A sign of the monkopolypse

sock monkey dress

Considering that five people sent me links to this before breakfast (including my little brother — hey Matt!), I figured that I should post it, even though I'm sure all of you saw it on boingboing already — it has just occurred to me that I get more information from boingboing than from any other place, which is either inspirational or sad, take your pick).

Click on the picture to hit the link my brother sent (Matt, why are you reading the Tampa Bay paper?), which has audio and video and whatnot. Frankly, I was too scared to listen to the audio, or watch the video. I'm not sure which would be worse. For instance, what if the audio went like this?

Radio guy (in radio voice): "We're here with Rebecca Yaker of Minneapolis baby and bedding site Hazel and Melvin's Room. Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for a sock-monkey dress OH MY GOD ONE OF THEM WINKED AT ME NO LOOK THEIR MOUTHS ARE OPENING I DID NOT KNOW THEY COULD DO THAT SHARP TEETH OMG NO NO NOT MY MIC FOR THE LOVE OF GOD HELP ME SOMEONE PLEASE AAAAARRRRGGH."

But what if the video, in addition, showed their sharp little teeth glistening with gore, and the model with her arms raised in that B-movie "I'm being controlled by forces I cannot understand" pose? That would be even more terrifying.

Now that I have an inkling of the sock monkeys' evil plan I might have to hide all the
Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey and Tom & Pippo books in the house. UNLESS IT'S ALREADY TOO LATE. Was that the soft thump of a knitted wool foot behind me?

Secret Lives of Dresses Vol. 7

ebay item 120023635674

Sometimes now she'll take me out of the closet and look at me for a minute, but I never get worn. I never even make it off the hanger. I understand, I do, but it gets a bit lonely, and when you've only been worn once, you don't have a lot to fall back on.

The weather was heartbreaking, the day she wore me, because you knew it wouldn't last; one of those early-autumn days where the sun and the wind conspire to keep the temperature perfect, and where the sky is so blue and clear that you swear you can see the stars twinkling right behind it, just waiting for the lights to go down so they can shine.

She had an early-dinner date, not really a date, with a friend. A male friend. The kind of male friend that occasions last-minute applications of lipstick in shop windows, and smiling at strangers, and a new dress, like me. Nothing too fancy, nothing that looked like she was trying too hard, but something that made her feel good, attractive, almost pretty. He met her on the right corner, not even late, and they walked through the park together. He talked; she nodded. She seemed used to his peevish tone. She listened, jollying him along. She crack a joke and he'd let out a sharp "Ha!", smile for a minute, a patch of still water in a rough current, then go back to his roster of complaints. Someone had underrated him; someone else, he was sure, was out to get him, had never liked him; yet another person had an undeserved triumph that should have been — was rightfully! — his. There was a woman; there were several women; none of them were the right woman. He didn't think there was a right woman, not for him. He was on the verge of giving up, he was. He didn't comment on the new dress.

I could feel her breaths get shallower; how she held herself tense, hoping for some kind of flattering comparison, between herself and the not-right women. It didn't come.

They were at the restaurant; it was nothing special. Not a date restaurant, a neighborhood restaurant, but it wasn't his neighborhood, and it wasn't her neighborhood. I thought I felt her stiffen, again; was it the kind of restaurant you took someone you didn't want to be seen with? He smiled at her as she sat down, and she relaxed a bit.

There was nothing on the menu he really wanted; he was concerned for his digestion. Finally, after much inquiry as to the exact composition of sauces and the amount of butter used on the vegetables, he decided on a chop and a potato. He wanted wine, but said it gave him a headache, so he didn't order it. Tap water for him, please. She had a club soda, although I thought she really wanted wine, too. He criticized her steak-frites order: "Aren't you girls always watching your weight?" She put down her half-buttered roll, and barely touched the frites, when they arrived.

He kept talking, on and on, about how Mimi was much too flighty, not serious enough for someone of his intellectual caliber; Laura was too boring–she didn't even like to go out to the cinema (he always said 'cinema', never 'movies'); and how Beth, while accomplished, clever, and undeniably striking, was just not his type–and besides, she was too fast. What was he to do?

Her stomach was a hard knot.

"I think you'd better start running open-call auditions, then," she said, and it came out in a bitter tone. She colored.

"Oh, Kitty … not this again, is it? You're a good friend, and a good girl, but …" he had a look of mock-sorrow on his face, with a bit of smirkiness around the edges.

"I know. I didn't make it to first call-backs." She looked him full in the face, defiantly, and for a moment, she saw him as he was. Perpetually aggrieved and churlish, fighting a rearguard action against his failures, afraid to approach anything in a generous spirit, lest some unknown competitor take unfair advantage. What had there ever been, what had she read into him, that should lead to a new dress for a weeknight dinner in an unfashionable restaurant?

"Oh, Mark, it's just too bad," she said, and now there was an air of finality to her non-sequitur. He almost looked like he understood; he almost said something of consequence, but then the check came, and in their scrupulous splitting of the bill, the moment was lost.

Their goodbyes were quick. There was no setting of a future meeting, no "when should we get together again?". She didn't linger, but headed back downtown with her head up and her arms swinging. If her eyes were wet, a casual passerby would never know, and if she muttered "Goddamn FOOL" under her breath once, or even twice, no one could have heard.


Her head turned round.

"Kitty! What are you doing so far uptown?"

"Mark." She made a face, a little moue of exasperation.

"Oh, sweetie … " Ruth looked sympathetic, but a bit wary.

"Why didn't you tell me he was one-hundred-percent pure wet blanket? I feel like such a fool!"

"I did! Well, I tried to. You weren't hearing it. You were all 'He's misunderstood!' and 'He's really funny if you give him a chance!' and all that nonsense."

"I'm so sorry, I really am. I just … I just woke UP, I guess. I just feel a bit shaky. And so foolish."

"Honey, you've got nothing on the rest of us. Remember how I was about Greg? And that was worse, he was married! And such a bore. When I think of all the time I wasted, waiting for him in dark hotel bars, making a gin and tonic last forty-five minutes … only to have him show up and talk about model railroads, if you can believe it. And what about Julia, and her cruise-ship dancer, and Anna, whose latest beau is seventy-five, if he's a day?"

"I guess I'm in good company, at least. But, oh … "

They talked a bit more, dissecting their friends there on the corner, and started several times to go get a cup of coffee, or a dish of ice cream, but never moved from the spot. It was full dark when Ruth looked at her watch.

"I'm so sorry, sweetie, I have to run! I promised Doug I'd call him an hour ago!"

"It's all right, go, go. Call me later, and we will actually go have coffee …"

She walked the rest of the way back to her apartment, blocks and blocks. I could feel how tired she was as she climbed the last flight of steps. I came off right after her shoes, and was draped across a chair. "So goddamn foolish," she said, with a grimace. Ten minutes later the lights were out, and the next day she hung me up without a word. I haven't been worn since.

Pong Dress (don't worry, it smells fine)

ebay item 8305987417

From India comes this dress (here's the Gizmodo video link, which shows it in action). You can play Pong on it.

Now, I do like videogame dresses, I do. But not this one. Why? Because it's nearly impossible to play the game and wear the dress at the same time, which makes you just another piece of furniture, something to be acted upon, instead of acting. How boring is that? Plenty.

Now, make me a dress that I can wear and play Centipede on at the same time, and I will be your minion for … well, for a good long time. Although try to keep the roller ball on the front, will you? It would be uncomfortable to sit on.

Takes "poodle skirt" to a whole new level. And stays there.

ebay item 300021231860

You'd think I'd like this, right? I like dresses. I am very fond of dogs (especially other people's). I like novelty prints. So why does this give the me cold heaves? It is most likely the effect of too much, yet not quite enough, realism. Silhouetted poodles? A bit cutesy, but not horror-inducing. Lifelike, yet just, somehow, "off"? Evil. Evil in 100% cotton.

(This distaste for not-quite-there lifelikeness is what causes me to assert that "The Polar Express" is a horror movie.)

Anyway, once you've washed your brain out with soap, dash over to eBay seller timelessvixen's other auctions. She usually has nice things that AREN'T so obviously from Satan's bridge line.

I Couldn't Help Myself

Simplicity 3067

C'mon, even with my self-imposed pattern-buying blackout, I couldn't pass this up. The collar, the belt, the kimono sleeves — not to mention one of my favorite skirt designs, with a wide front piece that puts the side seams a bit more towards the front.

I really want to make this in traditional suiting; a nice wool, with maybe a touch of lycra. I'd have to line it, which would be a pain, but worth it to give it heft (and keep it from scratching). I'll probably make it up in poplin, first, to try it out — maybe a nice abstract print, small-scale.

Of course, the way things are going now, I'll make it in 2008, maybe 2009 — but I couldn't do even that if I hadn't broken down and bought the darn pattern! Which, sometime next week, I will put in a box. Sigh.

Great Dresses in Literature (Economic Impact Edition): The Tea-Gown

My lady has a tea-gown
That is wondrous fair to see,
It is flounced and ruffed and plaited and puffed,
As a tea-gown ought to be;
And I thought she must be jesting
Last night at supper when
She remarked, by chance, that it came from France,
And had cost but two pounds ten.

Had she told me fifty shillings,
I might (and wouldn't you?)
Have referred to that dress in a way folks express
By an eloquent dash or two;
But the guileful little creature
Knew well her tactics when
She casually said that that dream in red
Had cost but two pounds ten.

Yet our home is all the brighter
For that dainty, sentient thing,
That floats away where it properly may,
And clings where it ought to cling;
And I count myself the luckiest
Of all us married men
That I have a wife whose joy in life
Is a gown at two pounds ten.

It isn't the gown compels me
Condone this venial sin;
It's the pretty face above the lace,
And the gentle heart within.
And with her arms about me
I say, and say again,
" 'Twas wondrous cheap," — and I think a heap
Of that gown at two pounds ten!

It isn't the gown compels me
Condone this venial sin;
It's the pretty face above the lace,
And the gentle heart within.
And with her arms about me
I say, and say again,
" 'Twas wondrous cheap," — and I think a heap
Of that gown at two pounds ten!

Eugene Field

(from The Poems of Eugene Field)

Dot's right.

Suzy Perette dot dress

Lisa S. sent me this one, and isn't it gorgeous? I love the bronze-y, milk chocolate color with black dots — so much easier to wear than just plain bronze, because you can always find black shoes. Bronze, not so much.

It's at Cherry Red Vintage, it's B36/W28, and it's only $58, which is really, really good for Suzy Perette. Did I mention it was Suzy Perette? Well, it is. And, in fact, if you click that link above (the "Lisa S." one), you'll see a wonderful article from Baltimore Style (coincidentally, I think that would be a great name for a band) in which her OWN Suzy Perette (with her in it) is featured!

I do believe I have the most stylish readers in the blogosphere …

Please pass the mustard.

mustard corduroy dress

This dress comes from Buffalo Gal Vintage, and it caught my eye on a quick prowl through the site. It's mustard gold, one of my favorite colors; it has scallops, one of my favorite shapes; and it has pockets, one of my favorite things. And … it's made of corduroy. What an interesting choice! I am always leery of corduroy dresses because, if you're not careful, you turn into one giant lint brush. A corduroy skirt, yes, of course; a corduroy shirt (especially in a pretty ditsy floral) is fine (you're a lumberjack and you're okay); a corduroy dress … eh. But this one is so cute! I may have to rethink my anti-corduroy-dress fatwa.

Buffalo Gal's site is very interesting, as well — she has dozens of different models, it seems like, and the dress shots are much more like fashmag editorial pages or high-end catalog shots than they are like the typical vintage site dress shots. I'm not sure how I feel about that — on the one hand, the dresses seem much more alive this way; on the other, it's sometimes hard to see details, which are often the whole reason to go vintage.

Anyway, if you are as tempted as I am by the lure of mustard-and-scallops (sounds like a menu!), click on the image to visit the site. It's $55, and B36/W26.

Baby Duro

Old Navy Girls Dress

Dee sent me this, from Old Navy. Isn't it adorable? I love that this style of dress has gone from the pages of Vogue to Old Navy in less than two years. And, unlike some other styles that have made the same journey, this is actually appropriate for a little girl to wear. And darn cute! The smaller sizes come with a matching diaper cover! (I wonder if the diaper cover is color-banded, too?)

Click on the image to go to the Old Navy site. It's $16.50, and goes up to a size 5T.

(And, just for my sister's benefit, I know this is two cute little girls' dresses in less than two weeks, but I promise, I am NOT pregnant. Honest.)

Don't Squeeze the … Bride?

toilet paper wedding dress

Thanks to Kate who sent me the news that Cheap Chic Weddings had declared the winner of their Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest. This dress, created by Hanah Kim, won second place, but it's more interesting than the first place winner, in my opinion. Look at the detail! The rows and rows of ruffling! If you click on the image you can see the back of the dress, which is just as stunning.

The rules state that only toilet paper, glue, and tape can be used. My mind, at least, boggles. First off, how did she get the thing on? Secondly, she won $200. Did that even pay for the toilet paper? Also, the contest was sponsored by a company that makes "Just Married" toilet paper. I have to admit I never even thought of carrying my wedding "theme" over to the bathrooms. (In fact, I never even thought of a wedding "theme" — the theme of my wedding, was, in fact, "Wedding." But then again, this was way back in the paleozoic era; instead of saying "I do," Mr. DressADay grunted and handed me a haunch of wooly mammoth. Very touching. My mom cried.)

The last thing that amazed me is that, in order to enter the contest, you (or a member of your immediate family) must be planning a wedding. You're planning a wedding and have time to make a dress out of toilet paper? Obviously, there are people out there with much better time-management skills than mine.

Do please click on the image to see the other dresses … if you scroll all the way to the bottom you'll see a link to last year's entries, too. I hope, in a sick way, that some embryo Bridezilla takes a picture of one of these loo-roll creations to a local seamstress and says "Make me that! Only, do it in silk, please." That would be hilarious.