|Timber wolves by Frederick Remington, vintagesuburbia|
|1960s rat pack tuxedo, fabgabs|
|Colette in a suit, being brilliant back then|
|1970s-1980s pumps, and not the ones that smell that I talk about below. These ones don't smell at all. The ones that smell I wouldn't photograph. Somehow it might show up in the image, like a yellowish haze. These pumps are an unscented size 7.|
|Just 5 of the pulp stack, a small fraction of the lurid cache. Coming soon to the luncheonette.|
|Not from the back of a cookbook, no. You're right.|
At a barn sale one town over, I found an old 1950s lace cocktail gown, strapless, with peach-colored lace so delicate it threatens to fall apart at a lady's exhale, and dove grey trim around the bodice that has an unsettlingly mottled look over one side. It is, of course, tiny, and yet the chest is made for someone on the Jane Russell side. And on Beulah it does nothing, just hangs there limp like it's about to play bass at a Hole show in 1996.
This is a beautiful dress, but it's beautiful more like bleached out Edward Gorey than like the hell-cat curvaliciousness of a thriving retro frock. In other words, it looks anemic. It makes Beulah look like a Greek statue in drag.
I have to figure out what to feed it to bring back its bloom. How to treat it. How to write about it. How to photograph it so it doesn't look like a dress stuck on doll parts, because on Beulah it looks, just, sad. So this is perhaps the crossroads dress that will finally make me forsake Beulah, in all her flea-bitten rickety wonder, for a more sleek, vanilla-linen-covered dress form that doesn't maw apart at the ribs or crack open at one rear hip panel. A Wolf? A Baumann? Would that I were so lucky.
Beulah was built about a hundred years ago and does not entirely resemble so much as confound the contours of a woman's body. She is probably more like the Victorian, bustled, chest-forward, corseted ideal of a body. With a hole in its skin and that smell, like pie. Better, I suppose, than the shoes, which I'm about to de-scent using my secret recipe, gleaned from an old cookbook, actually, written for clueless young brides.