PICTURE: #5 IN THIRTEEN ACTS
SPECIAL GUEST INTERVIEW:
HEIDI ROSENAU TALKS ABOUT HER 5TH OUTFIT
What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
ruffled rayon print gown (mid-to late 1930s)
purple crochet handbag
How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
In my work life and beyond (I am a competitive authentic swing dancer) I have very good reason to wear elegant long gowns several times a year. This is fortunate for me as a collector of vintage fashion and as beautiful, desirable, flattering formalwear seems to have survived in abundance—at least as compared to daywear separates. I wanted to share with you that element of my collection with this particularly distinctive example.
Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time?
There is enough going on here between the print and ruffles that there is little else to assemble to create a complete look, so this came together quickly.
In a scale of 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit?
9 (I wish I had a slightly shorter length of hair here and a perfectly marcel-waved hairstyle…then we’d have a 10)!
What roles do color, the fit and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit?
The choice of rayon allows such an abundance of ruffles to work and the relaxed fit (and perhaps the bold print) disguises any lines. The right vintage lingerie helps.
How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
My full-length gowns are on a slower rotation cycle than anything else in my wardrobe, so this one might not see the light of day for another 3 years. It’s hard for me to resist a beautiful 1930s gown, and several more have entered into the collection this year.
There is perhaps a spiritual, emotional, intellectual or psychological aspect to what/how we dress. What is your personal experience in relation to this outfit?
The ability of this dress to move and create beautiful lines and shapes on the dance floor is remarkable. Most often I dance in 40s cotton day dresses, but I will admit that in such an elegant piece, I feel transformed…and am perhaps at my best on the dance floor. I hope that it helps illustrate to others why the vintage swing dance community—I focus on lindy hop, balboa, and collegiate shag—preserves and enjoys these dances.