Timeless Shakespeare and Ephemeral Fashion

So I finally did get a New York Fashion Week invitation from Miu Miu and went there on Thursday night to a gathering at their 57th Street boutique. The charming Lorena greeted my friend and me at the door and showed us the new perfume that was just launched as well as the new handbags – gorgeous but unaffordable for me, I purchased the fragrance.

  
My friend and me at the event, on the second floor, amidst the fall fashions.

  
A coat very much like my grandmother’s (which I inherited after she passed away almost 25 years years ago now.)

  
Grandma’s coat – I’m not a fan of fur, but this is the only item that belonged to my grandmother that I have – so I do keep it and wear it in the winter.

  
A lovely suede boot.

  
We stayed at the party briefly and then headed out for drinks and appetizers at the Harvard Club and I went to a lecture by Neil Rudenstine on Shakespeare’s Sonnets. I hadn’t seen him for 20 years, so it was delightful to hear him lecture on his speciality, Renaissance literature, after last knowing him as President of Harvard.

 

Glyn Maxwell’s review of Ideas of Order in The New York Times, on January 30, 2015, ends with this paragraph:

Who is the poet of Shakespeare’s sonnets? Not who was he — who cares? — who is he? Which is it? Now or forever? Life or work? Rage or resignation? Boys or girls? It’s so hard to describe him, except to say he constantly changes his mind, thinks of everything, states it beautifully and cannot entertain an idea without imagining its polar opposite. He should probably write plays.

And returning to Miu Miu, the brand has been running a series of short films called “Women’s Tales” with the latest by Agnès Varda. The contradiction between the offering of a gift of fashion to a young girl more interested in education is a compelling one. I have enjoyed watching the whole Prada and Miu Miu brand concept of Muiccia Prada  develop over the years. As a feminist, former Communist and a woman with a Ph.D in political science, Ms. Prada is not your typical fashion designer. The Jolie Laide concept of the lines and their advertising campaigns have always drawn me in. Though I love brands that are simply gorgeous with beautiful feminine dresses such as those produced by Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera, Prada and Miu Miu often have a certain awkwardness or ugliness that makes them more intriguing. As if they were works of modern art – you need to understand the background and philosophy of the artist before you can appreciate what you are being offered. 

I was happy to see the button collector also featured in “Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse” in the short film below – enjoy!

http://www.miumiu.com/en/women_tales/10/film?cmp=internal_mail_en_ENG_comm_les3boutons_04092015

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Through the Looking Glasss

It’s Fashion Week in New York and again my invitations went astray. Just kidding – I can’t afford what most of the shows are displaying in any case, but it’s always exciting to see collections from inventive new designers or new creative chiefs showing their first collection for a house.

I did see the MET’s China Through the Looking Glass exhibit several times this summer and enjoyed the beauty of the dresses – especially those displayed in close proximity to the Buddhist sculptures as here with Guo Pei’s lotus flower dress. If the show had not been so crowded this room could have served as a place of quiet contemplation.

  
 My favorites were the Gallliano designed Diors in the Astor Court which was transformed into “Moon in the Water,” the Chinese translation of “through the looking glass.”

    
The show was a multimedia extravaganza with film clips chosen by Wong Kar-wai throughout the three floors of the exhibit.  Curator Andrew Bolton designed an experience that was visually rich and extravagant. A fine integration of the art and fashion and the cross currents of East and West influencing and interpreting and misinterpreting each other through centuries of contact from early trade in silks, through the history of opium, the Cultural Revolution and beyond to the present. These are light touches at history, but it is all there and may provoke deeper thoughts about cultural appropiations and uses after leaving the crush of visitors in the galleries.

The title of the exhibit seems apt – a world all topsy turvy and difficult to define – what is dream and what is reality.

 John Tenniel 

Lions and griffins and bees

I’ve been seeing animals all around the city – live ones certainly, but of course many representations of beasts in art, architecture and store windows. Though I love visits to the Central Park Zoo and the Bronx Zoo, there is always the tension between the excitement of seeing the animals up close and the realization of how compromised their lives are in captivity. I know zoological foundations do much to help the wild cousins of the creatures on display, but I can’t help but feel sorrow for the animals in the zoo enclosures. 

Upper East Side lions – there are so many in all the boroughs guarding  people’s homes!

  

  

Not a lion but a young snow leopard at the Central Park Zoo.

  

Griffins are all over the city too – this one in The Metropolitan Museum of Art is from a bronze cauldron. Judging from the griffin’s size the cauldron itself must have been enormous! Many of these, including this one, were from Olympia at the sanctuary dedicated to Zeus. It certainly makes sense that the king of the gods would merit a super sized one. According to Herodotus, a cauldron created for King Kroisos of Lydia could hold 2,700 gallons.

  
And bees – I love bumblebees and try to grow flowers that will entice them to my terrace. I found this fellow in a The Conservatory Garden in Central  Park.

  
And then this large fellow on Fifth Avenue in the Gucci window.

   
 

Not sure those are the types of flowers that would attract him, but as he’s holding a handbag he’d be hard pressed to gather pollen right now in any case!

Eggs of many colors and fashionable Fifth Avenue bones

Nature on display in Bergdorf Goodman’s windows – expertly cast North American bird’s eggs and a diverse selection of skeletons are courtesy of Bones Clones, Inc. and featured on their website. 

https://boneclones.com/category/bergdorf-goodman-windows

The windows are the work of Bergdorf’s Senior Director David Hoey and overseen by Linda Fargo, SVP of Fashion and Store Presenation (who grew up in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield as I did!) and are always imaginative and a fun treat on my way to work – but these are spectacular.       

 Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi

  

Photo @ Ricky Zehavi  

    

I see a northern cardinal egg above and below is this gorgeous large male I saw in a Central Park just hanging out on a bench! Wasn’t even frightened off when I got very close to snap his photo.

  Refreshing to see nature in the city as always!