Saturday, December 15, 2012

The One That Got Away

There's always one— the movie you missed seeing before it disappeared. The magazine you meant to pick up before it left the newsstand. The love you let slip through your fingers and now you'll never know. The dress you hesitated buying and now... it's gone. Or rather, I'm gone.

Last September I spent a day of our London trip traversing Oxford Street, Kings Road and Kensington High Street. By the time I hit KHS my dogs were barking, as they say. I could barely think straight let alone shop. The last stop before I would hurl myself back onto the tube and Hotel Home was TJ Maxx (called TK Maxx in the UK because ???). A bit of a hovel it was, not even trying for the decent presentation one finds in stateside stores. Nevertheless, I flipped through the Designer racks in the basement and spotted a Vivienne Westwood jersey dress. This dress was not only by the old master herself; it was made from fabric printed from another old master, Rubens, possibly a variation on The Rape of Europa.  

I'd only ever thought of Vivienne as a rather loony lady with a punk design sensibility who has managed to stay in business since 1981. The British equivalent of our own Betsy Johnson perhaps. Delightfully outlandish but never anyone whose label I would lust after.

That dress, however, has been my undoing. Shapeless on the hanger, you could see it was meant to come alive on the body. Yes, I tried it on, but it was size Large, and I am Small or even Extra Small. I suspected it would drape a whole lot better if it were a whole lot smaller. It would also have been $150 American. The last time I paid that for a dress at TJ Maxx was... never. So I let it pass. But it haunts me still.

I am now stalking the dress on ebay. Where there's a will, there's ebay.


  1. It's a wonderful dress - go for it! I admire Westwood's style, and the older I get the more I like her attitude.

  2. It hate when that happens. But there is hope for you. I once passed on a pair of leather and linen boots in 1988, and last year I finally spotted them in my size on etsy.

  3. That's amazing! And amazing also that your foot size hadn't changed in 23 years! Wear them in the best of health, as my grandmother used to say.