Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hayao Miyazaki


"Anyone familiar with Miyazaki’s astonishing body of work will recognize in that answer one of the central themes of his films: the tension between a simpler way of life — where one looks up words in old fashioned dictionaries — and the relentless drive of technological progress." - Adam B. Vary

His films are so beautiful.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Saturday, 22 February 2014

thoughts

the amount of pleasure I gained from scrubbing my kitchen bin 
was strangely unsettling

Friday, 21 February 2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Crocs

Yeah, I swore I would never wear them as well.
Crocs
 (dog = mucky walks)


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

it's not about the set


Material possessions may provide a lovely stage set, but
even the most beautiful stage setting does not
compensate for a poorly scripted play.
Substance over Style

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Vera Wang and uniforms

5 January 2011, Vera Wang

I love Jackie O, and I’ll say for a different reason from a lot of other people, I think. I think that she was actually quite simplistic in her wardrobe. This is an epiphany I had with my president, Mario, in London. I realized that everybody in the end comes down to a uniform. In the end—even as a fashion professional, or fashion insider, someone who’s looked at fashion for so long, and from so many different angles—there is a uniform that works for you. And that uniform can be modified, and it can be changed, and it can be dressed up, dressed down, explored, taken more street, taken more couture, but in the end, it’s an editing process. And as you become more certain of your own vision, and your own taste and your own style, as you evolve, as a person, not just as a woman, you do end up in a uniform.
I decided that, in a way, Jackie O, for example, her REAL uniform was pants. I believe they were Jack’s at the time. And a t-shirt. A round neck, crew neck t-shirt. Forget all the nice dresses in the White House, the little suits and few evening gowns she wore. Her real uniform in her life was a pair of trousers and a t-shirt.
That’s very much what my uniform is. Mine is a legging—it used to be a jean when I was younger—but a legging and a t-shirt. A different t-shirt, a boy’s tank, but nonetheless, there’s a uniform. And then what I do on top becomes the fashion part, whether I wear knee-highs or hosiery. Or it could be a crazy belt. I also have an incredible collection of jackets and outerwear and tunics. These are the things that bring the fashion part to my uniform. But there is a uniform nonetheless.
Miuccia Prada’s uniform is a white shirt and a skirt. In the end, people come down to uniforms and what they do with that uniform.
Mario and I were talking, and he said, ‘That’s what men do.’ And it’s similar to what Jackie did. Men wear either a jean or a pant — in Mario’s case, low crotch – and with it he wears a t-shirt. And then it’s the most incredible jackets in the world. I mean it could be Dries Van Noten, Comme de Garcons, Junya Watanabe. That is his uniform. Where his expression comes through is in that outer piece.

Monday, 10 February 2014

dog

My little wolf, well, he believes he is a wolf 
and who am I to tell him otherwise?
To thine own self be true

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Friday, 7 February 2014

Thursday, 6 February 2014

living area

not too keen on furniture - this area serves as living room, dining room and office

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Cathy Horyn

"there’s a surprising amount of harmony in unremarkable choices"Slave No More - By CATHY HORYN/The New York Times - 6 FEB 2014

As the runway revolves, one front-row fashion fixture ponders how practical dressing has come to feel like the most modern of ideas, and why designers haven’t quite caught on.

It is before dawn on a frozen Sunday in upstate New York, where I have come to pack up two bedrooms. A handyman is arriving to build a small closet in one, and then both rooms will receive a fresh coat of paint. I’m sticking with the same colors — light green, a ballroom blue — that I chose 15 years ago, when the house was built. This decision to leave well enough alone, instead of hustling over to the paint store and driving myself nuts with choices, not to mention wasting my energy, seems more than sensible: It sums up everything I feel about style and comfort. Or should I say the revenge of comfort over style.
Folded over the back of a chair in my room, under a mohair throw, is an old suede kilt I had meant to begin wearing again. For me, the kilt nourishes a sense of freedom from fashion. It’s a classic, it’s sentimental and it’s one of the few garments I own that has truly improved with age. I hope I am wearing it at 90, tramping along in boots and a dog-haired sweater, the picture of civilized indifference.
Although I like going to fashion shows, and appreciate the dedication of seamstresses and designers alike, I am not the right audience for most of what I see. But, then, how many women are? Who has the will — never mind the time and the money — to wear high fashion, at least as it has been conceived over the past decade, as something extreme, or “special,” in retail jargon? By now, I suspect, most people know that the purpose of runway shows is entertainment, and to create a feeling of desire. They understand that the main interest of high-fashion companies is economic rather than aesthetic. It’s to sell products and capture new markets, much as Coca-Cola and Apple do.
Notions like taste and practical chic are way too complex to sell today, when much of the world’s population is consumed with either acquisition or basic survival. For that reason it’s tough to talk about comfort and a moral economy of style without sounding grim or like one is trying to promote a car with three wheels (hey, but it drives!). On the other hand, this idea is not so far from something Coco Chanel offered when she arrived in New York, in March 1931. Asked by a reporter to define the fashionable woman, Chanel said, “She dresses well but not remarkably. . . . She disobeys fashion.” Then, perhaps thinking of her rival Elsa Schiaparelli, Chanel added, “But she is not eccentric. I hate eccentricity.” So she was extolling understatement and ease, yes, but also suggesting these choices reflected virtues like self-control and seriousness.
Lately I’ve noticed many more women, all of them in the zone of careers and complicated family routines, all of them with an eye for fashion, gravitating toward an almost boyish uniform of slim-cut trousers, pullovers and flat shoes. Or a leather jacket with bland layers underneath. They’re hardly wearing makeup, so their complexions look fresh. (We all know that too much makeup ages everyone.) At the last round of shows in Paris, I noted that even my French sisters had begun to ditch their adored stilettos for low heels. That was quite a concession for them, I thought. Something must be up, because those women don’t do anything on a whim.
Of course, in the 1990s, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander led a revolution with plain tailoring, neutral colors and natural hair and makeup. Lang’s style, in particular, proved popular with editors and buyers, many of whom had witnessed the sex gags of Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler in the ’80s, and were sickened or just bored by them. More than a decade earlier, Halston, Stephen Burrows and Calvin Klein had created a template of modern informality, with clean sportswear and lightly constructed dresses for a generation that wanted to go braless. Indeed, these styles reflected not only broad social change, but also the loosening of designers’ grip on women’s bodies. Yet, by the early ’90s, with the exception of Marc Jacobs’s grunge collection for Perry Ellis, along with Zoran and Joan Vass, New York was largely obsessed with the retro trappings of nouvelle society glamour, down to fur-trimmed pencil skirts and gloves. No wonder women sought the anonymity of Lang and Sander.
What’s changed since then? From my perspective, having written enthusiastically about the conceptual, art-inspired fashion of the past 20 years — whether by Martin Margiela, Miuccia Prada or Raf Simons — I can say we’ve become increasingly weary of this approach. As the roles of women kept evolving during the ’80s and ’90s, it was easy, maybe necessary, to attach meaning to clothes. They were powerful, daring, etc. But, let’s face it, much of the language around clothes today sounds forced. I was touched when, at the January men’s shows in Milan, Prada talked about her rather straightforward tailoring, which included a few women’s looks as well, saying, “I wanted to make it real. And I like that now.”
So do most women, though this wish doesn’t strike them as a novelty. All the same, the desire to be comfortable is profound, shaping attitudes and markets. Witness the explosion of so-called lifestyle brands like Vince, which last year became a publicly traded company, an indication that the audience is hardly baby boomers looking for less complicated stuff. For the most part, with the exception of Stella McCartney, who makes a point of including stylishly executed casual looks like this spring’s tapered track pants and tops, high fashion ignores this consumer.
But things are changing. I perked up when I saw that Alber Elbaz based Lanvin’s prefall collection around chic sweatpants, mixing them with wool cocoon coats and low-heeled pumps. I had the sense that he was keen to tackle the matter of comfort without sacrificing luxury, and he succeeded. Probably no one defines the modern sense of comfort with more authority than Phoebe Philo of Céline. Not long ago, she stunned loyalists with a loosey-goosey collection of long, frayed dresses, soft pajama-like pants and sandals lined with fur. Well, guess what? Other designers are still knocking off that collection. Although Philo has steered Céline somewhat away from that specific style, as you would expect of a designer eager to stay ahead of her competitors, she remains committed to its essence. For me, that collection captured something rare in today’s world of anxious, self-created stars — and that is a woman of indeterminate age who knows what she likes and has shrugged off what she no longer has any use for, and maybe never did. If that sounds rather limited, that’s the point. I’ll stick with the same paint colors and my lovely old kilt, because, it turns out, there’s a surprising amount of harmony in unremarkable choices.