Words by Jess Hake

“A slip dress? Maybe an empire waistline? Possibly a halter neck? I could do sequins but I’m not sure on the texture, a shiny fabric could work just as well don’t you think? But yes, no yes, definitely a mini dress.”

With the 21st of June fast approaching and having an invite to a gold theme party a few days after that optimistic deadline, conversation of fashion has entered the domain. With it being over a year since I got dressed for social occasions, 2020 and 2021 so far has revolved around me dressing for me and wearing what I want. Before the pandemic hit, I remember prepping for parties with one train of thought being “what will I look best in?”, with that “best” being defined by the male gaze and masculine affirmation. “Will they like me?” and “what makes my ‘assets’ look the best” were two other thoughts that would bounce around my brain like a pinball machine. Yet, as lockdown entered an extended reality, I stopped caring. It was the “oh, no one’s watching me” mindset that entered into my head as I was locking down in a small village in the middle of nowhere (Lincolnshire). 

With this in mind, deciding what I wanted to wear for the ‘gold’ party was interesting not just because it was finally a social occasion, but also because my mindset had changed. Over lockdown, I started wearing clothes that I personally linked to art. This manifested in a much more casual, Parisian, French chic sort of vibe. Coupled with this, the start of lockdown coincided with the start of my affair with sewing. With my mum having an old sewing machine and me having a history of sewing having studied textiles in school (A* GCSE not to brag). Initially it was facemasks, making tens upon tens of masks that I sent away to friends and family, then sewing scrubs at my local village hall. Later on that summer I started churning out more complex items; crop tops, jackets, dresses and trousers. As a result, my sewing skills improved quite drastically and to the extent that for Christmas my parents got me a sewing machine.

With my ‘Singer Talent’ now set up constantly on my university desk, the want to now create my own outfit for the gold party is quite high. As a result, this edition of ‘Editor’s Choice’ is being used as my personal mood board to bounce ideas around. The simplicity of the Joseph dress I really like, not only would it be a simple-ish sew, but it suggests toward a timeless elegance. The Michelle Mason LBD is sharper and lacks the calm, flow-y element I enjoy from Joseph, but I do like the detailing and straight neckline. The draping of the Alice + Oliviadress, much like the Joseph garment, adds a touch of femininity to the simplicity of a slip dress. Yet it’s R13that captures my heart. The cut-outs on the side of the dress add an intriguing element to the outfit without hyper-sexualisation. The detailing at the bottom of the dress is also a fun touch. Overall the dress seems to compile a range of interesting detailing without it stepping over the border of elegance and being deemed ‘too much’.

The obvious issue with all of these examples is the very obvious fact that they don’t stick with the gold theme. Furthermore, I don’t actually enjoy gold that much.. I’m not 100% sure if I suit the very brassy gold colour. However, as Robyn (the editor who’s published right next to me) is in-charge of organising the soiree, I’m banking on the fact she may accept a light gold or rose gold garment. 

If all else fails, I guess I’ll just have to cover myself from head-to-toe in gold body paint and come as the physical embodiment of an Oscar.

Categories: Arts Editors Choice

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