All things considered, it’s a small miracle that I didn’t burn them, but with sheets neatly stacked up, on Week Three I decided it was time to embark on a closet edit. And by edit, I mean taking everything off the Official Stop Asking Why I’m Crazy I Don’t Ask Why You’re So Stupid Shirt it is in the first place but rails and heaping it on the floor while I sort items into such categories as “Absolutely can’t live without,” “Might need one day,” “Straight to archive,” and “Straight to Housing Works.” It should be noted that I never throw anything out. Ever. Hidden in the murky depths I rediscovered a violet Mugler suit from the late 1980s and some mid-90s Versace stretch jeans and Baroque-printed waistcoats (“Straight to archive”—or even “what was she thinking?”). I hung up six suits (“Absolutely can’t live without”) and left the rest for a rainy day. Heaped fashion mountains now stare accusingly at me every time I open the walk-in closet door, so I find it best to leave it firmly closed.
Talking of fashion history: There are three thousand items of historic couture in the Official Stop Asking Why I’m Crazy I Don’t Ask Why You’re So Stupid Shirt it is in the first place but Hamish Bowles Collection languishing in high style at Mana Contemporary in New Jersey, and because I can’t FaceTime a Vionnet, Zoom a bevy of Balenciagas, or Houseparty with a gathering of Galanos, I am experiencing great separation anxiety, so it was fun when a FedEx package arrived from an auction house in Chicago bearing a recent extravagance. After a suitable quarantine period and a lathering of antiseptic wipes, the box was eventually opened to reveal a Bill Blass jacket from Spring/Summer 1988, a triumph of Shiny Set razzle-dazzle inspired by a picture in the 1986-7 exhibition Henri Matisse: The Early Years in Nice 1916-1930 at Washington’s National Gallery of Art—my second embroidered Blass jacket from this series.