The disappearing woman — a couture gown

couture
Photograph from the GilesDeacon.com website

This week, one of my writers drew inspiration from  some fashions by Giles Deacon Couture.

The link she posted led to photos of gorgeous, unusual dresses and a couple of outfits with pants—you’d get the wrong idea if I called them “pant suits.” One in particular took my breath away. So I thought I should write about it.

It’s beautiful and disturbing at the same time. The woman disappears below the waist, replaced by a trompe l’oeil trick: the skirt features a very clear, photographic reproduction of a fancy room—the gallery of a great house, perhaps, or an empty ballroom.

The photograph draws your eye downward, away from the wearer’s face. And the bottom half of her body disappears as your eye follows the streak of sunlight on the polished floor to the window. The window! the polished floor! We’re talking about a skirt. Does that seem as crazy to you as it does to me?

I don’t pay attention to High Fashion all that much, but many of the designers I’ve read about say things like, this from Yves Saint Lauren:

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.”

What about disappearing inspires confidence?

One couture client who didn’t disappear

Mr. Google just informed me that Giles Deacon created another dress recently, one that decidedly did not make the wearer disappear: He designed the wedding gown for Pippa Middleton. If you’ve just crawled out from under a rock, she’s the sister-in-law of the second man in line for the throne of England, the dashing Prince William.
W magazine called it an “inspired choice” that created a “marquee fashion moment.” So what do I know? Maybe the guy is brilliant.
But the dress that makes half of the wearer disappear still bothers me. Enough things in this world conspire to erase women. We don’t need our clothes to do that too.

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