Pastel weekend

 

I’m beginning to feel as if I’ve eaten too much sugar. This must be the last of the pastel trend reports. O.C.D on pastels = vomit, non? Thinking is not the new mint green.

What I'm wearing at the mo, most of these clothes are old revivals.

The cream jacket on the left is from Kate Moss’s original collection for TopShop (04? 05?). It’s still a wardrobe standard for me in the summer. The pinky tweed one is part of a Zara suit I bought for a friends wedding in 2003, ditto the mint green lace dress but from Coast; another day another wedding. That lace over top above the trousers in new from TopShop. I’ve worn it so much it smells. Along the bottom l-r T-shirt dress Top Shop, salmon slacks (I like to pronounce thalmon sthlacksth) Miss Selfridge & lilac wool skirt ASOS. In these times of fast-fashion I believe it is important to look after clothes and store them well. I have to say I rarely give to charity shops, because I don’t buy that many things. I  always vacuum seal stuff that I haven’t worn for a while. It’s a lot of fun getting the bags out – like getting new things. It’s eco-friendly too.

This weekend was psuedo summer. Gorgeous weather and happy daze. Longs walks with dog along the river in pretty W.Sussex, sunny courtyard lunches with longstanding friends, Brighton beach on Sunday, Italian ice cream and ice cold white wine. Splendid.

I got to dig out a few of those much loved pastels clothes from my 20s  I’d vacuum sealed.

Dog models own

Here’s a little close-up of the necklace which I bought from a lady called Rosey this time last year in Williamsburg US. At the time she was selling her stuff at Brooklyn Flea. I got a ring too. I love her designs. Her site is Roseybdesigns

A Brooklyn flea find.

 

knuckle duster by Rosie B Designs

 

I got my jewelry in here. ABout 5 min walk from Bedford avenue subway.

Brooklyn Flea is awesometown. I’d a great time there and the vendors are so friendly and chatty.

Back to the U.K. Arundel on Saturday was most pleasant. I’m digging Sparks Yard lifestyle boutique as you can see from the shopping below. Also awe inspiring oversize garden antiquities in Tarrant Street. The shop is actually called Antiquites + full of lovely things + they let Cuba in. How very civil.

Lace top & vest undernieth TopShop (this season) Skirt American Apparel (still available). Boots Russell & Bromley (2yrs old so I doubt it)

The Lover’s Discourse Roland Barthes

So, another Williamsburg themed post I supposed. I warn you there’s a couple more NYCish ones on the way. I had such a fantastic time.

When I was in Willamsburg I happened upon the most amazers 2nd hand book store called Spoonbill and Sugartown

The service left a little to be desired – the staff were too busy having their own conversation to be helpful and when I asked for a bag I might as well have asked for the woman’s 1st born child by the look on her face. Nevertheless, the cultural & critical theory stock was the best I’ve seen anywhere. There is one shelf in the bookshop in The Tate Modern that occasionally turns up something interesting, but this place was something else.

Whilst there I bought myself a copy of French Thinker and all round cool guy Barthes’ The Lovers Discourse

As the review on the jacket says

‘A Lover’s Discourse maybe the most detailed, painstaking anatomy of desire that we are ever likely to see or need again…The book is an ecstatic celebration of love and language and…’

Barthes is such a brilliant character, a philosopher, a semiotician, a cultural theorist, journalist, teacher; he was interested in so many different aspects of culture and everyday life – what ever captured his imagination. I found out in the foreword by Wayne Koestenbaum that Barthes was a gay man, something I didn’t know and he lived most of his life with his mother Henriette whom he was devoted to.


His Mythologies is a work I know very very well indeed. It has been a source of inspiration for my own work and thinking for over a decade of study and research and it’s a book I know like the back of my hand. The Lover’s Discourse is, I’m finding, quite hard going and I’m certainly glad of the notes at the beginning. As it says, the book is a series of linked miniatures about the different thralls of loves categories. It’s about how love ‘is a translated affair; love, Barthes proves, is not a feeling we take raw, but a condition that passes through the mediating scrim of plots, prejudices, and assumed positions’ ‘(Koestenbaum 2010 pxix)

What I adore about it, is that it’s an academic text, but at the same time it isn’t in the slightest. It’s emotional, it’s painful and there is a mediation of suffering that emerges from the words. As the reader I feel as strong sense that the author has felt something and very deeply too.

As Koestenbaum says, Barthes never wrote a novel, but this comes close. It’s critical prose. I also love the fact that the footnotes and references are so vague. Yabooshucks to the Harvard system. Away with you citation! Barthes flouts academic convention by only slight references to the thinkers, spiritual leaders, poets and philosophers he employs. For instance,the name Freud may casually appear in the left margin, but that is it. It’s up to the reader to follow this up if they care to. Bravo for Barthes! The contemporary academic writing ‘house’ style is a sore point for me. I dislike the conventions of thesis writing and how the author’s creativity and feeling is snuffed out by the academe in pursuit of convention and under the guise of objectivity that’s a nonsense anyway. I do so admire Barthes and even more now I’ve begun to read this.

Williamsburg & Brooklyn Flea

So for the last few days I’ve been an Upper East Sider, like the characters in Gossip Girl, living a 5 minute walk from The Met in this beautiful Brownstone.

Meanwhile, somewhere on The Upper East Side. You know you love me. XOXO

But I’m a woman on a budget and after being treated to a great time U.E.S I needed some low-key action and headed off on the L-train to Brooklyn.

Williamsburg really reminds me of The Brick lane / Hackney road end of Bethnal Green circa 10years ago. The area on N Avenue where the market is & Bedford Avenue with lots of shops and restaurants is fairly gentrified in a Brooklyn hipster way.

Brooklyn Flea

I spent a great day wandering around today & met a few lovely locals, who couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful.

This guy & his friend were amazing today with local info.

Once you get off the main drag it gets even more interesting.

Brooklyn or Brick Lane?

 

Williamsburg or London E2?

Savage Beauty

what I did this morning…

When I heard about The Savage Beauty exhibition a while back, I thought to myself what a shame it’s being held in The States and not in The U.K. I would not get to see it – money, time, and work blah blah. But I made it happen. I simply made up my mind it was not to be missed and to go. So now I’m in NYC – for various other reasons nothing to do with the exhibition – but good reasons and the best part I got to see the McQueen. I might knock up some quick self-helpy manifest your life manual in a minute! Watch out Deepak.

Absolute highlights are: the black duck feather & lace dress from a/w 2009 , really has to be seen up close to be understood. A stunning corset of lilac and silk, appliquéd with black lace. Of course the famous Kate Moss holograph set to the theme from Schindlers List by John Williams which I watched about 5Xs. But for me the exquisite cream silk tulle lace gown with resin antlers from the a/w Widows of Culloden collection blew me away. The gown is such a work or art it actually made me tearful. It sounds trite, but Alexander McQueen wasn’t just a designer, he was an artist, an inspiration, and a good East-End boy. He was a genius.

The exhibition is beautifully curated. The pieces are set in dark, atmospheric rooms, dressed in baroque cases and gilt frames. There are film installations from the catwalk shows on the ceilings and Handel’s Sarabande makes up part of the heartrending classical soundtrack in the background as one moves around the rooms.


I’m sorry there aren’t any more snaps but photography wasn’t allowed, so (ahem) I’ve noooo idea how I ended up with this image.