Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Petticoat Dress

Proenza Schouler Hologram Petticoat Dress, $2, 150 at

Petticoats are often associated with women in the Victorian Era or the New Look by Christian Dior, but petticoats were originally worn by men as padded coats under their armor. The oxymoronic concept of the petticoat, then, as both warlike and feminine suggests a necessary readjustment in our perception of it. This Proenza Schouler dress captures the essence of the petticoat as both fierce and yet soft, masculine and yet feminine. If you examine images of Henry VIII--and I confess I am obsessed with The Tudors--you notice that he wears an above-the-knee flared dress underneath his massive overcoat, much like this particular dress, which emphasizes the lean length of its wearer's legs. Once again, the contrasting images of concealment and revelation make this piece a stunning study of opposites.

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