FRESH YARN PRESENTS:
Francesca Lia Block
is a director who was hoping to create a film version of my first novel WEETZIE
BAT. She is probably the most gorgeous woman I have seen up closea tall,
slim blonde with a sensual fairy face who was chosen to adorn VOGUE's best-dressed
list one year. These are the outfits she wore when I met with hera baby
blue trench coat with jeans and snakeskin boots and a Louis Vitton bag; a dark
green T-shirt, camouflage print mini-skirt with frayed hem, high-heeled sandals
and rimless sunglasses; faded Levi's and a short-sleeved red and white peasant
blouse and red Dr. Scholl sandals. I also saw a picture of her as a bleached-blond
punk teenager wearing dark eyeliner and a shirt that looked as if it was made
of chain metal. When I told my agent Lydia (a fashion icon and shoe fetishist
in her own right) about how Theresa intimidated me, she told me that she thought
I had my own unique personal style. I began to thinkI am not young, tall,
blonde, beautiful, but I can write things that very stylish people admire. I have
a creative mind and a fit body, even after giving birth to two babies who look
at me lovingly no matter what I am schlubbing around in.
My babies are,
surprisingly, my other guides on the path to find my inner fashion goddess. Of
course, you wouldn't think so on the surface. As a mom I have even less chance
to dress up. On the one occasion when I was daring enough to wear white while
sitting on my front porch, freshly manicured and pedicured, reading fashion magazines,
feeling incredibly glamorous, my nursing baby splattered poo all over me. But
in spite of this incident, my children inspire me. They both have blue eyes full
of mystery and sturdy strong little bodies and luminous skin and heart-wrenching
chuckles. Their beauty makes me feel truly beautiful for the first time. The wonder
of them makes me feel truly worthy at last. I nurture them with my milk; they
came from this body. It deserves, at least, to be adorned accordingly.
And there isn't all that much time. Upon seeing an article entitled, "Elegant
At Any Age," in one of my favorite magazines, I was struck by the short duration
of each decade we are given. I realized that I had lost my opportunity to express
myself through fashion in my twenties and my thirties. My forties will be gone
in a blink, too. Seize the dayor the Dolce, or the Dior!
was dining with my dear friend and editor, Joanna, at the elegant hotel where
she was staying. We were talking about our struggles with issues of beauty and
I was telling her about the changes I am trying to implement in the way I see
myself and about how important a bag can be in my life now. As I said this I noticed
a gorgeous handbag walking past. It was attached to a petite dark-haired woman
in a pink and green Pucci top and white pants. The woman flitted over and began
to compliment me on the embroidered silk jacket I was wearing. She told us about
a book she had written, THE POWER OF BEAUTY, and offered to send us free make-up,
which she did! Her charm was like a perfume you savor. I realized laterthe
fairy of adornment. And she has blessed us.
Well I did find a gorgeous
watermelon pink bag on sale a few weeks later, not to mention matching pointed
mules with buckles. And I just woke up at four in the morning after a night of
nursing to write this in its entirety.
But do you know who else helped
me with this piece of writing, this culmination, or should I say launching of
my quest? Taylor Thorne and Hedwig.
In college I was introduced to a friend's
friend, a short, cute, hirsute writer named L. who drank too much. I liked him
but nothing came of the encounter and we lost touch. Years later I received a
package from a mysterious someone named Taylor Thorne. Inside was a manuscript,
a journal by Taylor, who was once a married man and is on her way to becoming
a full-fledged woman in New Orleans. As a woman, Taylor's writing is even better
than anything I had ever read when she was L., and so is her hair. But what I
loved most about her funny, touching journal is that Taylor knows what she loves
and who she is and she is going to become that, even if it means giving up everything.
She will try to sell her book and make money to have electrolysis over most of
her body. I would like to try to help her find a publisher. She has helped me
learn to work with what it is I've got.
In HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH,
the hero/ine Hedwig says, when her lover finally reaches down to fondle her wounded
body, "It's what I've got to work with, honey." And work it she does.
In a plethora of platinum wigs, sexy fishnetty glam costumes and lavish red glitter
lips. Adornment saves the beautiful, heart-broken Hedwig from despair. At first.
But then she needs more; she needs her music. And when she fully owns that, she
can be naked and wigless, wandering off into the world, at peace. For Hedwig,
becoming meant stripping down and I love her for it. For me, it means dressing
I love clothes, okay? I love them so much that I salivate over Dolce
Gabana ads as if I am a dieting woman staring into a confectioner's shop window.
I lie awake at night thinking of satin trench coats belted with studied ease,
elegant white leather bags with heavy metal hardware and Lucite stilettos. I imagine
finding the Chanel suit of my dreams in a resale shop. And I hope, before I die,
to have at least one original YSL in homage to that great man who once said that
any woman can look elegant dressed in a black skirt, a black sweater and on the
arm of the man she loves.
Call me superficial. But when my soul is fully
expressed by my body, she can leave her dark room, sing her stories out loud and
version for easy reading|
material is copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission|