on nudity (no offense)

File it under G (for 'Oh for Goodness Sake'), or F, for What the F?

Or, where the real blame lies: under N for Nude, this season's must have colour. If you're in the States, this news is probably as old as yesterday's fish and chips wrapper, but I just read in the Telegraph that Michelle Obama's 'nude' dress by Naeem Khan, has offended some people because - catch this - it's not HER shade of nude. AND to pour salt on the wound, the designer himself, of Indian nationality and born in Mumbai has had the affront to call his own dress 'streling-silver sequin, abstract floral, NUDE strapless gown.' (the context being, he's not 'nude' coloured, either): article here.

It reminded me of a running commentary Pearl and I have held over the true 'griege' (beige and grey) which has emerged this spring via Chanel, but which I first read about as a colour Jackie Kennedy was partial to while in the White House (which, come to think of it: is the White House really, technically, white? I mean, is anything White White anymore. Or, these days, is it a bit more.. cream? Off-white? Magnolia?)

I shot this at Uniqlo's Press Day not that long ago. I especially loved a new line commissioned from the creative duo from NY, COSTELLO TAGLIAPIETRA. The company is named after their grandmother's surnames: both women taught them tailoring, and worked for Norman Norell in the 1960s.

I love this stuff. I mean, look at this gorgeous, drapey number in palest lilac. (sorry: I mean lavender. Or do I mean heather? Or is it more of a greyish pink?)

My theory about the Nude thing is, peach is so passe,. As a colour word, I mean. (As a fruit, ripe in the summer, it's divine, especially with yogurt, or in a pie. Except of course in England, where peaches are always disappointing.)

Besides, real peaches are too orange, too bright to describe the colour nude. It's not quite 'ballet pink'. Seashell pink, perhaps, but real sea shells are anywhere from dirty white to the blue black of mussels, and rarely pink. And beige is so.. beige. I don't know why the word Nude has captured our imagination, but maybe it's because the 'underwear as outerwear' trend is so potent right now. (And I know Mr. Dot is so tired of hearing me say this, but every time I see those three words in print, I wish I was getting royalties because I'm sure I've coined the phrase, and will cling to that belief til the day I die: hopefully, clad in elegant lingerie, in the open air, so they can say in my obituary 'she was wearing underwear as..')

Anyway, doncha just love this pretty blue dress? It's kind of a steel grey blue.. a bit indigo, actually. You couldn't call it sky blue. Well, you could... it's the blue of a summer sky just before a tropical storm. It's the colour of the sea on a choppy day. Not a tranquil, Carribean sea, which is really more like aqua, or turquoise. Or, in Chanel-speak, VAGUE. Ironic, as the colour is anything but.

Richard E. Grant did a great show recently for the BBC, on the history of the safari, in his continent of birth, Africa. He was talking with a group of Massai, who had a beautiful safari lodge, about how they felt when their first White guests came to visit. Apparently it upset the staff at first: they were a bit afraid of the 'Pink People'.

I don't know what colour I am: I swim so much, that in warm weather, I'm kind of latte coloured. Double shot, that is. Between holidays, my skin has a slightly olive hue. So I guess you could call me Green. As my dad would say, 'You can call me anything you want, just don't call me late for dinner.'

Loathe to post anything on top of yesterday's shots of Roz. But that's the nature of a blog: time must move on, and if you want to see them, you'll just have to scroll down. It's worth the effort. I can't take any credit for the beauty of that post: shooting Roz is like shooting fish.


Good Girls Studio said...

hehehe :) Well said!

the style crusader said...

you are cracking me up with this post. you are so funny with all your colour talk. i totally don't imagine you being double-shot-latte coloured... but i guess we are all painstakingly white after 8 months in the UK with zero sun exposure. i've got such a good little strap line going on my shoulder i nearly passed out from excitement yesterday. anyway. i totally love these shots. this collection looks divine. very minimalist and drapey - a very good combo indeed. even more winning because i actually might be able to afford it... as opposed to most of the things i drool over.

i could definitely see that little blue dress in my life. do we know when this is hitting the shops?

Olivia Isabella. said...

Went into Uniqlo the other day - they have some seriously great stuff in there at the moment... Seems to be going from strength to strength!
But about colour, forgoodness sake. Most of the time, people are so worried about being "politically correct", they fail to make even distiction between the colour of someone's skin when purely desrcibing someone. However, when it doesn't actually matter in the least, they make a problem of it. It just doesn't make sense!
Also, I think it is quite fun finding the perfect word to describe a colour, an interesting game I find!
UO x

Blindcopy said...

thank you for this post! it really made me laugh! very well said/written! :)

and i thought this kind of political correctness was yesterday.

daniela kate morosini said...

i had a huge argument with my mum this morning - for the whole school photo, 6th form students were required to wear a white top. the photo arrived today and my mum exclaimed "you broke the rules! that's not white! it's cream!" and proceeded to berate me for a few minutes, all the while me insisting it WAS white. i thik colour is hugely subjective :)

jill said...

That is hilarious, danniekate! Did you show her this post?

Jen (S Crusader): I'm emailing the woman @ Uniqlo, I'll find out when that's in stores and/or online. It should be soon. I love it, I thought of you, too. re; the double shot latte, you'd be surprised, it's not actually that dark a colour. It's not like I'm claiming I turn espresso! Or even machiatto.

That's why when I order double shot lattes I always ask for a bit less milk. They're too 'white' for my taste, after spending time in Italy with my Italian friends mainlining espresso all day. I should just point to my arm in summer when I order a coffee, and say 'match that'.

Olivia Isabella: the thing that kills me about colour in people is NO ONE IS WHITE!!! Not even albinos. The whole thing is so ridiculous anyway. Can you imagine if dogs treated each other differently? Like golden retrievers wouldn't hang out with black labradors?

Adorngirl said...

Oh my word it is a small world I went to that same press breakfast!

I love the idea of calling something nude even if it isn't my shade. They alwyas look so soft, and pretty. My favourie colour is chocolate brown, so that is prety much my nude. x

Matthew Spade said...

wow people really do just need to chill out, they just like to kick up a fuss for no reason other than to cause conflict.

ohh yeah are you offering to be my personal shopper???? shame i couldnt return the favour though....i like in lames-ville

adrielleroyale said...

How stupid to start a debate on the color of any woman (let alone the first lady's) dress!! People are so petty. :( Honestly what is the world coming to when a girl can't find an awesome dress, put it on and be complimented on the beauty of it and her in it?? WHO CARES what the color is called and if it "matches" the skin tone of the wearer? Grrr. Anyway, I think she looked lovely in the NUDE dress and the designer did a fabulous job!

Anonymous said...

Seems ridiculously blown out of proportion - people will do anything for a 'scandal'!

I actually love that apricot colour of the first picture. It's such an underrated colour.


cecylia said...

Some gorgeous pieces there~ I love nude too!

Sarah said...

The whole thing is hilarious!!
I love the drapey-ness of the lilac (or whatever colour it is) dress! so pretty!

How did you get on at the new Topshop?? I'm headed there tomorrow, hopefully i won't drown in the crowds... xxxx

daisychain said...

Ohhh I love nude this season...

but a dress, causing offence...bloody hell, further proof the world is losing it's grip.