Sunday, 12 June 2011
More thoughts on chick lit
I bought a Versace jacket. OK so it was second hand, and an absolute steal at the price, but still quite an odd experience.
I tried it on because Lois was busy seeing what she looked like in a new pair of trousers. I glanced at myself in a mirror and was shocked. I looked better than my own self-image. Almost as if I was looking at someone else who happened to have my beard and was wearing my jeans.
Obviously some fashion designers are worth what they earn. I ought not to have been surprised, after all someone like Versace could not stay in business this long if all they sold was image with no substance, but it is still a mystery how this better looking person got into my clothes.
Does it matter? I'm 66, so hardly likely to be making money or influence from how I look. It is a weird thing that external appearance, which, without a mirror can only be seen by other people, should matter to me. It provides an opportunity to explore what vanity is like. Take how I felt looking in the mirror, and amplify it to an almost psychotic level and there is a character with a very different view of the world.
For a writer the challenging thing about fashion is that it's very much a right hemisphere thing. What goes on in the brain is all pictures and emotions; translating that into words presents a number of choices, none of which can be guaranteed to work. You could spend all day talking about the feel of the leather, or the way the light reflected off it, and completely miss the smell or the way it moves or the fit or the cut.
Actually the sleeves are a tiny bit too long and with the zip done up it's tight enough to keep me on a diet, all of which suggests that I may have been reading too much chick lit.