Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blog Post No. 30 -- Birds of Paradise

One of my most treasured possessions is an uber feminine raw silk blouse my mother bought in Hollywood in the early 1940s when the world was at war. The blouse’s fabric is practically rotten now, and the color has long since faded, but the beauty of the hand-painted birds of paradise with their tattered sequin embellishments cannot be denied. I love it still, and insist on wearing the fragile blouse despite the threat of its spontaneous disintegration at any moment.

Today I wore my beloved blouse with even older trousers styled in the imitable style of Katharine Hepburn. These blue-gray slacks were hand made by my grandmother, Hester Myers, for my mother, Ruth, in 1935 or so. They fit me perfectly now and I am delighted to be able to wear them in the chilly late autumn weather.

I paired the trousers with taupe boots by American Eagle for Payless Shoe Source and a matching taupe belt from Chico’s with art-deco-inspired rhinestone detailing on the front.

Finding it difficult to choose jewelry to coordinate with the oddly faded blue-gray color of the trousers, I finally settled on a hand wrought silver and abalone bracelet which was a gift from my father to my mother on their honeymoon to Mexico in 1953, which I complemented with abalone cufflinks that belonged to my father and a gorgeous silver and abalone necklace and drop earrings given to me for Christmas last year by my dear friend and former administrative assistant, Marshall, in Texas, who purchased the set for me on a cruise to the Caribbean last year. On my hand I wore a silver-metal and pale blue stone double knuckle ring I picked up in Las Vegas in May.

A librarian at the Library of Congress today was blown away when I described the origin and age of my garments to her, but it was the attention from men that really struck me. More than ten different men, of varying ages and backgrounds, said hi to me as I walked the long corridors of the Library of Congress today. Apparently these old slacks are timeless in their ability to garner attention!

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