I fixate on my hips; in the moment of curve before the onslaught of lithe legs, the hip transduces elegant female power. The hip is where the movement of the body begins, its statement of chic strength and vitality. The hips command the body--watch the runway walk-- the hips communicate the immediacy of beauty. The hips are not pendulous utilitarian breasts, nor the dull compact muscular force of the rump; the hips samba through the streets on the way to work, expressing a hidden story. My story is wrapped in a pencil skirt.
My relationship with the pencil skirt began in my early years of watching movies. I was 8 or so, growing up in Manhattan, and loved the genre of Film Noir from the 40's and 50's: think Hedy Lamarr in "Dishonored Lady". I gazed into the shadows of streets and cafes, and conjured myself there, in a pencil skirt, wonderful and wise, passionate and slightly sad, walking the rainy streets, and sipping coffee through a smoke-haze. It was the secret of this night-world, the seductive power of mystery, the characters deep self-knowledge, the endless variations of grey and shadows, I loved it all, especially the pencil skirts.
The pencil skirt does not interrupt the hips' graceful movement with frills or pleats or excessive fabric or random patterns; it embraces the hip, undistracted, allowing for the suggestion of intimacy. In a pencil skirt, it is no longer possible to walk innocently; in a beautifully tailored sheath, you walk with the wisdom of sexuality, the expression of strength, an individual vision of the world- and a vision for the world- of femininity.
The length of a pencil skirt is all-important- from at-the-knee to just-below-the-knee the revelation of skin- just enough, a touch of nudity, to remind us of our base nature, of our visceral attraction to one another. A flash of calf and ankle communicates possibilities of engagement, but not probabilies--it is only a glimpse of a woman's story.
I started wearing them in college- my foray into sophistication. In Los Angeles at the time, I went on dates to Westwood and Downtown, theaters and erudite' hangouts in a black pencil skirt and my hair pulled back- I was told looked intimidating. I felt intimidating. I began to realize the mystery of the pencil skirt and my hips wrapped therein. A crisp white collared shirt, a black pencil skirt and great shoes became my uniform, a trademark, where I felt comfortably female and gracefully in charge. My pencil skirt was like my secret weapon to seduce, to express, to prove and disprove, to whisper to the world who I was. The pencil skirt transcends mere fashion; the pencil skirt is a philosophy.
Don't even get me started on the poetry of the trench coat