Friday, 8 July 2011

Not a Cloud in The Sky

This is the obligatory blogger-pretending-to-be-woodland-faerie shot, taken believe or not, in central London.  You'll just have to imagine the garland of dainty daisies adorning my pre-raphaelite locks (not).  This is what I wore on the hottest day in London a couple of weekends ago.  Happy times.  It's been very moody weather ever since, with heavy rain returning with tropical vengeance on far too many washed out summer days.

I am actually writing from sunny Spain where Mr V and I have escaped to for a few days for some respite from the abysmal English summer.  Here there really is not a single cloud to be seen in the sky.  One can walk around in nothing but a slip of silk dress and sandals without jacket, coat, cardigan and just be.  Pure bliss!  But as the photographic evidence above shows, it is possible to do this in the UK on at least one day of the year!

I am certainly a cheap date when the sun comes out.  I'm quite happy to lie in a nice park somewhere sunning myself like a lizard to store up rays for when the weather inevitably changes for the worse.  On this occasion, for a change from our local park, we ventured into Hyde Park to take in the sunshine and heat.  The Wireless music festival was on so the park was extremely crowded.  Queues for icecream! Queues for the ladies! Queues for seats in the cafes! Lucky we were able to picnic contentedly on two apples and a bottle of water.  I did say I was a cheap date.

I managed to wear a slightly problematic floaty summer dress which I have had for a few years now.  I've always loved the flapper-esque cut, the smocking detail, the criss cross spaghetti straps and the lace up back, but more anything I love the print.  I feel like I'm wearing an impressionist painting in shades of sky blue, baby blue, pale pink, grey and lavender.  The way the bands of colours bleed together reminds me of all the colours and passing moods of a summer sky.  A malleable, moving potrait of the sky achieved with nothing more than tie dye on silk, changeable according to the whims of one's imagination as the weather is to the whims of nature.  In it I see the tranquility of a cloudless blue sky, warm breezy afternoons with puffs of cloud floating by, the white heat of the sun tearing pink and lavender strips off the greying clouds at sunset, clouds dusting mountain tops at dawn, clouds gathering over the foam tipped waves of the sea, clouds gathering for the brewing storm that will break through the summer heat with the violent crack of lightning and thunder.  Somehow it's all in there in the print of this dress.  How does the random path of dye on silk manage to work such magic on our retinas?

The way I made this dress work was by removing a rather twee sequinned flower stitched on top of the distressed corsage on the side which had always made the dress a bit too girly for my liking.  More half hearted Christmas decoration than statement sequinned bloom, its sparkle quotient didn't do quite enough to convince me that I was wearing a day dress ironically as an evening dress or vice versa.   Removing that saccharine detail to let the unfinished edges of the fabric flower beneath take centre stage instantly made the dress feel slightly edgier and more wearable for day.

Quite a few people commented on my last post about our local street party that they wished that something like that would happen on their street.  If you haven't seen my reply on the comment thread I wanted to let you all know that if you live anywhere in the UK you can make this happen on your street.  You just apply to the local council by applying online and you too can have your street shut off to traffic and invite all your neighbours to a big street party!  It happens every year in the month of June and they have an email newsletter to let people know when registration opens.  So start planning now!

Postcards from Spain soon!

Tye dye silk print dress: Mango;  Gem embellished sandals: Gap; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Blue Sarong: Natura


  1. You're right--the print on the dress reflects the many moods of a summer sky. In the first pic there for a second, I thought I was seeing you shoeless!

  2. Oooo i'd love to be in Spain! i'm listening to the weather report as i type and i can hear an awful lot of "wet" "blustery" and "thunder." Have a lovely break. The print on your dress makes me think of the sun relecting off a clear blue shimmering sea, very pretty and so Summery.

  3. It really is a beautiful dress....a work of art! Ah, vacationing in Spain....sounds like a dream!! ~Serene

  4. I love this wonderful puff-of-air dress - I can see you easily reaching for this little number every hot day you're lucky enough to get there! Oh Espania!!! xoxoxo

  5. I love this look on you. It is different than a lot of the stuff we see you in. Enjoy the trip.
    No Guilt Fashion

  6. Nosotros nos vamos a pasar un mes en Inglaterra huyendo del calor, y tú vienes...jejejejej La vida...
    Me encanta tu vestido tan etéreo y dulce a la vez.

  7. My package of sunshine finally got to you! LOL. I'm soo glad the weather was perfect and you could rock that gorgeous sun dress! Can't wait to see the pics from Spain! :)

  8. Have a great time in Spain! ;)

    That dress is really perfect! Especially I love the back detail!

  9. I love that dress on you and quite agree, a half-hearted sequinned corsage would have been overkill, much better to admire the beauty of the dress unadulterated.
    Have a wonderful trip to Spain, I'd love some of that heat and sunshine. I'm like you for basking like a lizard. x

  10. Hope you enjoyed Spain! I love that dress.


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