Monday 12 September 2011

Poetry and Clothing Project: July

It's high time I created the next installment of the exciting Poetry and Clothing project. As you can tell by the title of this post, the timing of the project has slipped somewhat, but for excellent reason. Harriet, our resident poet, spent a large chunk of the summer cycling solo from Toulouse in France to Venice in Italy before taking a boat to Greece. This adventure, which culminated in an inspirational poetry symposium on a Greek island, took a couple of months in total, before she had to sell her bike and fly back to Barcelona. It sounds like she had an amazing trip and I'm sure I speak for many when I declare myself more than a little jealous! But that's Harriet: she thinks of something she wants to do, and gets it done despite any difficulties, practicalities and hurdles that may threaten to get in the way.

Since her return, she has typed up the most recent poems that form her side of this creative relay, so I'd best get on with sharing the garments I sent her for July.

First up, she received a garment that has already graced this blog: the red linen swing trousers. As you may or may not recall, these trousers, though the result of another lovely collaboration of sorts, just didn't work out for me. The fit and indeed style weren't right for me, so I decided to pass them on to Harriet who I knew would love their 1940s high-waisted stylings and most likely fit them better than I.

One special little detail that I forgot to share with you at the time is the cute domino button. The button that popped off because of my belly!

Harriet is also a tap dancer, and in fact tap dancing is an integral feature of the life of Lola, Harriet's alter-ego. I like to think that these trousers could look awesome when worn during a tapping session! They also fulfill two of Harriet's clothing requirements that she outlined when this project began: plain AND high-waisted.

The other garment I sent her for July was also made from seasonally-appropriate linen fabric. This is a really simple basic A-line skirt made from a vintage 1970s curtain. A pretty standard and uninspiring garment in some senses, but in another it was a relevant and useful training tool. I gave my best mate a sewing lesson in which she made her first ever garment, a lovely A-line skirt made from a cute black and white Eiffel Tower printed cotton. I aimed to touch Vic's skirt project as little as possible, because I really wanted her to get those most out of the lesson, and we all know how easy it can be to just say 'Oh, give it here' when teaching someone something. So my aim was to make the same garment along side as Vic made her's to show her the steps before she did her own. But actually she was really good and honestly didn't need much showing at all. I'll try and get a pic of Vic in her skirt one of these days...

But back to 'Poetry and Clothing'. As you may have noticed, when posting about a month's garments, I include for your pleasure the poem that Harriet wrote for me that was inspired by the previous month's garment/s. June's package consisted of a pale blue striped high-waisted pencil skirt, and a ruffle front detail T-shirt remake. She decided she was going to wear the pieces together to attend the graduation ceremony of this year's leavers from the school where she teaches.

Graduation Day (June 2011)

Playing a part
(a photo on a lawn)
with time sliding along
a thin wire.

Tight-fitting ideals
and memories filed
neatly away in an empty classroom
(one lone magnet holding nothing
but itself to the wall)

Me, straight and curved
(the way a woman looks to a girl)
in an attempt to contain that
red-eyed hope
(no heart to tell how we shrink
and sag with time)

A long-seamed dart
imitates perfect long legs
a perfect shade of pink
and the way the sky changes colour
(nothing to anchor us
but heels in the mud)

The invisible champagne spills
the fireworks scratching at the sky
the insects by the pool
all suggest we are on the cusp of something
(something akin to cliché
but more ruffled and prettier somehow)

A well-measured match

And then, the courage to clash

I really love the ideas and nostalgic snap shots that are woven into this poem. The subtle references to the feel, fit and details of the garments are referenced so cleverly too, IMO.


Unknown said...

Lovin' the vintage curtain print!
Do we ever get tosee some pics of your friend? Especially in "Lola" mode! She sounds like a bit of a force of nature!

Claire Cooper said...

I love a simple A line skirt - so versatile and the choice of fabric can make it original! I often look at Boden's skirts and love the designs, but they are so simple I usually end up making my own versions.

niddetissus said...

I love the poem and can't wait for the next installment!

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