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Margaret Howell s/s 2015

These days, I often find myself buying clothes that look suspiciously like ones I already own. This may sound a little dull and perhaps it is. My body image has changed; I am not the girl of 19 who sat in the movie theatre and watched Holiday anymore. I did leave Minnesota only a few years after seeing that film, and moved to New York City. I broke away from my small town and the constraints of provincial life. It is fair to say that certain movie stars continue to haunt my wardrobe. Katharine Hepburn has been an ideal of tailored beauty whispering in my ear ever since I saw her all those years ago on the screen in that wonderful dress. I eschew frippery and excessive adornment of any kind. I like clothes with a masculine feeling that don’t make me look like a man. I like shoes that I can move and dance and even run in if necessary. Towering heels, platforms, complex straps that resemble fetters are not “me”. I like clothes that preserve and enhance my dignity, but are not so sober and serious that they make me look humourless. This is what I wish to convey when I get dressed. Whether I succeed or not in this endeavour, I honestly don’t know. I don’t see myself often enough. Before I leave the house for an evening out, I check myself in the mirror for just a moment and then I go off, happily ignorant of what I look like when I am living my life.

Siri Hustvedt on style: Outside the mirror.

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