Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Gin Mayo, Votes for Women, Orchard House, and Miss C's Favourite March

While I was recovering from knee surgery over the Christmas holidays, Mr. C took our three children to Chelsea Market, where he and I had spent a lovely apr├Ęs-Christmas afternoon last year.

They bought me some beautifully wrapped soaps as a gift, and the salesperson threw in the bag two tubes of the curious "Gin Mayo." No-one asked what it was. It looks like a tube of Krazy Glue, or some dangerously strong bonding agent. except for the charmingly alarming graphic. It reminds me of  Cindy Sherman photograph from her Heroines series.

But Gin Mayo is, apparently, exactly what it purports to be: mayonaise infused with gin. It's the brainchild of an Amsterdam-based seafood restaurant, Mossel & Gin.

I don't wish to puncture one of the tubes to taste the concoction inside, so I think I'll bring them to my office and pop them inside my "votes for women" replica teacup.

Coincidentally, I bought this tea cup at Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott, when I made a summer scholarly tour of Concord one summer.

That's the summer I suffered from heat exhaustion after having walked to Walden Pond (but allowed to wade in because of high bacteria that afternoon(!) and back to town, and then getting disoriented in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery the next morning trying to locate Authors Ridge.

Those distressing memories aside, I think the Gin Mayo will complement the Votes for Women tea cup, especially since blue and gold were the colours of suffrage in the United States.


P.S. Amy was always my favourite.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Tartan Dressing: The Duchess of Cambridge and Miss C

Is this beautiful tartan dress by Emilia Wickstead what the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing to the Queen's holiday luncheon?

I absolutely love it.

Truth be told, I am joining the duchess in wearing a long tartan gown today, only mine is a new floor-length forest, blue, and red flannel nightgown, purchased for my recovery from knee surgery (yesterday).

And my holiday luncheon today is a very welcome combination of the Great British Baking Show's holiday edition and a Goldendoodle curled up on his end of the sofa. Today is all about eye candy.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Psilly Me: Searching for a Demetrios Psillos Illustration

The pink and aqua colours in this Demetrios Psillos illustration are calling out to be put into a quilt.

Wait--what? I found the above smidge of a post in my draft queue, dated 2016. But I cannot determine which illustration I liked so much.

In fact, today, this plummy Martha Graham illustration by Psillos captures my eye, both for its colour and movement. (This is a "still" from "Lamentations.")

That's the last time I'll draft a post without securing an image.

Psilly me.

Replacing Beloved Clothes: J Crew, Max Mara--and Searching for Those from J Peterman That Got Away

When I find something I love to wear, I wear it again and again, to the point that it often wears out. That used to be the end of the story, but one benefit of the internet is that I can sometimes find that very item online, for sale, some 15–20 years later.

For instance, I bought a tweed overcoat from Max Mara shortly after having my second daughter, seventeen years ago. Last year I bound the wrist cuffs in Liberty of London because of fraying; I am about to do the same to a button hole. And I am awaiting for olive green velvet elbow patches to arrive.

On a whim, I took a quick look at some online resell sites and was surprised and delighted to find my very coat in great shape, my size, for a modest price, but already sold. Then I found it on another site in a smaller size and five times the price. But it gives me hope!

I also bought, a number of years ago, some J Crew boyfriend-style stripey cashmere sweaters, which I love beyond sweaterdom itself. And so I was thrilled to find several on the web--one of which I bought in a different colourway and others I'm keeping an eye on.

But there are also some original purchases that got away, and it may be those that I yearn for the most. I've written about this before, but J Peterman made what I remember being called a Gstaad jacket--asymmetrical zip, shearling collar, smart belt--and I cannot turn up an image of it.

I was luckier when I located the Beacon Hill, 1913, dress pictured at the top. I couldn't recall its name, but "Edith Wharton" was in the description. Even though I cannot find it for sale anywhere, I am temporarily satisfied to have the image.

Do gentle readers yearn to replace a beloved but perhaps worn-out garment? Are there garments you wish you had bought and search for years later?

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Burberry "Bustier Boots" and Stella Jean

On rainy or snowy days, when I'm in a pair of good shoes and our poodledoodle* wants to go outside, I'll climb into a pair of Mr. C's footwear, good shoes and all, and clomp down the steps and around the corner to open the garden gate for monsieur.

It reminds me of my childhood, when galoshes were the rage. From kindergarten through at least Grade 2, maybe 3, I'd wear my "good" shoes inside a pair of overboots and go off to school, with heavy, cumbersome feet.

I was taken back to these moments when, perusing the Barneys sale yet again, I happened upon these Burberry boots that reinterpret the above scenarios for me: This time, a boot slips inside a shiny, patent mule.

To my eye, the result is a process: I go from being repulsed (ewww--mules) to being riveted and full of desire.

But why did I coin them "bustier boots" and not some homage to galoshes or husband-shoes? Because on the desirability side, they remind me of one of my favourite fashion looks: a strapless (bustier) dress over a blouse.

Stella Jean has pretty much patented this style, as seen in these images from different collections.





And if she's patented this style, I think that I really must get that patent mule–bustier boot style.















*He's 3/4 poodle and 1/4 golden retriever, so I've renamed him.


Monday, December 9, 2019

Thinking out Loud: Liberty Capel V, Liberty Quilting Cotton, or Kaffe Shot Cotton?

In case yardage of Capel V is truly unavailable, I need a plan B. Possibly Liberty floral quilting weight cotton, possibly a Kaffe shot cotton solid with Capel binding.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Beautiful Winter Ballgowns by Moncler + Pierpaolo Picciolo and Liya Kebede

It's the time of year when certain young women and their families are thinking about debutante balls. These balls entered my consciousness via Whit Stillman's film Metropolitan, in 1990s, and later coverage of Le Bal in Paris.

Growning up on a tiny island in Canada, I couldn't have been further removed from the concept of debutante balls--we were too busy flinging snowballs.

But if I were to attend one, via the process of time travel, I think that these stunning ballgown puffers (a collaboration among Moncler, Pierpaolo Picciolo and Liya Kebede) would not only be appropriate for Canadian winters, but would also bring the requisite level of style.