+  Edited and photographed by Iké Udé, author of Style File. Selected as one of Vanity Fair’s 2009, 2012 and 2015 International Best Dressed Originals.  +

special guest/PATRICIA MEARS: talks about her 8th outfit. #8 in twelve acts





What items did you use to compose this particular outfit?
Like the blue dress, this is a vintage Chinese chi pao dating to the 1930.

How did you arrive at the decision to compose such an outfit?
It is different from the other chi pao I own as well as similar versions owned by the late, great woman of style, Tina Chow. Mainly, it has long sleeves (very unusual) and is lined. I am barefooted but I wear it in public with tango shoes.

Did you compose this outfit spontaneously or was it planned ahead of time?
This version of the dress takes no planning. But, the last time I wore it was at a Chinese/French wedding held here in New York and it was complimented with a vintage-style cocktail hat.

In a scale of 10, how pleased are you with this composition/outfit?
I am fairly pleased and think it is about a 7.

What roles do color, the fit, and integrity of fabric play in this particular outfit?
The color and fabric are highlighted so the lines of the dress are correctly very simple.

How soon would you repeat/wear this same outfit again?
Probably not soon as it is so fragile. I now treat it as an object to be looked at and adored.

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?
While I have received reactions akin to those noted with my other chi pao, I also tend to view wearing garments from this time period as a form of dress up, or costume play. It is exotic and old and I understand I am wearing a piece of history when I put this dress on.

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