Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Trip to Ireland: Brown Thomas, and Úna Burke's Leather Epaulettes (and update)

My daughter spent two weeks at Irish boarding school learning Gaelic, so Mr. C and I (and our other two children) flew over to pick her up and to take a literary holiday.

We began in Cork and drove around the west coast till we reached Galway, spent some time on the largest Aran island, and took the train to Dublin for our remaining days. It was utterly glorious, and like any naughty reader, I'll start at the end, with some discoveries from Dublin.

I felt utterly comfortable in tourist mode, so we did things like going to see the first-ever all-Irish cast of the musical Once. Before the performance began, I dipped into the first-floor Portrait Bar, which contained larger-than-life photographs of performers who'd appeared there, at the Olympia Theatre.

I was particularly struck by this image of Saorise Ronan in her iron corset, rendered in black and white, glowering down at my banquette from the considerably tall walls.


Then I wandered into Brown Thomas, run by British-Canadian Galen Weston, who has long held businesses in Ireland (not to mention he married an Irishwoman!), and promptly fell in love with a display along the balcony: these leather epaulettes by Irish designer (based in London) Úna Burke. They have a touch of prim, but pack a thrill, and I think they would be a delight to wear--I'd even break my rule and buy a "crisp white blouse" for them!


To wear on another day, there were fascinators galore, all of which seemed to play the Game of Thrones angle. (I've never seen this show; I come by my medievalism via my Chaucerian background and my Beowulf-professor husband. But I IMAGINE they reference GoT.)





I loved the one with spikes (see details above), but would gladly wear them all.

Upon returning and tucking into the TV show Odd Mom Out, I saw Jill Kargman was wearing Úna, and its au courant status was immediately buckled up. Ahem.



Although this harness really screams Britomart, the female warrior,  more than Una, Spenser's Faerie Queene.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Foulard's Paradise: Miss Cavendish on Mary Katrantzou in Selvedge Magazine

My story on Mary Katrantzou's resort collection is forthcoming in Selvedge Magazine's June issue, due out this week.

I originally titled the story "Foulard's Paradise" (before the colon [wink] ) because Katrantzou used vintage necktie and scarf prints throughout her collection. Selvedge gave it the politer--and doubtless more appropriate--title that you'll see here.

I love the images, and if the print is legible in the story, you'll see that they remind of of Patrick Nagel illustrations.




The chakra issue, #17.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Stamp Collecting: Oscar, Gee's Bend, Wonder Woman, and Audrey

Today at the post office I couldn't resist these new stamps celebrating Oscar de la Renta and his storied career.


 And then I saw these, featuring Wonder Woman, in a variety of Power Poses, 
so they came home with me too.


They joined these stamps commemorating the quilts of Gee's Bend from 2006,

and these of Audrey Hepburn, which I bought in 2003.


I once had these stamps featuring Grace Kelly, from 1992,


and actually used them. I won't make that mistake twice.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Miss C on Delpozo's Lunar Resort Collection for Selvedge Magazine


It's been a lovely week of spring break, and just when I'm thinking about returning to the classroom, I see a new opportunity to travel: Josep Font for Madrid's Delpozo has designed the prettiest collection based on Georges Méliè's Voyage dans la lune (1902).



I've written about it for London's lovely Selvedge magazine, and share the pages here. The issue is called "Trade Winds" and is the May/June issue, to be published later this spring.



And the film!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Marion's Trench Coat

No one wears a trench coat like Marion.


So forget about an off-the-shoulder look or a jaunty hat. 


Forget about going classic


Or accessorizing with a beautiful woman.


Marion's got this all buttoned up.






Saturday, March 18, 2017

Comma Chameleon: Understanding the Oxford Comma

Audrey Hepburn could pose like a comma.
The Oxford comma (which I usually call the "serial comma") has been in the news this week. The lack of it in a sentence is, apparently, the key to winning or losing a lawsuit in Maine.


As someone who was born and bred in Canada, works as a copyeditor (and literature/journalism professor) in the United States, and writes for a (gorgeous) British magazine, my understanding is this:


In Canada and Great Britain, the Oxford comma is NOT used. In the United States, it IS used, EXCEPT in journalism.


It's confusing. Fortunately Boy George wrote the song "Comma Chameleon" to help us out (wink):


Monday, March 13, 2017

A Tale of Two Cities: Montreal and London (and Meghan's Beautiful Erdem Dress)

I was cheered when I saw Meghan Markle wearing Erdem to a wedding with Harry Wales, because I think it's perfect for her.

Meghan, who lives in Toronto but dates an Englishman, wore a dress by designeErdem Moralıoğlu, who was born in Montreal and now lives in London. 

I've written about Erdem before, most recently in my Selvedge story on dark florals, of which Meghan's dress is a lovely example. It takes this dark print:


and applies it to the dress above, right.

I also write about Erdem here, in my Selvedge story about Jenny King, master embroiderer.



Sunday, March 12, 2017

Of "Supermodels," Horizontal Hair, and Waking up for $10,000

I was pleased when India won this season's title of America's Next Top Model (ANTM). I thought that her photographs were stellar and consistently beautiful, like this one, which references some favourite 1970s looks with its horizontal curls, monochromatic palette, and platform shoes.




I adore horizontal curls of the Studio 54, 1970s vintage. Here are a couple of authentic--and throwback--images:





And speaking of "horizontal," I couldn't help but think of Linda Evangelista's infamous, cheeky pronouncement to Vogue in 1990 that she (and Christy) "don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day." Evangelista's intent behind that pithy quote has been analyzed, discredited, and spun, but I'm drinking it neat: a model of Linda's caliber can command whatever she wants.

Plus, she never called herself a Supermodel. That would be too-too.

However, on this season of ANTM a new panelist was quite vocal as self-identifying as a Supermodel. Ashley Graham, who's done Sports Illustrated, is currently in Vogue, is the face of Prabal Gurung's Lane Bryant collection, claimed the Supermodel mantel for herself throughout the show. Martin appears to be supersmart, superconfident, and superbeautiful, but Supermodel? I don't think that a true Supermodel would announce herself as one. She'd just be one.

That said, old school model Eva Herzigova could add Supermodel to her CV and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. She ruled the Bottega Veneta runway, despite being twice the age of current runway favourite Kendall Jenner, whose career had a speedier trajectory than the javelin her dad tossed during the Olympic Games. I loved seeing a woman in her 40s pretty much stop a show with her beauty.


A future Olympic Equestrian, peut-être?




Saturday, March 11, 2017

Swim Coach; or Sharks on a Sweater

OK; just one shark on a sweater, but still.


In its continued whimsical creature theme (remember the T-Rex on men's wallets this winter?), Coach has knit a T-Rex into a pistachio sweater (Rexy) and a Great White (Sharky) into a Bright Red cashmere.


It does, of course, reference JAWS, but this shark's toothy vibe seems cartoony rather than menacing.











In fact, you could say it's a watered-down version of Christopher Kane's trailblazing open maws from 2009--both his gorilla ready to wear:


and his Topshop crocodile collection:


Selena Gomez has tipped off her fans to a photo of her in Sharky. Here we focus on her mouth and teeth, not his.


Sharks aren't new to fashion, certainly. Here's Jerry Hall riding the waves on one back in the 1970s:



My feeling is: No matter how edgy Coach tries to make this sartorial shark (and it's trying really hard in the styling below), Sharky's more suited to the goldfish bowl than the deep blue sea.



Friday, March 10, 2017

Gentlewoman Collars (Part 1)

I am not usually fond of shirts with collars; they interfere with my hair (and putting my hair up reveals too much of the collar, making the shirt too prim).


This spring, though, appears to be the season of the gentlewoman collar, with props to Tennessee, and I am especially loving this look from Prada: with a cocktail dress over a shirt.


We've seen the look before: Julia Roberts wore a strapless dress over a shirt to the Golden Globes:


and I blogged about another combination here.

Prada's offering is extra special because of its genial use of feathers and its (to me) indigo-inspired shirt, which reminds me of a favourite from my twenties:




If this gentlewoman collar knocked, I'd answer the door.