Rather than having an obsession I hide in the closet, my obsession IS the closet. Not mine necessarily, but anyone's closet that holds beautiful things. I love looking at peoples' closets on TV shows or in magazines. June's Bazaar, for example, has a great article about Aerin Lauder's closet. It's really about her style and her wardrobe as a concept, of course, but the photographs are dreamy. After all, if you love clothes, shoes, handbags, etc., why not love where they live?
The reality, of course, is that most peoples' closets are shoved full of clothes hung on a random assortment of hangers, unventilated so the shoes and any dirty clothes within a half mile radius create a certain stench - you know what I mean - and then there's that added element of items that end up on the floor for whatever mysterious reason it may be. I'm pretty diligent about the latter, but with cats and a toddler, my shoes end up in odd places. So my fantasy closet exists in photographs, fueling my fixation like the one that got away...
My closet obsession began when I actually had a decent sized walk-in closet. My current home doesn't have that luxury (although you won't hear me complaining), so I miss that closet, but for a while my favorite place for quiet time was my closet. I enjoyed categorizing and organizing, finding new ways to pair garments so that my wardrobe always felt new. My closet became a mini-gallery of wearable art, displayed in a way I felt was appealing and inspiring. Somehow having a nice closet made me feel like my life "investment pieces" as a fashion collector had more worth, and it was much easier to admire my favorite things.
I never realized how much I liked peering into other peoples' closets until viewing Tamara Mellon's closets on the Style Channel. As the founder of Jimmy Choo, Mellon's London home holds two walk-in closets where she stores her wardrobe and then she has even more clothes in her bedroom. (I'm so not remotely worthy). Aerin Lauder's closet is reportedly a dressing room full of closets and armoires that also serves as a home office and occasional playroom for her kids, but it's filled with great shoes, handbags and loads of black pants. I'm always fascinated by people who can have so many varietals of one basic garment, because I can't fathom owning more than a few pairs of the same thing - even jeans.
These days as a writer, consultant and new mom take me away from my closet, and my brief visits there tend toward rapid tossing of items onto the bed for perusal as options for whatever event I may be running late for at the time. My cats sneak into my hamper for naps and my daughter lavishes the moments she gets to try on my shoes. Walking around the house with her tiny tot5 size feet in my size 8 wedges makes her day, thus begins the passing along of the closet obsession to the next generation.