Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gestalty Towers: The Rachel Zoe Project

I confess that I haven’t been paying much attention to my gestalt lately—at least not using that specific term.

It brings me back to graduate school in English, when we were all pondering our gestalts, while imbricating this, deconstructing that, and generally spending our days lost in our thoughts. We looked like we weren’t actually doing anything but sitting in cafes and thinking (and a little writing, I guess).

Indeed, that grad student vibe describes the look that stylist Rachel Zoe seems to be advocating for her clients, as evidenced in a review of “The Rachel Zoe Project” by Ginia Bellefante for the New York Times.

The look Zoe promotes, says Bellefante, is one of “idleness,” as embodied by an Olsen sister, and, significantly, “a Starbucks cup is essential to the entire gestalt.”

Starbucks wasn’t in my neighborhood when I was in grad school, but I can tell you that I was often accessorized with a medium latte (the first year with caf, the second year sans, when the stresses of literary theory began to kick in). (Grande wasn’t in our vocabulary then, either.)

My current gestalt might just still involve a latte (downgraded to a small [tall]), but I like to think that my wholeness truly comes from just having read a thoughtful book. It jumpstarts my person in a way that coffee simply can’t and is, I like to think, an internal accessory.

Even though grad students might look to be idling, downing cup after cup of joe while parsing a line from Browning or unpacking cyborg references in Kathy Acker, I’m quite sure that all six cylinders are truly revving.

What’s essential to your gestalt?


Songy said...

That required me to do some serious reading wearing a serious hat - didn't know what Gestalt is.

Water. Yes. Water for me. I drink a lot. Bathroom is my natural habitat naturally. :P

miss cavendish said...

That was the fun of the Bellefante review for me: "gestalt" seemed so deliciously out of place!

Sal said...

Essential to my gestalt ... a giant handbag, my crown ring, and enough energy to smile no matter how crap I feel.

miss cavendish said...

Thanks for spreading your cheer, Sal!

enc said...

For me, it's hearing/reading other people's ideas and thoughts on things that matter to them.

Emily said...

fresh air and staying active...two things that make me feel alive and healthy.

~TessaScoffs said...

Essential to my gestalt? Setting aside time to read. I knew I was different when, in high school psychology, the "Dr" professor tried to wow us students with something he thought no one would know. "What is Faust?" he asked. I'd seen the book on my father's bookshelf my whole life and had actually tried to read it, "It's a book by Goethe." Dr. Professor's eyes about popped out of his head. He thought I was just there for the surfer boys.

La Belette Rouge said...

I was just last night thinking about Rachel's vente coffee and compared and contrasted it with the iced coffees and the straws on the show Weeds. To me both of these images read as an endless and unresolved oral fixation. You never see these women eat but they are forever at the caffeine filled nipple looking for energy in a cup. Both of these women, one real and one fictional, seem to be acting out of their Id impulses. I could go on and on yet it is a comment and not a graduate school paper. Hmm, I need more coffee.;-)

Great and thought provoking post. Merci!

GlamaRuth said...

Gestalt, shemstalt - I was just tickled by your Fawlty Towers reference!