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Wednesday
May282014

MY LIFE STARRING, MY CLOTHES 

 

 Clothes as personal history.  My wardrobe has played such a critical part in how I remember key moments of my life:  My first pair of bell-bottoms; the illusive promise and transformative power of a Jean Paul Gaultier suit.  The horrible eggplant colored bikini that I was forced to wear one summer, age nine. 

The black velvet skirt that my husband bought for me. I was twenty-three years old, we were dating and falling in love He wanted to gift me something special.  It was my first grown-up skirt: tight, and sexy with a long slit up the side.  It still hangs in my closet.  When I catch sight of it, I remember that girl of twenty-three and how grown-up she longed to be.

There are some items we are never able to part with.

Yes, I still have my mother's Betsey Johnson moon and stars top, the one I wrote of on this very blog.  I still have my grandfather's suspenders with the gold clasps. I refuse to part with a certain little black dress... even though it is literally falling apart at the seams...

They are all talismans and treasures.

 

Thursday
Apr242014

TNCC: Strikes again... 

 

Journalist Tamsin Blanchard invites us to  learn more about joining the revolution against mindless fashion consumption here.

photo: shutterstock

 

Tuesday
Apr222014

THE OLD BAILEY

 

I had a chance to meet David Bailey when I was writing a book about his life and career a few years ago. I went to his studio in West Central London to interview him.  Oddly, I had lived around the corner from his studio a few years prior, but hadn't realized we were neighbors. It would have been nice to have met him back then. 

As expected, his studio was a delightfully wonky place filled with energy and art! It was also a relaxed atmosphere, with assistants and studio managers scuttering about, and even Bailey's lovely wife Catherine making an appearance. We sat on an old lumpy sofa and spoke for hours. I have to admit, I ran out of things to ask Bailey... which I still find embarrassing.  I think at some point I felt a little overwhelmed by all his stories and lost my ability to think straight! 

Here was a man who had photographed nearly every famous and infamous personality of the past five decades. He had photographed Jagger, and Nureyev, and Michael Caine. He'd been married to Catherine Deneuve! (Coincidentally, at the same town hall where I married my husband!) 

And now, he's photographed the Queen! 

There's been some brouhaha about this most recent portrait, but I love it. It is signature Bailey!  And I think he has captured a fabulous unseen quality that Her Majesty (evidently) possesses, but rarely exposes. I think this is what a great portrait photographer does: captures that quality that we may not so readily see. Still, some tongue wagging about the lens, the angle, the distortion... uh, not sure I even want to begin to parse it to that point and destroy the beauty.

There's also been some talk of this being an "instagram" style photo. I'm not so sure about that. Bailey has been taking this style of photograph for decades, long before digital. By the way, he also has taken one of the coolest "selfies" I have ever seen.  That was back around 1960 something... 

In the meantime, I hope he keeps shooting in this very singular, identifiable style. It has influenced many a photographer who has followed in his footsteps.  I hope he keeps taking portraits for a long time to come. 

Eat your apples David!  They're good for your asthma!

Wednesday
Apr162014

TNCC: Loves fashion with a past... and a future 

 

The New Conscious Consumer™ is always pleased to come across fashion that respects tradition, craft and sustainability.   When it blends seamlessly into the art world, that's even better. 

Carla Fernandez is a artist and activist who is currently working with traditional textiles from her native Mexico to create contemporary designs and support and nurture artisan communities in the process.

Her show, titled "The Barefoot Designer: A Passion for Radical Design and Community" is currently running at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

You can read more about her here.

Sunday
Apr132014

TNCC: CONSUME NATURE

 

There's no better time to consume nature than spring time.  Everything is sprouting, green, ready to burst in to the world and brimming with inspiring colors!  Around where I live there is an abundance of cherry blossoms, and right now they are at their peak. In Japan this is called Sakura Hanami, the cherry blossom viewing time.

The other day I noticed a beautiful blossoming tree beneath which was parked a vintage Triumph motorcycle painted a vibrant flaming orange color.  I promised myself I'd go back and take a photo before either the bike moves or the blossoms tumble to the ground. 

In the meantime,the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has a cherry blossom tracker that is up and running.  Take a look here