Besides clothing and sewing, I have many other interests which don't get highlighted on this sewing blog. But sometimes, there are intersections! For instance, I commonly read SorryWatch, a blog about the often difficult by necessary act of apologizing. Apologizing is something we all need to do sometimes, but mostly do badly; and, as a major catalyst for reconciliation and healing, it deserves attention. SorryWatch applauds good apologies and the moral courage it takes to make them, while pulling apart bad or weasly apologies and showing why they suck. But this post, about people in the Democratic Nat'l Committee apologizing (or in some cases failing to apologize) for leaked emails, caught my attention mostly because of the marvelous dress that DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz wears in the top photo, from a 2012 Vogue photoshoot.
HATERS GOTTA HATE...
Unlike some outraged people (or people who like to project outrage online), I do not think the price of the dress contradicts Wasserman Schultz's political statements supporting the working class. It's a photoshoot for a fashion magazine... no matter how "newsy" it pretends to be, it's really about the clothes, so of course the director of the shoot grabbed a designer dress. They probably had a lucrative marketing deal with the designer to feature one of his designs. It's silly to blame the wearer for it, especially since she doesn't own it! If merely wearing expensive clothes means you don't care about the poor, then shouldn't the people on those "Save the Children" ads wear rags? After all, a simple pair of sneakers could be a year's wages for those poor people!
But I do disagree with the amount of photo editing that this photo shows. Congresswoman Schultz is airbrushed to an insulting degree: so much so that she doesn't even look like the same person. (Google her to see what I mean.) For one thing, they whitened her skin and abolished her freckles. They removed at least 20 pounds. They did something to her eyes... removed folds from underneath them, I think. They even got rid of her distinctively Jewish nose and gave her a straight one. (The nose thing is more obvious in a profile shot of her in a blue dress, from the same article. In that photo they also changed her complexion from a ruddy Spring to a clear Winter, presumably so the blue dress would look good.) The Vogue article is supposed to be profiling her as a woman and a politician, but the airbrushing sends the message that accomplishments mean nothing if you have freckles or bags under your eyes. Better "fix" you so you look like a woman "should"! Oh, and not Jewish.
Anyway, if you're interested in parsing apologies re: the leaked email scandal of 2016, go read the SorryWatch post. If you want to fall down a rabbit hole of woman-hating, democrat-bashing, anti-Semitism, or Photoshop critique, well, you know how to use the internet. But if you just want to sigh over some fine dressmaking design, stay here and admire the dress with me!
BACK TO THE DRESS...
I just love the dress. I wonder how I could copy it? Maybe if I bought some of that blue "style line" tape and taped it on my dress form... they do it on Project runway and it looks fun! Here are some images from Bergdorf Goodman, found through Lyst:
Looking closer at the front skirt, I now think that it doesn't have a yoke; I think it's got a godet in the center front, and the side pieces come to meet above the godet at the belly button. And the back view... check out how the shoulder things (what are they, sleeves? epaulets?) have darts to shape them to the back and into the underarm! So they give the illusion of being rectangles of fabric, but they must have been cut from some wonky parallelogram. The exposed zipper all the way down to the top of the slit is puzzling. Is it a separating zipper? What does it feel like to sit on those teeth?
What a great dress!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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