There’s been a lot of talk over the past several year about being invisible. If you’re a certain size, or a certain age, or who knows what, you are invisible. I’m not buying it. The older and bigger (physically and mentally) I get, the more I’m drawn to eye-catching clothing. Color and pattern make the world and my psyche a better place.
I recently read this New York Times interview with Frances McDormand, whom I admire SO MUCH as an actor, an outspoken feminist, and straight talker. She talks a lot about not being the typical female Hollywood star: older, not waif-like, natural, tough—generally different in every way from most female movie stars. Yet she is wildly successful with four Oscars, a Golden Globe, and a ton of respect in her industry as well as the general public. And she claims, at 60, to feel blissfully invisible.
The invisibility of older women is a thread throughout the article that I struggle with. McDormand says older women are “sexually invisible” to both men and women. “You gain the power of not giving a [shit] (NYT said “expletive” I’m assuming she said shit but it very well could have been fuck).
Not giving a shit (or a fuck) I’m definitely down with. When she says “sexually invisible,” does it mean no one wants to have sex with you? That is actually just fine by me. But I don’t want to be invisible. I want my presence in the world to be known, even after I turn 50 in two short weeks.
When you think about it, Frances McDormand is one of the least invisible (most visible?) women in the world. She’s extremely famous. She wore a Valentino gown to the Oscars—The Telegraph called it a “modest gold beaded gown,” which is a funny oxymoron.
McDormand might be relieved at no longer feeling like a sexual object in her sixth decade. And that I totally get. But I’m not sure she wants to be invisible? (Update, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t.)
So in honor of all the badass women who want to be seen, heard, not give a shit (or a fuck) and look damn good doing it, here are some loud and out designs and designers you should know about and wear right away.
Ace & Jig Daze metallic striped cotton-blend maxi dress, $445
This is from Ace & Jig’s latest collection (Spring/Summer 2018) and this is my favorite piece from it. It’s an exclusive collab with Barneys which means there are fewer quantities than their other pieces. So if you feel like looking like a goddess every weekend this summer, don’t delay.
Mara Hoffman Noa dress, $295
This dress could not be easier to wear, or less invisible. I’m a sucker for an off-shoulder situation, and this one is too perfect. Wear it as a cover up for the beach and to dinner afterwards.
Osei Duro Sola Panel dress in Internet Baby, $175
Osei Duro is one of my favorite brands for its eco-friendliness, and wearable dresses.
Diane Von Furstenburg collared wrap dress in Argos Clementine, $268
DVF wrap dresses are classic and this pattern is for ultimate visibility.
Caractere knee-length dress, $62
Sometimes all you need is a shot of cobalt blue and a few ruffles to make a statement. And can you even believe this price?
Rainbow Kimono Awakening hand-painted dress, $395
A local SF favorite of mine—the woman behind these hand-painted pieces is as lovely as her creations.
Short and sassy floral print cotton dress, $474
For those of you wanting to show off those gams, this is your perfect weekend party dress.
Boutique Moschino 3/4 length dress, $271
Who doesn’t love a fun fish print?
Trina Turk blossom-print silk dress, $210
Wear this to every wedding you’re invited to this summer and the amortization is basically $0.
Mary Katrantzou Desmine silk crepe de Chine gown, $2003
If you had a special occasion coming up, say, a 50th birthday (!!), this would be a worthy splurge.