Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Drama of a Dress

Some Thoughts After Seeing Love, Loss and What I Wore

We complain when the media focuses on what a woman wears, instead of on what she says We probably know more about Hilary Clinton’s choice of pant suits than about her specific political positions. Yet we flock to see a show that is about the clothes we wear and have worn through out our lives.

That’s what Love, Loss and What I Wore, described as an intimate collection of stories by Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron , based on the book by Ilene Beckerman, which closed recently after a successful run at the Philadelphia Theater Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre in Philadelphia is about. The play, staged like a reading - five women seated on stools with only a few drawings on an easel to illustrate some of the fashions mentioned - manages nevertheless to evoke memories in the audience composed mostly of women, even on a Friday evening, of our own experiences with fashion over the years. 

Clothes are significant. They reveal our status, our aspirations, and our passions. They act as disguises when we want to hide because we’re in a bad mood, and they reveal our bodies when we want to entice. They also tell our histories. Women used to make quilts out of old clothes not only because they were sometimes the only fabrics available, but as a way of retelling the story of the wearer, the lived experiences of those cloths, the cold nights, the bad dates, the happy births and weddings.