Thursday, February 28, 2013

Clutching at Liberty

Gentle readers may remember that I adore Liberty of London fabrics. I use it in quilts, bunting, accessories, and sometimes buy clothing in Liberty prints. 

I think I prefer making things out of Liberty to purchasing items fully assembled, but I have been eyeing two new J. Crew spring pieces: the clutch above and the shoes below.

The clutch print is on a myriad of J. Crew items, from trousers to a skirt to a shirt and a scarf, but I prefer the clutch for its shapelessness, if you will.  There's no darting, no seaming, no scrunching, just print. 

And this print can come across a tad too yellow in a garment, so the clutch is perfect.  It's kind of a Miss Rumphius-in-a-hothouse look.

(The bad news is that the clutch comes with a beyond hideous chain and matching fabric shoulder pad.  Tuck in the chain or remove it.)

I've known the print on these shoes for a good fifteen years, at least. 

I've used it in a quilt and still have some of my original stash tucked away.  I don't pull it out any more, because I prefer different colours now. (These colours remind me of the "old" days, when Liberty was less available in the United States and I'd have access only to pre-cut bundles.  How I looked forward to and treasured those bundles!)

But on a pump this print catches my eye again.  Anything too bright would be annoyingly playful; these pinks and blacks have a measure of sophistication.

Do gentle readers have any favourite Liberty prints, items, or garments?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Separated at Birth? The Oscars Edition

It was a surprise to see FLOTUS Michelle Obama join Jack Nicholson via camera at the Oscars last night.

But I thought I recognized her dress--it has a strikingly similar cut to the one Nicole Kidman wore.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

This morning I checked the designers, and Mrs. Obama wore a custom Naeem Khan, while Ms. Kidman wore L'Wren Scott.

On another front, Jack Nicholson, in his red bowtie, slightly oversized suit, and strong spectacles, seemed to be channeling designer Alber Elbaz:

They are also not so separated at girth either.  Or mirth, from their happy expressions here.

Reeling from the Oscars

Yes, the Oscars had me reeling last night. 

Not because of the host's sexist production number--that inspired a different reaction--but because of Halle Berry's beautiful dress that, to me, recalled sparkly strips of film from a reel.

Clever without being self-conscious or perhaps even intentional, the Versace dress nonetheless paid homage to film-making.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Did I Invest in Mr. Gurung's Designs? Prabal-y

At the risk of sounding like the tuneless chorus characterized by a hyper-rhotic pronunciation that must have been Swiftly composed, I have never ever, ever, ever, ever been inspired to purchase anything from a Target collaboration.

The Liberty products were too watered down, Calypso too baggy, Neiman Marcus too pricey for the quality, and so on.

But I took a chance on Prabal Gurung's collection, partly because two former students are great pals with him and I was feeling vicariously chummy; partly because I liked what I tried on.

What did I try: The red wedge sandal, above and below.  It's got great lines, and whereas I have wisely? foolishly? spent close to my monthly mortgage on a special pair of heels from time to time, it was a lark to spend so little on something that really looks good on one's feet.

Why, you could even say that these shoes give me great pleather to wear. Except that it's too cold to wear then yet, of course.

Have any gentle readers had happy luck with a Tar-zjay collaboration?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Don't Call Me Alaia

Well, actually I'd be delighted if Mr. Alaia did make me a piece.  His clothes can do no wrong, in my view. They are clean, graceful, elegant, edgy, and show off a woman's shape like nothing else can.

So please, Mr. A., don't make me Alaia by changing your strategy.  (Yes, there's a pun in there, just use your Noo Yawk accent to find it.) 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Of Scarves and Spring

Spring may be in the air; I plan to chase it . . .

Monday, February 18, 2013

To a T (T Magazine's redesign)

I love the look and the content of the new T Magazine. 

My editing class is studying typography right now, and the clean, modern "T" with an appealing depth seems much more elegant than the olde scripte T of yesterday (though I really did LOVE how various artists interpreted it in each issue).

But maybe what I like best about this new T is its colour (in this issue, anyway).  This pale pinky pewter reminds me of, say, the jacquard cushion on a lady's antique vanity chair, an old-school powder puff, perhaps.

And I like how T followed through with variations on that pink throughout the issue.  The gently powdered face above, the pink of the sash-as-scarf suits me, to a T.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Downton Grammy

Last night I toggled back and forth between Downton Abbey and the Grammys.  They may have become intertwined, as this is what I remember from the evening:

Dowager Countess grants Edith permission to write a newspaper column, noting that she is neither young nor Fun. : "Toni-i-i-i-ight you aren't young. So go set the world on fi-yyyah!"  Lady Edith channels Kelly Clarkson, as she feels "Stronger," yet notes that her Grammy has sneaked in an insult at the same time.

In turn, the befuddled flirty newspaper editor tells Lady Edith that he and his mad Bertha Rochester-esque locked-up wife are "never ever ever ever getting back together."
Lord Grantham frets at dinner about the increased Irish presence in Downton (his son-in-law). "Soon we'll be singing 'Molly Malone,'" he grumbles.

Lady Mary rejoins, "Papahwhrr, don't preach," demonstrating that it is actually she who's behind the times. Really, Madge?
And indeed, after the cricket match during which Tom (the Irish SIL makes the winning catch, the gang breaks out into the Once-inspired Lumineers number, "Ho Hey!"  

But Mosley disappoints during cricket, which is upsetting, considering all the hype leading up to his performance. Frank Ocean may feel his pain, what with a New York Times Magazine cover story on his the day of the Grammys and being featured earlier this week in a NYT story on syncing his running video to his live upper half.  Did the sound dim?  Was Ocean off key?  To be Frank, it wasn't a winning outing for either gent.

The dowager countess, who is still confused about what a "weekend" is, transposes the words of "Ho Hey!" when she summons Ethel to her home.  There, the dowager reassigns Ethel to a new place of employment in a new town where she can be close to her son (whom she gave up to his grandparents for adoption). The dowager further remarks that Ethel's past can be "wiped clean," rendering her not un"Like a Virgin," as Madge makes another cameo.

Toward the end, the upstairs reconvenes with the downstairs for a rousing chorus of "The Weight" (also referred to as "Take a Load off, Fanny." Thomas feels surprisingly weightless as he is returned to the cocoon of Downton but O'Brien feels the weight of her past evil-doings with her ladyship's soap. 

And thus the soap opera that is Downton Grammy ends for the evening,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fifty Shades of Green Gables

Gentle readers will be aware that a most ridiculous book cover has been making the rounds on teh internets, as they're called. 

I've refrained from writing about the complete foolishness that is the new, public-domain edition of L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series because the cover, with its bleached blonde, twenty-first century Elly Mae Clampitt-meets Playboy centerfold while making hay in plaid is so absurd that it defies commentary.

Indeed, the AoGG book cover is as ludicrous as replacing the cover image of this:

with this:

Or this:

with this:

Wonder whether he could make the laughable cover disappear?

This P. E. Islander will take her green in less that fifty shades--the natural greens complementing the iconic green gables and shutters of Anne's house will more than satisfy.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blank(et) Check

Anyone who's seen my Twitter feed knows that we were without heat today.  We didn't notice immediately, because our house was built in 1874 and has original glass windows, which means that our house can get chilly in winter.  And the weather has been exceptionally cold for the last few days, considering we were running in shorts(!) lasr weekend.

While we were waiting for a technician to help us out, we made good use of the quilts I've made, as well as my favourite blanket--a checked wool beauty from Norway's Oleana:

I adore Oleana blankets, which are sumptuously thick, soft, and gorgeously designed. They reverse to a slightly different colourway and set my senses a tizzy when I am wrapped up in one. 

But they are rather cher (hence my post title), so I have thought that it might be great fun to make a quilt in an Oleana blanket style. 

I'd probably choose a check, in a blue, to complement my red check blanket.  The border could be appliqued, even in felt, for the tricky curves and curlicues. This may be my next project, since my hands are working again with (and are grateful for) the heat.