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Agatha Christie and her collar à la Peter Pan

Agatha Christie

Archie Christie, the fiancé of Agatha, told his mother about their engagement, and gave a lot of compliments to Agatha as all sons usually do while presenting their darlings to mothers. Peg (the mother of Archie) looked dubiously at him and said with a strong Irish accent: – Is she one of those who wear fashionable collars in the style of Peter Pan? Rather reluctantly Archie had to admit that Agatha did wear a collar a la Peter Pan. They just came into fashion.

Finally, girls, poor creatures, have parted with high collars which held up their necks and were fastened by rows of small buttons zigzagging and leaving red marks on the skin. A collar “a la Peter Pan,” was a large, free, soft tissue beginning at the base of the neck, with no bones – what a blessing! Agatha belonged to the so-called fashionistas who in 1912 dared to wear collars a la Peter Pan. At that time a girl could pass for a frivolous showing only two centimeters of her neck under the chin. Agatha Christie was telling later that if you looked at the girls in bikinis, you would realize how far you can go in fifty years.

Since then the Peter Pan collar came back into fashion many times. The last appearance was in 2012. Do you have it in your wardrobe? If yes, how do you wear it?

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Diana Vreeland about colors and French faces in her book “D.V.”

About French faces:

“There’s no such thing as a slack French face. Haven’t you ever noticed that? I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I think it’s because the French have to exercise their jaws and the inside of their mouths so much just to get the words out. The vowels demand so much. In fact, the French language has a lot to do with handsomeness and the beauty of the French face. Talk one line in French and the whole inside of your face moves, whereas the English language leaves you a bit slack. I’ll give you an example: Look in the mirror. Now say “Che-rie!” Did you see what your face just did? Did you see all the exercise you got? Now try “Dear.” No exercise there. You are really on a dead horse…”

small fragment about colours:

“Lighting is everything in color. It’s affected by the way the sun shines in certain countries. And the farther north you go, the more sense of color you get. I’m not talking about little gray stone Scottish villages… but the roses of Scotland are so rose-pink! And the purple heather-the violent violet of heather under the blue Scottish sky…I adore Scotland. If only I didn’t have to sleep there at night – it’s so bloody cold.

I don’t like southern skies. To me, they’re not… enough. Although the most beautiful sky I’ve everseen in my life was in the tropics, over Bahia until I saw exactly the same sky over Hong Kong. I’d been told in Bahia that the only other place where that special blue existed was China, although they couldn’t be farther apart. Bahia is practically on the equator, and most of China is very cold northern country; but the blue of the sky is identical. It’s a cold blue of hard enamel, and it’s too beautiful.

There’s never been a blue like the blue of the Duke of Windsor’s eyes. When I’d walk into the house in Neuilly, he’d be standing at the end of the hall. He always received you himself, which was terribly attractive, and he always had something funny and friendly to say to you while you disposed of your coat. But I’d see him standing there, and even in the light of the hall, which was quite dim, I could see that blue. It comes from being at sea. Sailors have it. I suppose it’s in the family – Queen Mary had it too. But he had an aura of blue around him. I mean what I say – it was an azure aura surrounding the face. Even in a black-and-white picture you can feel it.

Black is the hardest color in the world to get right – except for gray….”

About shoes

I love reading. The story of “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See takes place in China of the 19th century when a successful marriage depended on many factors. In particular, well-bandaged feet of the wife played a major role. Lily’s foot size (the main character of the book) was equal to seven centimeters. I think she was proud that her feet were smaller than the ones of her mother in-law. Obviously, women moved with difficulty with this kind of feet and therefore spent their life in the upstairs rooms for women. But what is interesting – now, in the twenty-first century, a pair of high-heeled shoes symbolizes femininity. The higher the heel, the better. And they are also difficult to live with – difficult to walk, drive a car. It turns out to be an inversely proportional relationship. In both cases it is impractical and in both cases it is about your status – I am dressed impractically, because I can afford it. But why is it considered beautiful? After all, if we look at nature, there is nothing superfluous, everything is interconnected and explicable. However, the more unnatural it is the more beautiful it is, like the peacock’s tail. Why?

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Bridget Jones of the 60s or “The lady in the car with glasses and a gun”

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A lot of actresses would have loved to play the role of this Blondie called Dany. Just imagine the feminine dresses of the 60s, a white Thunderbird and a beautiful seacoast – all chances to become an icon of style.

Sebastien Japrisot (the author of “The lady in the car with glasses and the gun”) chose an amazing image, a tender defenseless Blondie dressed in white. Her image looks even more fragile in the circumstances she finds herself. The reader will observe how her emotions change from fear to confidence and will discover a strong personality under the beautiful shell. My impressions from the book are here.

Some people compare Dany with Bridget Jones, I mean their characters. I would agree entirely with that and make a small remark that Bridget Jones of the 60s looks more stylish than Bridget Jones of the 2000. Is it because Dany is French and the elegance is in her genes?

I think the 2000 Bridget Jones in addition to her complexes has a bigger choice and freedom in expressing herself. Fashion is getting easier and more complicated. She is still looking for her own style like many of us…

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If I had to shoot a film right after the release of the book (end of 60s beginning of 70s) I would have invited Twiggy for the main role.

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Today (Spring 2013) it could have been Reese Witherspoon dressed in Moschino 2013. And you, how would you dress her if you had to film the story today?

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