Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Ears

These floral ears are just right for a Latesummer Night's pondering.

When I had a boy bulldog, I named him after a character from A Midsummer Night's Dream--the one with the ears.

During university summers, I would wait tables at the Confederation Centre's restaurant.  There was a section that was apart from the other tables.  The restaurant called it the Extension, but we smarty pants university students all hung up on Camus called it the Existension.

Natalia looks like she might be ready to bring some menus to the Existension.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Of a Stripe

I am drawn to certain kinds of stripes.

I  found these vintage Miu Miu shoes this summer and snapped them up quickly. 

What appeals? The red-and-white cheerful stripe that's tempered by the slightly sulky mustard-and-tobacco stripes that are Prada's jolie laide signature.

They remind me of circus tents:

Kaffe Fassett's circus tents quilt:

From Glorious Patchwork
lifeguard huts on PEI:

From here

And now for a question: does anyone know which collection my shoes came from?  My computer time is limited due to my ailing shoulder.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Rockettes' Gorgeously Tarnished Glamour

In the afterglow of spying Bill Cunningham, my daughter and I headed over to Radio City, where she danced for some four hours with the Rockettes Experience (13th-birthday gift).

As we climbed the internal stage-door stairs en route to the large rehearsal hall, a rolling rack with some costumes caught my eye.  They were strappy, peachy-flesh colored, and bedazzled with glitz. 

They were a little bedraggled too, which was part of their appeal: I thought of Sally Bowles flinging one on, ripped fishnets on legs, cigarette in hand.

I'm calling it tarnished glamour.

Do you like your glamour sparkly or with a bit of romantic grime?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bill Cunningham Cycles across Fifth Avenue

This morning my eldest and I were in New York bright and early, as she was going to have a day of dancing with the Rockettes as her thirteenth birthday gift.

We did a little window shopping beforehand, and found ourselves, at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, walking up Fifth Avenue, passing Tiffany's, Bergdorf bound, LV's polka-dot display in our sites.  The street was quiet, the atmosphere gray and humid.

Then, a steady clickety-clack cut through the air, a sound as magical as the tingling and jingling of the bells on Santa Claus's sled.  I turned to look and saw Bill Cunningham pedaling his bicycle across Fifth Avenue.

His French worker's coat was the blue of photos, but even bluer than pictures can depict.  He looked straight ahead (not at me :-(  ) and I did the only thing logical: I tried to get my Mr. C's iPhone out of my bag while starting to chase the other Mr. C on his bike, down 57th, I think.

By the time I sorted out the iPhone camera (it's new to me) I had lost Bill C and one of New York's finest asked me if I needed his help.  I explained that a wonderful fashion street photographer had just bicycled across and down the street but I couldn't catch up with him for a photo. The bemused officer turned me over to my daughter's care and went on with his day.

And all the while, Bill Cunningham calmly rode his cycle during the morning mist, appearing and vaporizing like a blue-winged apparation.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Servane Gaxotte's Fairy Tale Necklaces

I'm teaching a class on fairy tales--classic and revisionist--so it's no surprise that I was drawn to these cunning necklaces from the Parisian designer Servane Gaxotte.

They were cuddled together midway through the long Kisan shop in Soho. 

Felinophobes beware: I originally thought that "kisan" might be translated as "cat lady," as the front of the shop featured cool dresses that sneaked watercoloury, abstract cats into the print, as well as cat-emblazoned iPhone cases. I was concerned that the shop would be a cat-astrophe till I proceeded further. 

(NB: I want to make it clear that I adore the delightful FitzRoy Brandes, he of the glorious mug.)

Gaxotte's necklaces (from her "rose" collection) imagine rather large creatures--mice, a girl with cat ears (I know, but still)--and they wear odd fabric garments.  Suspended from a heavy chain, they're kind of fairy tale noir,

with a hint of Degas ballet dancer,

a dollop of Peau d'ane,

and a sprinkling of She Was Nice To Mice, which I knew intimately from the pages of Seventeen magazine when I was about 12 or 13.

Its author, Ally Sheedy, made a different impression on me during her Breakfast Club scene when she shook dandruff out of her hair, creating a snowfall.  At least I think it was dandruff and not a sequel called She Was Nice To Lice.

Although I would l.o.v.e. to wear one of these necklaces to class when I teach Peau d'ane, I won't be doing so unless I find my own Rumplestiltskin, who can spin some gold without any catches.  My beautiful first-born turns 13 today and I intend to enjoy her company.

(BTW: have any gentle readers ever read Neil LaBute's take on the Rumplestltskin story, "With Hair of Hand-Spun Gold"?  It's in a Kate Bernheimer anthology of new fairy tales and is as chilling and current as a LaBute work can be.  Without giving anything away, it goes where the film Easy A fears to tread.) 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Marie Antoinette in Soho

Yesterday Mr. C and I took a late afternoon walk in Soho, where I bought the June/July copy of Selvedge at Purl Soho (and some fabric too).

Although it's August, it's still midsummer to me via this magazine, which (shameless plug) contains my story on Stella McCartney's sporty aesthetic, as well as her designs for Team Great Britain.  I was relieved to see that I'd written about Jessica Ennis in Ms. McCartney's kit, since the remarkable Ms. Ennis is now the heptathalon champion.

But partway through our walk thoughts of racing, jumping, and swimming gear gave way to images of tall white hairpieces a la Marie Antoinette, by way of a Whit Stillman film, delicate pink cheeks and lacy dresses when we passed by a building under renovation, and masked by a charming canvas of painted ladies and gents (of the politest sort).

I don't know what shop will open here, but I'd like it to be a French patisserie, with a glass case full of colourful macarons, or a shoe boutique, offering only the most flamboyant Emma Hope court heels.

Gawd, I hope it's not Forever 21.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Boden, Charleston, Barbara Brown, and My Left Arm

There's been a dearth of blogging over here, while my left arm takes a time-out. 

There had been a good deal of keyboarding and quilting going on this summer, and I think that my arm, shoulder, and neck demanded a vacation. 

But food for thought while my arm chills out: does not this fall dress from Boden remind you of the Barbara Brown prints I posted a while back . . .

as well as have Charleston undertones?

If only the style didn't remind me of Coronation Street, circa 1975, watched faithfully by my grandmother (and ignored by me as I thought of circus-colored awning stripes). 

More to come on that, as I have recently bought an outrageously striped pair of vintage Miu Miu shoes. They're visiting the cobbler, getting a couple of upgrades that will ready them to challenge Usain Bolt in the 100-metre dash.