The clothing Joan Didion mentions in her notes on Patty Hearst.
She never wrote that story but her reporting notes from the trial in 1976 were published in the NY Review of Books last week, and they were a great read, if only to know that her lyrical prose is there at the beginning, even when first jotted into a spiral-bound pad. And, as usual, she was drawn to the sartorial details. So I decided to list them.
- •A week before, twenty-one years old, I had been moping around Berkeley in my sneakers and green raincoat and now I was a Transcontinental Traveler, Lunching Aloft on Beltsville Roast Turkey with Dressing and Giblet Sauce.
- •I believed in Dark Cottons. I believed in Small Hats and White Gloves. I believed that transcontinental travelers did not wear white shoes in the City.
- •My grandmother, who was in fact poor, spent money: the Lilly Daché and Mr. John hats, the vicuña coats, the hand-milled soap and the $60-an-ounce perfume were to her the necessities of life.
- •She gave me my first grown-up dress, a silk jersey dress printed with pale blue flowers and jersey petals around the neckline.
- •I never did it, but I did walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, wearing my first pair of high-heeled shoes, bronze kid De Liso Debs pumps with three-inch heels.
- •Little girls in Sacramento were brought raffia grass skirts by returning godmothers.
- •The father is casual but festive—light coat, dark shirt, no tie; the daughters flank him in long flowered dresses.
- •The daughters each wear pikake leis, the rarest and most expensive kind of leis, strand after strand of tiny Arabian jasmine buds strung like ivory beads.