Another day, another dress.
My fourth and possibly most heart-wrenching goodbye is to this silk sweetheart by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.
This dress is Love.
I bought it seven years ago when I’d just moved to the capital for my dream job at L’Oréal. I was in Love with my career, in Love with London, and in Love with a boy, then I saw this hanging in a window… and fell in Love with a frock.
Philosophy di amor
I’ve worn it once and once only to an event at the Kensington Roof Gardens.
It was the Therapist of the Year awards ceremony, sponsored by Kérastase and hosted by the hot Welsh one who used to be on T4. I distinctly remember ordering translucent drinks to avoid spillage/dribble dramas, oh and cackling to myself all night at the fact that the sign behind Steve Jones looked like it read “The Rapist of the Year”.
It was the perfect little dress for a springtime occasion.
Philosophy di Alberta is another diffusion line of the haute couture world, aimed at young-ish urbanites with more aspirations than pennies.
You don’t really have to be a city-dwelling Millennial to carry those traits anymore and I guess that’s one of the main reasons I started writing in the first place. The C word is everywhere. We’re consumed by Consumerism, and it’s actually quite suffocating when you let it sink in.
to buy or not to buy, that is the question
A few months ago, some sort of ethical lightning bolt sent down from the Gods of Sortyerlifeout sent shockwaves through my body and I went tête-à-tête with my Squanderlust self.
For somebody who used to treat themselves to a new wardrobe addition at the very least once a week, I’m transitioning into mindful consumerism much more easily than I could have ever imagined.
A lot of our instinctive reactions to things are emotionally driven. It dates back two thousand millenia when our homosapien selves wandered the grasslands of Africa and when our oldest part of the brain, the limbic system, aided survival of the fittest. Emotions were how we made nanosecond decisions to stay alive; fight or flight.
In today’s world the likelihood of a tiger creeping up behind us or a poisonous snake wrapping itself around our ankles are slim to none, but our emotions still take the lead in our automatic decision-making, even when we’re shopping.
So when I walked into COW, a vintage/upcycling shop on Bold Street in Liverpool, I instantly magpied (new verb I just invented) a coat that I “fell in love with”.
Old me would have marched straight to the till without any further thought, but this all new mindful consumer me decided to pick the coat up and waltz it round the shop for a few minutes first. I held it up against myself in the mirror…it still looked a little bit adorable…so I waltzed around some more, interrogating my Need vs Want intentions with every box step.
I tried it on. It was a perfect fit and still very much adorable but with a now highly questionable needability rating. So I foxtrotted out of that shop victoriously coat-less and overly proud.
THE NEED FOR TWEED
Despite my many non-purchase shopping victories since then, by far the best thing about being more of a mindful consumer is actually buying nothing.
It’s the fun I’ve had raiding my wardrobes and digging out things I’d forgotten I even had. It’s that every morning feels like an art experiment – decorating my face, hair and body with combinations I’d never thought of before.
This morning is a perfect example, a plain white cotton dress, a brown tweed blazer with puffed shoulders that pulls in at the waist and hair bouffed up with a thick black headband à la Brigitte Bardon’t. The second I walked into the office my lovely team asked where I’d left the horse.