Tuesday, December 10, 2013

harmony and discord

It was the first week of college and our first dorm floor meeting. I can't remember her name, but I can picture her perfectly in my mind's eye. Tall with an athletic build and straight wheat blonde hair that fell in a perfect chin-length bob, even features, slightly severe looking, generally serious and unsmiling. Maybe not unsmiling - does that imply frowning? More a placid neutrality. She was intending to go into the apparel program (and did). She was wearing a print (or plaid, maybe?) skirt and a patterned knit sweater, something with reindeer. Her clothing neither matched nor clashed. She seemed so exotic to me, her ensemble daring and original.

I tried to study her during our meeting without seeming creepy. How did she pull it off? It was 1984 and I had never traveled outside of the country, had only twice made the 4-hour car trip to Chicago from the small city I grew up in. Moline, Illinois in the mid-eighties was a deeply conservative and isolated place. The kids I hung out with required a pretty firm allegiance to all things preppy, and my penchant for wearing mismatched earrings was considered fairly outré. There was not much tolerance for deviation in any form. It was a stifling sort of place.

Anyway. Mixing patterns. I still retain a deep love for smartly mixed patterns that occupy that narrow spot between harmony and discord. I'm not a fashionable person - but I find a lot of inspiration for my quilts in fashion.
Stella Jean

Project Alabama

comme des garcons

Gary Graham

Stella Jean

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