that I want this dress: it’s that I want a reason to have this dress. If I were to dress up like the Sugar Plum Fairy, you better believe I’d have the social connections and sparkly evening plans to go with it. I’m already worried about how to get my hair to behave…

Lately, my friends and I have talked about having patrons and sponsors—people to magically offer us jobs and provide goods like above. Until that happens, I ran out of my Atelier Cologne clementine perfume last year and am dying for more…


Marielle

I dream of an opportunity to wear this Yohji Yamamoto gown I saw at the Fashion and Lace Museum in Brussels, and of an occasion to wear it!

Photo by the author

But I could more realistically swing a skirt with reversible sequins, a trend I love for this year, and perfect for a holiday party (or any other day)!

Photo courtesy of Instagram