Much is made of the supposed eroticism of leather as a material. I wasn’t attracted to it for this reason, but more for its long half-life, and mostly after seeing some pictures of the Fulani tribes of Africa. Some of these tribes include the ones in which the men put on a lot of make-up, jump up and down, and goggle their eyes, and when you see the women, you know why. The women were wearing nothing but what they made themselves – stone beads and leather skirts, and they made Queen Elizabeth look like she habitually wears dirty Kleenex; the clothes of the modern world look disposable. What if we, Gandhi-like, only wore what we made?
So, rocks and leather? I’d revised a couple of Sally-Ann coats, and regarded revising another into a dress as a challenge. I’d even covered rocks and shells in leather when I needed more buttons.
At first I was going to do some sort of vampire collar, but it morphed into what I call a neck-wreath, which isn’t even attached. The black rose is made of an old belt, and the ruffles come from the sleeves that I removed. I needed a little more breathing room, so inserted a black mandala shape in the back seam. Fits like a glove… or maybe something else.
I took the dress for a test-drive at a Saskatchewan Writers Guild wine-tasting and felt not sexy. I felt as if I’d been upholstered — more like a bucket-seat than a human being.
But I like the wreath and might wear it with something else.