Every year when summer starts packing up its heat and bright lights, I start fantasising about the perfect pieces that, in my dreams, would make my wardrobe complete.
They're very simple, plain items. Number one on the list made it's first appearance in my dreams in 1998. I saw a pair in British Vogue. It was unbridled lust at first site and still is.
Ah, Churches's brogues. They nail my heart to my ribs. I've stood at the window of Churches in London twice but both times have been flattened by the cost (at the time, with the exchange rate, about $500.) These days the strong Aussie dollar makes the cost a little more manageable but I still haven't found the exact pair I want. They have to be black, and not embellished or decorated in anyway. Even this pair, lovely though they are, are a little too fancy. A couple of times the perfect pair in my size has come up on eBay but ...well, we all know what it is to be outbid in the last seconds.
The next item is a little more elusive.
It's the perfect jumper, or sweater as our American cousins call them. This one is featured on a site called perfectsweater.co.uk, and many things about it is perfect - the cuffs and waist aren't ribbed so it just sits on your clothes without pulling and clinging. However, this one is wool. My perfect jumper will be a silk cotton blend and a dark, almost inky teal colour. I'd make do with black if it was the right shape and fabric.
The next item is even more elusive.
The right trousers. Sigh. These come to me regularly like cruel mirages - great fabric, nice cut, deep pockets - everything perfect, all boxes ticked while I paw them lovingly on the rack, but it all disappears once I get them in the change room. My trouser misery is echoed by every short legged, hour glass shaped woman who is fortunate enough to be able to buy trousers. These mirage trousers are from Agnes b.
The next item is so elusive that not even the Internet can help me with an illustration. You'll have to work with me here: it's a bag, a hand bag, about 15 inches wide and 12 inches high not including the black leather handle. It is made from an expertly printed dense dark floral velvet which features plum, blue and green. It is lined with black leather and hopefully made by Rosenfeld. I found one like this on eBay once and would have handed over my every dime and one of my kidneys for it but the seller would not sell to international bidders, no matter how much they cried.
And finally, the cream dress. It's a shirt waister dress, made from good quality broderie anglaise or cotton lace and lawn. It's plain, is amenable to a belt, not white and not beige but cream, falls just below the knees and is lined. It is a practical dress that I can wear with my dream jumper and dream brogues and also with black boots and severe jackets.
Dear reader, she was waiting on my doorstep when I got home tonight. You'll have to wait until Saturday when I can photograph her properly in daylight, but here's a quick shot of her sitting quietly in my wardrobe now, assessing the situation:
You should be able to discern that she is indeed cream, made from a strong linen cotton blend and fully lined with a milky coffee silk. She fits perfectly, got on well with my belts and liked the first pair of boots she met.
Yes Virginia, dreams can come true. One down, four to go.