Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Deidre Dyer writes about Tucker‘s Combo Blouse and her love for Diana Ross.
I am obsessed with Diana Ross. I often wonder what it would be like to have her as my mother. Not that my own mother was in anyway lacking. And not that I would’ve preferred a slurred speech from a slizzard Mama Diana comforting me when I had a rough day at school. No, no, as is typical for me, I’m really talking about the clothes here. I spend many an afternoon imagining that Diana’s is the wardrobe that I played dress up with. I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t be the educated (semi) adult that I am today if Diana Ross was my mother. I would’ve ditched the petty monotony of fifth grade to spend hours having dress rehearsals in her massive closet.
Without Ms. Ross around, I was a super tomboy as a child. I did everything my brother and boy-cousins did: digging up worms, playing basketball, and much to my mother’s chagrin, pumping iron in the back yard with the dudes. I carried on with my boyish behavior Sunday through Friday, but I went to church every Saturday, so on that day I’d be immaculately groomed, decked out in dresses with petticoats, ribbons in my hair and shiny black patent leather shoes. I was somewhat notorious for wild ways among church folk (my nickname was “Deidre the Demon”) so fellow parishioners would often marvel at how well I cleaned up. I guess the same can be said nowadays, as my adult style can be two sides of a coin. There’s plenty of boyish days when I’m content with my dad’s dingy white tee, denim cutoffs over black tights and knee-high Doc Martins with my hair in a top knot. Other days, I’m all Ms. Ross in Mahogany donning vintage khaki Sassoon dresses, platform heels, navy double-breasted blazer with gold buttons and full on feathered coif. In case you couldn’t tell from the wardrobe description, she plays a sassy 1970s fashion designer named Tracy who runs off to Italy.
Occasionally in life, if you’re really lucky, you stumble upon happy mediums. Like a sartorial arbitrator, Tucker’s Combo Blouse negotiates both sides of my style impulses. It is a sprightly mix of pulsing prints on luxurious silk and when paired with my denim cut offs strikes the perfect balance between my warring extremes: juvenile tomboy and ’70s lady of leisure. The blouse is totally reminiscent of one of Tracy’s early design sketches and it lends some of the coquettish panache that the young Ms. Ross wielded so adeptly. But it also keeps me feeling comfortable and casual. Can’t I have it all? I once had a boyfriend refer to me as bipolar. I would like to think he was wrong. But if my dueling style spirits are any indication, I guess the jury is still out on that one.