Thursday, September 6, 2012
Renewal, and the September Issues
Every year, about August 15th, I start fretting that the massive September issue of Vogue is not going to arrive. Did somebody steal it out of my mailbox? Who could resist it? Some postal worker, somewhere along the route between New York and me, is probably flipping through the pages during her (or his!) break, getting egg-salad crusted thumb marks on my copy. When it finally arrives around August 20th, I rejoice. At last! Then I feel immediately guilty at suspecting mail theft, especially by our hard working postal employees. I hereby apologize profusely for such unjustified mistrust, and feel really bad about the whole thing.
This year, as the 120th Anniversary issue it was truly humongous . And glorious as usual. Every fall, I anticipate the first sit-down with it. I pour coffee (or wine, if for some reason, I am forced to wait until evening) turn off the news and switch to Baroque music or a little discrete jazz, and delve into this astonishing compendium of the most important and beautiful clothing, shoes and jewels that I will never own. And I don't just rendezvous with Vogue. There are at least a half-dozen more magazines that I'll pore through. This isn't about ownership or shopping. It almost isn't about the clothes.
For me, it's about the potential for renewal, even in the Fall of the year.
You'd think that this is a concept that is reserved only for the Spring collections and fashion issues. But no. As long as I can remember, September marks the beginning of the delicious time of year when I can get serious about the things I love best. I'll forever associate it with going back to school and all the attendant luxuries; new books, new classes, new ideas, old and new friends and new clothes. My grandmother was a professional tailor and seamstress, and I always got a seriously well made and custom-fitted dress or two, and at least one new pair of shoes. And we all know that new shoes can be personally, academically and romantically transformative. This is a fact.
As a curvy, hourglass type (my euphemisms and I'm sticking to them!) Summer has never been my optimally flattering season as far as clothing goes. Too many flaws to hide. Fall and Winter are my best times, and every Fall is a chance to finally get it right.
I've always been on a clenched budget, but that doesn't stop me from planning how to approach this best season with a little more grace, a little more taste and modernity than I managed last year. And because I am an old woman now and have many more Autumns behind me than ahead of me, there's no time like the present to dress up with whatever panache I can manage. And as I get older, each Fall looks like a chance to be better.
Renewal doesn't mean a whole new wardrobe. It means new ways to put old items and ideas together. It also means finding new items that expand the meaning of what you loved last year. That's the kind of renewal and that I find in my September issues of the fashion magazines. What do you find?