21st century dress
THE GREATEST LIE EVER
ROBERT J. LEWIS
of August and September, I was on the set for the filming of Bill
Greatest Game Ever Played, shot in Canada’s
greatest city, Montreal. The movie concentrates on the miracle
that introduced golf to America: the 1913 PGA won by 20-year-old
amateur-wunderkind Francis Ouimet.
filming day would begin in the pastel hues of dawn with the arrival
of between 100 and 300 extras. I had ample opportunity to indulge
in prolonged appreciation of the female contingent as it appeared
dressed to Kill Bill. Squeezed into mini skirts or jeans
that tapered the legs and sculpted the buttocks, I couldn’t
help but notice the not so subtle arching panty lines and the
beguiling contours of lawless butts basking in the freedom provided
by the G-string. Sleeveless tops revealed summer-bronzed shoulders
and arms, while smooth, nose-friendly midriffs completed portraits
that qualified for late night Internet viewing. As I watched these
Godivas disappear into their dressing rooms, I speculated there
was enough flesh and first-rate figure here to burst the seed
of even the most recently relieved male.
strange thing or two happened on the way to the Forum. When these
women emerged from their wardrobe change, arrayed and accessorized
in 1913 fashion, I hardly recognized them. Gone was the flesh,
gone was the form, all but vanished beneath folds of draped fabric
that began at the throat and cascaded to the ankles, bound and
cinched by wired and boned corsets. Nothing was left to chance.
The entire female anatomy -- from elegantly gloved hands and forearms
to the last strand of hair meticulously pinned and tucked under
lavishly decorated period hats -- lay swathed and obscured.
even more disconcerting was that the women I found attractive
before they went in for their change were not the same as those
that attracted me as they exited. I immediately suspected the
reasons for this would disclose at least as much about men as
women. For if it’s the same person in both instances, the
only difference being the dress code, why was it that a woman
attired for the year 2004 -- but not blessed with top-model looks
and therefore doomed to fall below the typically undiscerning
male’s radar screen -- could become suddenly so alluring
in 1913 dress?
women egressed, constricted by clothes that would have elicited
a favorable nod from the Society of Egyptian Mummy Makers, we
males suddenly found ourselves with only the face to gawk at,
all else left to our imagination, the fact of which obliged us
to redirect our desire to the facial expressions, which in turn
compelled us to concede something we already know -- well sort
of -- that the face of any person conveys more about his or her
character than any body part or combination of. For when all is
said and flaunted, it’s the face -- the way the eyes look
back at us, the turn of the lips when we speak -- that registers
our attitudes and politics, our anger and laughter, and decency
or lack of it. Which explains how a woman of ordinary physical
appearance decked out for 2004 could abruptly transform into a
desirable woman when dressed for the year 1913: the face-friendly
Edwardian dress code makes it easier for her to catch the notice
of the easily distracted male. But when dressed according to the
fashion dictates of 2004, this same woman must lose out because
the face -- no matter how positively revealing -- cannot compete
in an environment overrun with skin, whose first effect on every
male is to reduce him to the dimensions of his favorite appendage.
of the above is approximately true, men will make more mistakes
in their choice of partners today than in 1913 because modern
feminine dress codes conspire to divert even the best-intentioned
man from bothering to identify and connect with the essential
woman, which at least at partially explains the 1913 divorce rate
of only 9%. By analogy, in all countries and cultures where a
woman's face, and not her sexuality, is emphasized, we should
expect to find lower divorce rates.
get me wrong here: I am not one to put on gender airs nor am I
waxing nostalgic for the mores of 1913. At the end of the filming
day, even happier than the women liberated from their constricting
1913 dress, were we men, barely able to control our drool as one
sexually charged goddess after another exploded out of the dressing
room into the X-rated fantasy of each and every one of us. Which
is to say, when female sexuality is on permanent exhibit, men
are not particularly interested in the truth or substance of the
woman as it registers on her face.
drives men to erect bridges and skyscrapers and conquer lands
known and unknown is profoundly related to the physio-sexual effects
of women. In other words, if you want to move the man -- make
him do the things that make him great -- you aim low, not high.
And trust me on this one, it may have taken women thousands of
years of fashion evolution to get it right, but (TAKE I), they
have now got the "how-to-catch-the-notice of and control-the
man" routine down pat. (CHECK THE GATE).
the same author: ME AND MICHELLE PFEIFFER
ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON
see the author, click HERE.