Friday, December 30, 2011

my mother's ski sweater

In honor of what would have been my mother's 72nd birthday, today, I wanted to write something thoughtful to honor her. I wrote some notes about what she called the "clothing museum." It included clothes of hers and mine that were special in some way. I have not finished this piece for many reasons. I will get to it, soon. For today, I will post one photo of one item from that museum: my mother's ski sweater from the 1950s. It was handmade, tiny and wool.
I would never have worn it--even if it would fit me--because wool makes me itch. And I never saw my mother wear this sweater. But I picture her in it when I read her short story, "The Circle," in The Hottest Night of the Century, which revolves around a skiing trip.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

yet another...

As I wrote in my last post, I rarely see things that are my style in the NY Times, though everything presented is usually in fabulous taste of some sort or another. But today I again saw a dress I would wear. I am shocked. Am I getting old? Or is style NY Times style finally catching up with me? (I will fess up that I don't know who Zoe Saldana is.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

ads, airbrushing and clothes I want

(Was it more than a month ago that I collected these photos? Damn. At least the topics—advertising and fashion—are not especially time-sensitive.)

I was reading The New York Times Magazine (or is it actually, really T Magazine now?), probably not on the Sunday (April 17) it came out, rather during the week following. A few photos caught my attention.

The first set of photos fall under the “ads and airbrushing” category. As I flipped through the mago, I immediately noticed a contrast between two ads featuring “older” women and how they employed airbrushing. Sure, Lauren Hutton (67) has more than 10 years on Kim Cattrall (54), if I have my math right, so Hutton should look older. But I am also sure the Cattrall has some wrinkles, or at least pores. Need I say, I like the Hutton ad better. Of course, both women are lovely, I just wish Kim was not so willing to submit herself to such heavy, obvious airbrushing. Should Alexis Bittar be credited and Olay not? Both have chosen not-young women as centerpieces for their campaigns. I suppose that is a start. But I love that we can see Hutton’s cleavage wrinkle.

The second set of photos accompanied fairly vapid articles on Charlotte Dellal (“Footprints”) and Cate Blanchett (“Vanishing Act”). I love the latter, but I don’t really know who the former is. Here, I saw clothes I actually admired, coveted for myself, and I usually see little of my own style in the NY Times.

I WANT these clothes (putting any possible airbrushing aside).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

god discussion with Iz

Iz and I have our best discussions in the car.

Iz has decided he wants to create a city out of boxes for his Godzilla-themed birthday (which is two months away). He discovered a new way of painting windows—with a single vertical brushstroke. But he wanted ideas for other types of windows so his building would look different. I picked him up at school a few days ago, and, on the 30-minute drive home, I pointed out the wide variety of window types in downtown DC through Capitol Hill. While none are Godzilla-city skyscrapers, they offered inspiration.

We passed a small church on Independence Avenue with arched stained-glass windows. I have always loved how you can see the leaded lines, darkened colors and vague forms from the outside of a stained-glass window. I pointed and said to Iz, “Look at the arched windows of that church.”

Iz asked, “What is a church?”

I paused, stumbled over some words, “On Sundays, some people meet at the church to talk about god. It is like a school where you learn about god, for those who believe in god.” I know, a simplistic description, but functional.

I can’t actually remember if Iz asked, “Why don’t we go to church?” But I knew he was thinking it.

So I answered, “We don’t go to church because I don’t believe in god.”

Iz said, “I kind of don’t believe in god and I kind of do.”

I asked, “That’s cool. If there is a god, what is he or she like?”

Iz replied, “Big. Much bigger than people, and god is a girl.”

I appreciated that, “I do think that if there is a god, she would be female—or like a female.”

Iz said, “And god would live in the clouds.”

I said, “I think god wouldn’t really have a body like we do—I think she would be something different. I do believe there is power in nature, a way that things work that makes sense, that seems to be come from a thoughtful being. Some people call this ‘Mother Nature.’”

Iz said, “Mother Nature is a girl.”

“Yes, she is.”

We then merged onto Kenilworth Avenue and probably started talking about whether he could have a doughnut when he got home.