The Lilith dress found at Olivia May in Oxford, visited Japan with me.
The day we met in Oxford was dark and cold.
The dress made of wool, felt like a comforting cuddle.
As I am quite the master of packing very little, (no check-in baggage no matter how far, how cold, how hot), the Lilith dress had to work hard multi-tasking.
Here’s one traveling dress re-expressed in many ways:
Worn as a dress, for wandering about Ginza, and then sitting right smack on the Chuo-dori, lost in thoughts.
Worn as a coat for drinks and jazz music at The Cotton Club.
Tossed over a high street dress and boots sans tights with straight hair, it’s the sort of date night dressing that scores, even after 20 years of marriage.
Worn again as a coat for a tedious traveling day, involving trains, ferry, bus, the Lililth dress offered quiet authority and confidence, filling in all blanks where one’s Japanese fell short.
Fact- a dress that pulls its weight gets you around. The Japanese so unfailingly helpful and polite, and so aesthetically-sensitive a culture, appreciate a good dress.
It’s like putting on, the correct manners.
So with the right set of manners, I arrived in good form at Naoshima Island.
For dinner (with Warhol!) that night, I pushed its sleeves up, and re-wore the dress, as a dress.
It made good company for late night museum adventures.
The next few days, the dress was used repeatedly as a coat.
I got to know the dress really well, and to my delight, found it also allowed and expressed dance.
Back in Singapore for a night, I decided to retire the dress momentarily, and sent it away for dry-cleaning.
That meant I now needed something else to wear back on the plane to London. Ah, the advantage of living between 2 cities and dividing up one’s wardrobe! I peered into my Singapore closet, and retrieved an old Dries.
Here’s something I’ve learnt with age- if you shop with an exacting eye, and be very selective with what goes into your wardrobe, the pieces even from past collections, can still be worn again and again. With time, they even pass off as, vintage.
I like vintage. Goodbye, Lilith Dress. Hello, old Dries. I think you’re going to like, London.
- Olivia May, Oxford http://oliviamay.org