Wednesday, December 9, 2009
What I gave myself for my upcoming birthday...
courtesy of my loving mother, who is in Hawaii and so sent me cash before her departure to buy something nice for myself.
I've never owned a pair. Never made that splurge -- or investment, depending upon how one views it -- before. Not even when I could buy them in Paris and save the shipping. But the company in England I order my seamed nylons from was running a Christmas sale, and there was no VAT added, and, well...
They're made by Cervin, on the same looms they were using in the 1920's. They're the only company left in the world, supposedly, that does so. I ordered the white lady skin color daytime shade, not the sultry off-black you'd want for evening. They arrived today.
And, oh! Dear readers, they are exquisite. Sheer poetry embodied in ephemeral material. And, enclosed in the lovely packaging was a note from their manufacturer in French that went something like this: "My silkworms have made the silk for you. My looms have woven them into the finest stockings in the world, made in France as they have been for a hundred years. I believe that every woman in the world deserves to wear a pair of my silk stockings once in her lifetime."
I put them on, and suddenly I understand why women's legs photograph the way they do in the 1920's. Silk stockings have a sheen, they give off a glow that is nothing like nylons, even vintage ones. They are very, very stretchy. Although sized to one's legs and feet, immediately I see the little lines and sags of the exquisite, supple veil of silk. And my legs look exactly like Zelda Fitzgerald's and Norma Shearer's and Lilian Gish's in the mirror.
Paradise. I just want to go take a hot bath, shave my legs, put the stockings back on and rub my legs together under the bedsheets all night. They are like a veil of honey. They are so soft. And now I understand how flappers rolled their stockings down -- something I never had a true, kinetic feel for before, even with vintage nylons. I have insight into Fitzgerald's characters and into silent movies I never had until just now.
So, thank you, Mother, for the most exquisite, evocative, time-transporting birthday gift you ever gave me in my over half-century of living! I love them.