Why Do Something If It Can Be Done: Quoting Gertrude Stein # 98



GS & A Wedding America in the throes of a romantic revolution. If Gertrude and Alice had known! The lesbian pioneers lived their lifelong devotion discreetly but nevertheless quite in the public eye. Nobody who wasn’t half blind could have misunderstood what was going on, even dear young Hemingway who was lusting after Gert.

Creating a heavenly wedding for G &A and inviting them to the big party of American newly-weds was easy: old-fashioned scissors and glue plus Google.

Search # 1: “fat women’s wedding dresses”. (No need to be offended. One of the intimate nicknames in G &A’s love life was “Fatuski”.)

Search # 2: “old-fashioned wedding dresses”.

A few minutes later, I knew how to dress them for the occasion. Queen Elizabeth II was the right frilly thing and body-type to fit Alice in a queenly fashion that would certainly satisfy her king, Gert the First and Only.


Search # 3: Which photograph among the 366 of my book Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures would be understated enough for these two women of wit? Page 139, no doubt. Alice grumpy comme toujours, Gertrude pleased because she just remembered a pleasing quote from her vast body of work.

Now the game for Facebook.

As I had promised 2 books to the 2 first winners who would guess whose wedding dress Alice was wearing in heaven, I didn’t give away how hot on the trail the first guess already was: Kate Middleton. Almost! And zap, right into target with the second guess! Fortunately, this didn’t convince the rest of the players, at least for a while. Some thought I would stay close to home and make up a not-yet-existing-wedding  dress for my life companion Kim (Chernin). (Note to winner Hannah Roche: Kim would look good, too.) In any case, for all my readers who are not on Facebook, here — for your contemplation and chuckles — are the propositions of the sophisticated fashionistas:

Marcel Duchamp in his femme alter ego Rrose Selavy (Duchamp was a friend of G & S and admired Stein’s style).

Pab’s christening gown: G & A were adoring aunties of Picasso’s first-born baby son, although there might  have been a bit of a size problem.

Coco Chanel. Interesting. Maybe there was a sailor collar at the back of her dress, in case…
Liz Taylor: close, as Gertrude and Alice visited Hollywood in 1935 and taught the stars gathered around her how to get as much publicity as she did (see page 183 in my book).

Q.E.: The mystery! Quod Erat… Could there be a D missing? Q.E.D. famously was the title of Stein’s hush-hush lesbian novel of 1903 that caused a big upset in the “marriage.”

And then, so close to home: Diana! Diana whose skirt was so huge it got all crushed in the fairytale coach…

Now Pierre Balmain: if G &A had really been able to marry, you bet Pierre would have designed some good, heavy corduroy wedding suits to two women ahead of their time.

So, congratulations again to the two winners, both from the British Queen’s own country, but one living in Kansas, USA. Look them up and send them thumbs up: http://www.facebook.com/quotinggertrudestein/posts/533944753319915

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