The Gilded Aesthetic

The Gilded Aesthetic : August 2008

The Gilded Aesthetic

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rhoda Manning's Dress

Here's something delightful for Ellen Gilchrist fans. I don't know how well known the writer is, but I have a feeling she's more popular here in the South. I can't read everything she writes, but I'm always down for a good Rhoda Manning story. If you are in the mood for some whimsical, superficial reading, pick up "Net of Jewels." I almost guarantee that you'll find it at any used book store.

Rhoda Manning is a strong-willed, selfish, and talented writer growing up in the late 1950's. Her father is rich and she is nothing but a spoiled brat. She lolls about writing poetry and wearing sundresses while her mother, Ariane, chases after her trying to feed her diet pills and steak dinners. Rhoda travels to Atlanta to meet the boy who is to become her first husband, Malcolm, but not before packing into her suitcase a particular dress...

Now, I don't remember the particular shade of the dress, but I do know it was green. And snug. I've always been intrigued by the idea of a green dress because, perhaps due to childhood conditioning, I've always considered green to be a boy's color. It was like blue, but not as masculine. I loved the idea of Rhoda's green dress, the dress she wore to go vamp Malcolm, but I never thought I'd see a green dress that thrilled me. But lo and behold, as I browsed Betsey Johnson's dresses online...

There it was!

Rhoda Manning's dress! I can see her squeezed into it now!