Sunday, February 22, 2009

Firstly, an aubergine trench....

So it's 35 degrees outside, but here, inside the Bendigo Art Gallery, it's cool and dark and quiet.

We're standing in front of the aubergine silk taffeta trenchcoat (sharp collar, double-breasted, seamed at the waist, the arms and back panel cut from a single length of fabric, the astonishing mastery of both form and function), created by Christian Dior in 1947.

And I'm marvelling at the timelessness of the piece. At the enduring style and classicism. At the beauty of the work, and the precision of the cut, and the deep matte richness of the colour.

I lean over to My One True Love and I whisper to him excitedly: "That is extraordinary - amazing - I could wear that today!"

Meaning, of course, because of the way the coat transcends all notions of momentary whim and trend; stepping elegantly sideways, away from such frivolous and fleeting concerns, and standing firmly in the pages of fashion history instead.

And he looks back at me, and then at the coat, and then back at me, and he pauses, and he says thoughtfully, with a small crinkle of concern in his forehead:

".....I reckon you'd be hot."

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