I was just part of an interesting Woman's Hour discussion on Radio 4 about Coco Chanel and, more generally, about women and their emotional attachment to clothes -- the threads between what we wear and how we feel. There were some very revealing interviews -- it's a subject that people can talk about for hours, although obviously confined here to less than an hour. I never re-read my old books, but it almost made me want to dip into My Mother's Wedding Dress again. I haven't, aside from looking up the quotes on the opening page of the book, which I love (always easier to return to someone else's writing than one's own). Here they are...
“A consultation last year took me to an intelligent and unembarrassed-looking girl. Her style of dressing is disconcerting; where women’s clothes are normally attended to down to the last pleat, one of her stockings is hanging down and two buttons of her blouse are open.” (Sigmund Freud, “The Interpretation of Dreams”)
“She immediately stepped into the wardrobe and got in among the coats and rubbed her face against them, leaving the door open, of course, because she knew that it is very foolish to shut oneself into any wardrobe.” (C.S. Lewis, “The Lion and the Witch and the Wardrobe”)
“Have you ever been so lonely that you felt eternally guilty – as if you’d left off part of your clothes – I love you so, and being without you is like having gone off and left the gas-heater burning, or locked the baby in the clothes-bin.”
(Letter from Zelda Fitzgerald to her husband, Scott Fitzgerald)