Tippy dress from Anthro paired for styling purposes with:
Moth cropped bow cardi from Anthro
Marc by Marc Jacobs mary jane pumps
Kate Spade tote
I am so grateful to Laura of Anthro Closet Chaos for putting out an APB on this Anna Sui Hitchcock-inspired dress called the Tippy. I never saw it in my local stores so by the time it went on sale, I was clueless about sizing. But I wanted it desperately! And I tracked down a size 6 thanks to reader, Melanie. Thank you both!
I have been a major fan of Alfred Hitchcock's work since I was a child, sneaking late night episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on Nick at Nite (back when they played television classics from the 50s and 60s). My brother and I consumed and obsessed over the popular canon of his cinematic creations as teenagers. And I studied the psychoanalytic theories that influenced the director as a graduate student. A few years ago I was gifted a Hitchcock box set from my parents. It allowed me to see a bunch of works with which I was previously unfamiliar. And although I grew to adore some of the lesser known movies, I still love the cult classics.
In fact, I worry that my love for Hitchcock and his masterpiece of special effects, The Birds has colored how I see this dress. Such an influence could be more powerful than sale goggles. It's silly and short-sighted to buy something based on the intellectual and pop cultural associations it evokes for me. Sure, I've mused before that materiality is more meaningful than the mere acquisition of stuff. But I am not so certain that this dress is the right fit for me, despite its evocations. So opinions and yays or nays are welcome! This was a pricier piece than I usually buy (even on sale), during a period of relative fiscal austerity. Help me answer: Do I like this dress only because I like thinking about the film?
Hitchcock's The Birds is a remarkably misogynist take on the shifting norms of gender and courtship at the mid-century. Anxieties over the meaning of masculinity, if and when a woman aggressively pursues a suitor (in the context of heterosexual relationships) permeate the script, which was based on a novella by Daphne du Maurier. Ultimately our beautiful, confident, modern heroine (played by Tippy Hedron, after which this dress was named) is reduced and quite literally henpecked to near oblivion. By the film's end, the audience is left to presume that the "natural" order of things (in the gendered world, where femininity caves into submission and masculinity enjoys supremacy) has prevailed. The woman has been "put in her place" by nature's revolt against human progress. It is disturbing and powerful to witness. To read about Hitchcock's films and gender, check out The Women Who Knew Too Much: Hitchcock and Feminist Theory.
I fell in love with this dress because I was already in love with the film. Then I saw it looking amazing on some of my favorite bloggers! Help me decide what to do. And be sure to check out how those bloggers wear it! See Laura wear the Tippy here. See Becca here. And see Anjali here.