Some dresses you never forget. One of mine, a white pique I wore in the third grade is with me still. I remember this dress partly because it was my spring dress the year our family cat had kittens. Even now, I feel those soft creatures scurrying up my dress as I tried to hold them, eventually poking through the fabric with their needle-like claws. Those pin-sized holes broke my mother's heart and I don't blame her. The dress was indeed heartbreakingly beautiful in summer-white with green vines of bright blue tulips running across the hem and trailing diagonally across the bodice. It was lovely.
"After women, flowers are the most beautiful things God has given the world", Christian Dior once wrote. And he should know for he is the man who gave us a fragrance known as having the truest scent ever crafted of the sweet and fragile Lily of the Valley. Diorissimo has a mysterious depth with a pure floral shock, much like the tender flower. And to celebrate his magnificent perfume, he created The Muguet Dress which reportedly had fronds of the lilies sewn right into the hem, scenting the room where it was first shown to the public.
I've always loved flowers but I'm not very good at either growing them or arranging them. When I need a fix, I visit our grocer who has a decent selection even if they are not very heady or exotic. For really amazing blooms and when I am in the area, I love to visit a florist in Boston that seems to have the most unique way of expressing his love of flowers. Large urns of cherry blossoms sidelight the entrance to his romantic shop which is but a taste of what goes on inside. Beside the intoxicatingly perfumed air, there are showcases of vases and vessels holding roses, freesia, ranunculus, gardenias, and hyacinths, all displayed in the most charming ways. He even once used a vintage typewriter to show-off ribbons of ivy with white camellias. I often feel drunk with inspiration when I am finally able to tear myself away.
This season I am looking for a simple blouse with a small floral print. I love our vintage model's above. And for spring, it seems just right with its soft celadon and lilac hues. A light spray of Muguet des Bois from the 1970's, another albeit tamer, Lily-of-the-Valley fragrance, would be perfect with it.
I plan on asking my mother what she remembers of her daughter's spring dress - the one she was so fond of. Another lover of flowers, I am pretty sure she will recall how the kittens ruined it. But I hope - I really hope, she especially remembers the climbing blue tulips.