From brights the other day to mutes today. You could call this color palette "blush and sand," which sounds like the title of a romance novel with a Valentino lookalike on the cover!
This is exactly the kind of sweater I used to tease my grandmother about wearing, the elaborately beaded 1950s cardigans that you saw on everyone from Babe Paley to Lucille Ball to … your grandmother.
Of course, now I wish I had more of them! The best are the silk-lined cashmere or merino wool ones made in what was, for more than 150 years, the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong. The work of Hong Kong tailors is legendary, and now all the 1950s and early 1960s pieces are enjoying a tremendous vogue.
In this case the colors – bronze, blush and sand – are hushed, which lets the beading look more pronounced. The sleeveless top is a silk jersey criss-crossed with stitched bands of darker silk chiffon. King’s X? And then the skirt is bias-cut chiffon in very quiet hues. If designers gave quirky names to prints the way cosmetics makers do to lipstick and cheek color, we could call this one, "Shhh! This is a library!’"
This is my Earth Day homage, with the green cotton poplin coat and the nifty closures. Couture and hardware experts! Can I beseech you to tell us what this type of closure is called? The round metal gizmo is a grommet, but what do you call the short bar at the end of a chain that goes through the grommet to secure it?
I hope there’s some fanciful medieval word for it, because in my fevered romantic brain, it has the feel of the kind of clothing closure that might have been used for a coat of mail or doublet or surcoat or cotehardie or any of a number of divinely archaic phrases for wardrobe items.
Can a print still be spring-y when it’s on a black background, like this one? I’ve heard that there’s a new vogue for prints in tshirts. I would welcome that, because I’m weary of the myriad dreary fan-girl T-shirts, and the clever or hip ones meant to show that you are unique, along with the other two-million people wearing the identical shirt. I’ve seen enough devil’s horns and skulls and snakes to fill the Book of Revelations, so let’s just move along, shall we?
These shoes I wear, but rarely. Otherwise they doze quietly in their red flannel shoe bag: my green patent-leather Louboutins. I’d coveted them since seeing them new in a shop in London, when they cost about as much as my plane ticket. I lay in wait for years for someone to put them up on eBay.
Is it, by chance, Helena Bonham Carter’s birthday? This begged me to take it out of the closet this morning, a frock very much a la Bonham Carter mode. [We all do know that her husband, Tim Burton, is from Burbank, right?]
The dress is from Stefanel – anyone know of Stefanel? An Italian company that’s done especially knockout knits. I don’t know that it has any shops here in the U.S. but I hazarded into Stefanel in Europe and liked the attitude, as well as the silhouettes, and this one in particular.
The sweater-ribbed knit band at the bottom puts an edge on the frou-frou of the skirt, as do the big hardware snaps on the bodice. [That word, froufrou, or frou-frou, meaning fussy or embellished, or covered with "furbelows." "Furbelows" is one of my favorite fashion words.
"Froufrou" dates to France in about 1870, when women’s clothes were exactly that. Sarah Bernhardt, one of my style icons, starred in a play entitled “Frou-Frou.”
You don’t believe it looking out your windows in Southern California today, but spring it is. Perhaps I am forcing the spring by wearing bouquets on my stems – I think I can identify ranunculus, poppies, dianthus, and maybe roses?
I don’t know how authentically botanical fabric print designers think they ought to be, but I have an unshakable childhood recall of a bedroom in my great-grandmother’s house wallpapers in blue roses, and I was for years thereafter convinced that I could grow myself some blue roses.
And is there a happier color than this jacket’s coral/peach, or a springier fabric than the cotton-blend pique? It’s not as strenuous a shade as it would be in its brightness equivalent elsewhere on the color wheel, like electric blue or acid green. [And if it were, well, I’d wear it anyway!]
Patt Morrison and Stephen Hawking at Cal-Tech.
The renowned physicist, cosmologist and lover of Indian food is at Caltech for his annual dinner and lecture visit. I broke naan across from him Thursday at dinner, which was cooked by a class of adept Caltech students.
I had a short interview with him, and with the student-chefs, which will be airing on “Off-Ramp” soon. As we took the photograph, I had just made a little joke, which accounts for his smile [producer Dave Coelho didn’t get a smile, but maybe he’s not as funny nor as glamorous as I am].