Monday, July 21, 2014

Waxing Poetic . . .

Top: Marshalls
Skirt: H&M
Shoes: Venus
Bag: J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Dress: Macy's
Shoes: J. C. Penney's
Bag: Chinese Laundry, Bloomingsales Florist & Gift Shop, Brigantine
Scarf: Boscov's
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

Top: Wet Seal
Skirt: Material Girl, Macy's
Shoes: Venus
Bag: Target
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: Cloud Nine, Ocean City boardwalk

. . . about mustaches.  This post isn't so much about poetry as it is about a nineteenth-century novel-slash-ghost story's commentary on grooming, social and otherwise. (But more on that later).  At first I didn't want to have anything to do with these mustache beads.  I thought that the homage to facial hair was tacky, not cute, and I refused to be sucked into a fad that drew its strength from such a slovenly statement.  But the beads were on clearance.  And perhaps even more importantly, they were neon.  So I swallowed my pride and strung them up pretty, illuminating their dubious charms with seed beads in exuberant yellow. (Yellow, I've come to learn, is the cinnamon of the color world, making everything around it sweeter.)  And you know what?  The result was cute, fetching and cheeky like a menswear shirt with a mini, or Liz Lemon and Tom (Selleck) in "30 Rock's" heyday.  

So back to that nineteenth-century thing.  No sooner had I typed the words "Mistress Mustache" as the title of my Etsy shop listing, then I (half) remembered a quote from Wilkie Collins's Woman in White:

"I said to myself, the lady is dark.  She moved forward a few steps -- and I said to myself, the lady is young.  She approached nearer -- and I said to myself with a sense of surprise which words fail me to express -- the lady is ugly!"

The narrator is a well-meaning if misguided guy named Hartright, and what he should have said was, "The lady has a mustache!"  At least that's how I remembered his speech going when I retrieved it through the cobwebbed (albeit only ten-year-old) lens of my senior seminar.  Because the lady in question, the gender-bending Marian Halcombe did have a mustache, a detail furnished elsewhere in White's considerable pages.  Indeed, the whole mustache thing may just be the scariest part of this iconic Gothic gotcha ghost story.  It sure made me shudder.  If Wilkie had known that an unwaxed upper lip would become the accessory of choice for It girls everywhere, emblazoned hipster-style on coffee mugs and tote bags and (I take issue with this one) pacifiers, then he probably would've given her a big gross mole instead.

Because Marian is no It girl; in fact, I'm sure that she'd laugh in the face of trends, her mustache dancing with each unladylike chuckle.  Swarthy, masculine, and always up for challenging the status quo, she's the ideal foil for Laura, her fair-haired, feminine, and too-well-behaved half-sister, a girly girl so gullible that her niceness threatens to shackle her to an evil husband -- that is, unless Marian has her way.

Born of the Victorian serial stories that were the great-granddaddy of the mustache-twirling, tied-to-the-train-tracks melodramas that would emerge a century later, this is one caper in which an abundance of facial hair equals virtue, not vice.


Jewel Divas Style said...

LOVE the elephant necklace

Marisa Noelle said...

Super cute necklace! I was the same way with the whole mustache craze at first too, haha. But somehow ended up having a mustache bash party when my youngest just turned 1 and started to kind of love them.

Really love all your statement jewelry. What a impressive collection you have!