Portrait of Kestrel

April 26th, 2011

Kestrel and I are continuing her wardrobe-renovation project. After our shopping expedition a few weeks ago, our project today is to go through her existing clothes and decide what to keep and what to toss, and then assess what she has and what she needs.

Here is Kestrel in a plain black dress from Ann Taylor:

Isn’t she beautiful?

As Kestrel noted in the earlier post, I am trying to cut down her wardrobe choices in terms of color and styles. She hopes that doing this will make it easier for her to get dressed in the morning, as she can follow two simple rules: wear two to three colors at a time, and either match a slim skirt or trousers with a looser top, or flowing skirt or trousers with a fitted top. I hope that if Kestrel’s options are narrowed and focused, she’ll be able to develop a better independent sense of style.

After all, when you want to teach someone how to write poetry, you don’t read them “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and then say, “Make like so.” You introduce them to rhyme, to rhythm, to metaphor, to imagery, to form, to vocabulary, to voice. You have them experiment with one or two elements at a time — writing a series of haiku to springtime, a sonnet from Juliet to Romeo or vice versa, a poem based on a single metaphor illustrated by typographical conventions. Once students have isolated and analyzed the elements of a poem, they can start putting those elements together, creating action in the interactions. I’m hoping to break women’s style down in a similar fashion for Kestrel. Updates to come!


One Response to “Portrait of Kestrel”

  1. Traveling Professor on May 11, 2011 10:08 pm

    Hi Robin — You didn’t uniformly dislike all of my ‘old’ clothes; and I certainly filed away some simplifying mantras (no embroidery, beadwork, prints or vests). Thanks for the closet work. It is wonderfully airy now.

    The same day I had my “what not to wear day” with you, I happened to pick up one of the trade magazines of my profession — it contained a pull-out section on fashion and style. Was that an April Fools issue for the Association of Psychological Science? Well, partly. Yes, there were some spoofs:

    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/april-11/letter-from-the-fashion-editor.html

    but they also had some apparently real articles like this account of ‘what not to wear’:

    http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/publications/observer/2011/april-11/the-right-fit.html

    Enjoy, and thanks again Robin.

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