A chilly winter train ride along the Adriatic on the Orient Express? A balcony breakfast in the South of France? A house party in the wilds of the English countryside? It all conjures just one thing: an elegant dressing gown.
Although my fascination with Agatha Christie is hardly limited to loungewear, it does add a little zing to the proceedings. I adore Christie’s wit, her settings, her longing. Love always figures in. And I admire her rich characterizations that whisper rather than shout. Of course the clothes must play a part.
As he attempts to solve the crime in Murder on the Orient Express, Hercules Poirot inquires the color of each lady’s dressing gown. Their answers are evocative: something practical (brownish natural wool) or something impossibly frothy and untouchable (corn-colored chiffon). However, the gown he seeks, of dragon-embroidered red silk, remains illusive.
Be the mysterious Countess Andrenyi of Christie’s tale. Wear Morpho+Luna’s Amelie Gold Silk Jacket, sandwashed to perfection and piped in white. It might travel as far as the dining car, accompanied by long slouchy pants. Or, it might sway along with you in your private compartment, over the matching gown.
In The Mystery of The Blue Train, lady’s companion Katherine Grey makes the transformation to heiress with the help of new clothing and an invitation to a villa on the Riviera. The change in mood from rainy London to the blue Mediterranean is made with the mere mention of mimosa and the hostess’s becoming negligee. What would such a garment be like? Christine Vancouver’s Dark Romance Patterned Robe comes to mind: long, light, and flowing with blossoms.