Matter of Milwaukee

I’d like to pose a question, and it’s a personal one.

Two bottles are placed in front of you at a bar. On the right, a bottle of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. On the left, the best Belgian beer in the world. Assuming that you’re friend has paid and is giving you the option, which do you choose? If you’re not a beer drinker, it doesn’t matter. You grab the beer on the right, take a swig, and unwittingly reassure yourself why you don’t drink beer. On the other hand, those of you savvy to the beer-drinking world will remind yourselves why you’re friends with that person.

Now imagine for a moment that two women walk in to the bar, or, more specifically the most striking girl you’ve ever seen and another girl accompanying her. You divert your eyes, but like magnets, they are drawn back. Wow. For decades, songs have been written about this type of woman, the type of woman you didn’t think existed.

Is it hard to see the connection between the two?

I’m going to argue that it all comes down to respect. There is a something that you respect about a well-crafted beer. A vibrant malty taste, the lingering bitterness, and the delicious fruity aroma that it inspires all complement each other in a way that surprises and delights you. The same with a woman. The woman you noticed presents herself as an idea, transmits a lifestyle that in some way, you desire to be a part of. (As far as vibrant malty tastes and lingering bitterness, that comes a bit later.)

And if you noticed, it doesn’t matter what type of beer or woman. The redeeming quality is a matter of opinion.

If nothing else, you can look on clothing as the most malleable art form ever to exist. Encrust yourself in jewels and those who are godless will enshrine you. (I can't help it, but in ode to KU professor Hayes French Renaissance class, "L'habit ne fait pas le moine." The clothing doesn't make the monk!)

There's nothing practical about this dress from Salvatore Ferragamo.

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It reminds me of a woman who got caught in her parachute upon landing, stood up, and found it suited her well. You can tell by looking at the picture that she's taking the wind with her as she walks--it billows under the delicately pleated fabric. The plunging neckline isn't so much provocative as it is inspiring. It accentuates the feminine figure with which without it, the dress would be overwhelming. The depth of the charcoal grey adds dimension, the halter neckline, elegance, and the buckled harness-like strap, modernity.

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Here, another piece from Salvatore Ferragmo's 2009 Ready to Wear collection. The model is wearing a bright coral jumper which gives the allusion that she's undressing just by wearing it. Already you note the similarity to the previous dress. The asymmetrical halter, teasing neckline and richness in color are characteristic to the entire collection. The length of the pant line elongates her figure, the buttons give detail, which without would look sloppy, and the fold of the fabric draped over her right shoulder complements the sleeve in a way that's tongue-in-cheek.

Clothes like this don't serve a practical purpose other than to entertain. So it follows that they are worn by people who are entertained by them. It's a preference, like any other.

It's a matter of Milwaukee.

Photos: Style.com

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