I should start by saying that this is a very controversial trend. Not in the breaking-down-racial/sexual/political/religious-boundaries kind of way, but in the eternally-boggle-the-mind-of-the-male-gender kind of way. Upon first gander into my beloved bedroom, my Special Man Friend cleared his throat and dove straight into his critique, starting with the dresses hanging delicately from the walls. Some of the highlighted quotes were, “Is that what you wore in a past life?” and “Is that what you hope will be in style in the future?” Gaffaw, gaffaw, Special Man Friend, gaffaw gaffaw.
The second and more pressing reason why this trend is controversial is because it’s sometimes said to seem trite. Considered an element of the ‘shabby-chic’ movement, opposing pretentious design commentators say it’s forced and already passe.
In response to these haters I have the following to say: I believe that you should decorate your personal space with things that you love to see every day and that make you happy. Ignore any design bible rules that tell you otherwise. Unless what you love to see are porcelain clowns. In this case remember to always do the opposite of your instincts. And maybe talk to a therapist.
Aaaand here’s a little taste for Garments As Art as interpreted by Suite Potato.
Although I won’t tell you what not to do, I WILL offer some helpful suggestions when integrating this trend into your life.
1. Choose significant archive pieces to display.
Try to select pieces of sentimental value to you, or a piece that tells a story. For instance, the nude mesh high-waisted skirt is a Richard Nicoll piece worn on the runway during his Spring 2011 show. It was about to be thrown away after it was shuffled around unclaimed for several months at the PR firm where I worked in London. I rescued it from its smelly “rubbish bin” fate, knowing it was secretly a designer piece. My style-savvy flatmate and I rummaged style.com until, eureka! we came upon its creator – Mr. Nicoll.
The vintage blue lace and chiffon dress was the first piece I bought myself with my first London paycheck. It’s my symbol of coming-into-adulthood dress. Which is ironic as it looks like it was made for a five-year-old girl.
The fabulous cream sequined and lace dress hanging solo against my closet door was Mamma Sally’s first “fancy designer dress” her mother bought for her in college. It hung neglected in my parents’ guest room closet for years before I discovered it, marveled at its fabulousness and put it to good use.
2. Choose colors that compliment the room.
3. Save your most aesthetically pleasing hangers for display (ie satin or velvet).
Wire hangers damage the shaping of the garment! Avoid at all possible costs!
4. Be prepared to fight your pretty little corner when inviting skeptical guests into your space.
And when all your prepared arguments fail, make them feel awkward by sorrowfully stating that the hanging garment they were just ignorantly knocking actually belonged to your (insert diseased relative’s name here).
xx Suite Potato