Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Brilliant Friend: Some Clothes

I've just finished watching the first season of Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend, which to me is a glorious hybrid: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn meets The Godfather, Part 2.

It's not "Chloe liked Olivia," either, because the two protagonists are indeed competitive and jealous, though they also appear to love each other deeply.

And although an important plot focus is shoes, that's not what thrilled me sartorially. Rather, I loved the beautifully cut collars of the girls' school uniforms, the painterly sheen to Lenu's bow, Lenu's summer dresses.

I'll be counting the hours until Season 2 is aired, and definitely know what I'll be reading over my spring break.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Fanny Be Tender . . . A Canary Yellow Belt Bag from COS

Do you know the Bee Gees song "Fanny (Be Tender with My Love)" from 1975 (see video link below)?

It came to mind today as I was contemplating fanny packs.

Now, I did not wear a fanny pack in the Big 80s, not do I plan to wear one now, so please don't be alarmed.

But I do plan on slinging this gorgeous yellow belt bag from COS cross body, just like so, and never will I utter the word "fanny" in a fashion context--only in song (and literature).

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year: The Language of Clothes in Selvedge's Renaissance Issue

For my final piece of 2018, I pitched a story on the language of (in, and on) clothes.

I was interested in how clothing is written upon, or holds messages within. Can we ever receive the message that the author intended? Or, à la Roland Barthes, is it the readers who supply meaning and significance?

My texts include a linen jacket embroidered by a German woman institutionalized during the nineteenth century; the Duchess of Sussex's wedding veil; a princess's wedding gown in Phantom Thread; and a green jacket from Zara worn by the current first lady, and upon which was scrawled enigmatic graffiti.

This story appeared in Selvedge Magazine's Renaissance issue with its stunning cover. The issue has yet to cross the pond :-).

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Miss C's "Moody Hues" of Missoni, Etro in Selvedge Magazine

This fall, in Selvedge Magazine's "East" issue, I published a story on the "moody hues" of Missoni and Etro. Here are the images.

Beanpunk: Sbux Reserve Roastery, Dickens, and Liberty Tweedy Cuffs

Since Levi's left the security tag on Mr. C's new selvedge jeans, we schlepped back to the Meatpacking District this morning (I certainly didn't mind).

We nipped into what looks like a tourist attraction for coffee drinkers: the new Sbux Reserve Roastery, which is a massive 3-storey coffee bar that serves boutique lattes (select your own espresso), baked goods unheard of by the drive-through gang (a peach tart called something regal in Italian, for instance), and cold-brew cocktails(!).

It's a rather precious place, with employees dressed up as Dickensian street pedlars, many of whom were hawking wares from stylish wooden peddlar carts just inside the doors. And then there's the enormous coffee roaster, glistening in copper with all sorts of pipes overhead transporting . . . beans? Kind of Willy Wonka meets Nicholas Nickelby.

Pure "beanpunk" (TM Miss C).

It had opened just the other week--December 14--and the novelty and exceptional good mood throughout felt fresh. Even I, usually loathe to photograph my meals, snapped a photo of our order, brought to us on a sturdy wooden tray.

Actually, this roastery reminded me of a restoration project I'd engaged in on our long car ride toward Christmas. The cuffs of my beloved Max Mara tweed coat were feeling a bit worn, so I made some binding from my stash of Liberty of London fabric and renewed them while Mr. C drove. The dark Liberty hues against the brown tweed summon up Dickens' London for me.

And as I wore my revitalized tweed coat in the somewhat fantastical roastery, I felt a not altogether unpleasant combination of Dickensian urchin and coffee astronaut. (Miss Coffeenaut, peut-etre?)

Gudrun Sjoden or Oleana?

While Mr. C was at Blue in Green looking for his favourite selvedge jeans, I popped into Gudrun Sjoden, the very colourful Swedish mix/match boutique.

If truth be told, I think that Gudrun's magazine ads look very tempting, with their layers and layers of printed textiles, but IRL the shapeless silhouettes cannot entice me to make a purchase.

I was struck, though, but how much a pair of pink-and-red Gudrun mittens reminded me of the exquisite Norwegian designs of Oleana. Homage or too close for comfort?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Tiger by the Toile: Dior in Soho and the Meatpacking District

We zoomed into the city this afternoon so my daughter could connect with some college pals while Mr. C and I skulked around Soho.

My eye immediately went to the vitrine of Dior Soho, with its lifesize (oversize?) tiger in pink toile and an exquisite belted coat in sepia toile.

On the way home we motored through the Meatpacking district, and after mooning over a wee French bulldog, I saw yet another Dior festooned in toile on the corner of 14th Street (this photo is from my return visit on Sunday; it's my Dovima and the Elephant).

I would love to wear this toile trench, but even moreso would love to embroider a couple of the images à la Richard Saja. I've been dusting off my needles for this Christmas gift I made (by hand--no machines) for my college-student daughter.

Then on New Year's Eve I'd truly feel like the belle of the toile.