Sunday, August 30, 2009


So here I am, toeing the line between summer and fall, between childhood and adulthood, in fidgety and nervous anticipation of my first week of college. My feelings are mixed. I will never have another childhood, and this makes me all the more nostalgic and despondent - I never lived my child star dream, and as many Fourth of Julys and and Halloweens and Valentine's Days as I might have left, I only had one of each for every year of my life: my fourth year, my eighth year, my seventeenth year. . . And yet I have a stretch of years before me filled with unwritten memories and unachieved achievements. One day the world will know who I am, and one day, after my story is finished, I will finally sit down and tell it all.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Summer That Might Have Been

This summer was a pleasant summer. Bill Cunningham took my picture at a twenties theme party on the beautiful Governor's Island. I worked, I stopped working. I saw a spectacular nighttime fireworks show in a local park on the Fourth of July. I took a lovely beach trip with my mother and danced in and out of foamy waves. I spent a week with my wonderful aunt in the Berkshires, watching breathtaking dance performances on the outdoor stage at Jacob's Pillow, spending evenings nibbling on rhubarb spice cake with whipped cream, picking wildflowers at her farm share, sitting on her old sofa and reading novels, swimming in the local pond and taking hot showers outdoors afterwards. My Italian friend, whose family had hosted me during my exchange trip in Calabria, came to stay with my real family and we celebrated her birthday American-style, with dinner at the Shake Shack and a homemade cake with Coca Cola frosting.
I am so fortunate to have such special memories, but sometimes I wished my handful of memories covered more than a handful of glittering summer days. There were stretches of time that I wasted away inside, with only dreams of Impressionist afternoons flitting and floating through my mind: the Munich Beer Garden, the Luncheon of the Boating Party, La Moulin de la Galette. I might have liked to have my own boating party at a nearby lake filled with peddleboats, or a picnic at a nearby arboretum, and for that I feel as if I may have wasted a precious chance. Now I enter college, rested and ready for fall. I guess there's always something to come back for.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Won't Grow Up

My parents, ever the modern architects, always ask me how I, their daughter, could have developed such a so-called mind for intellectual pursuits yet exhibit such an attachment to "cute" fashion. Not Harajuku District cute, per se, but ruffly, feathery, polka-dotsy cute. I can see how it strikes them as a contrast, yet I really don't choose to dress childishly at all. I dress coyly, playfully, with sweet frills and earnest details, but always in an age-appropriate fashion. Why? Because it brightens my day.
My aunt has this fantastic pair of rompers she bought in San Francisco, her former residence. She said she found them at a store that sold strictly children's clothes for adults. And why San Francisco? Because, I presume, at risk of generalizing, San Francisco is overflowing with quirky free spirits like my aunt. There was a genuine consumer base for this original little shop.
If my presumption holds true - and I can't see this store surviving in, say, Omaha - I see a bit of an association here. Youthful people gravitate towards youthful clothing. You see, I don't believe clothing is merely self-expression, but also self-realization. When we put on a piece that makes us happy, that happiness is an acknowledgement that we are addressing some special facet of our wonderful multifaceted selves. Clothing is freeing. Childhood is freeing. So why, O minimalists of the world, deny ourselves the joy and freedom of old-fashioned, pure, innocent, sweet clothing if an old-fashioned, pure, innocent, sweet person is whom we wish to be?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thinking Out Loud

I just wanted to thank you all – readers and followers alike – for your love. I know my blog isn't the most popular fashion blog out there by any means, and it wouldn't be right if it were! I'm happy to have my blog be our little secret. Since À la Mode differs from other blogs in a number of respects - it's not a lookbook, for one; it's not focused on the latest fashion gossip, for two - I am grateful that you all appreciate it for what it is: an inspirational montage filled with nostalgia for childhood, for eras we missed, for magical places that don't really exist.
I apologize for my lack of posts lately. Summer - hazy beach swimming, late-night stargazing, and drippy-ice cream-licking - the closest to a world of magic I have been in real life - has drawn me away from my online world of pretend. Be sure that I will resume my regular posting in the near future, with reasonably sporadic posting for now. Rest assured that I do not plan to abandon something this special to me.