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In the Navy…

18 Mar

… is just where I’d like to be, sailing the deep blue waves, far away from this leaden sky and that never to come spring.

Or maybe I’ll just dream about the Flying Dutchman, listening to the wind in Wagner’s overture. Had I to meet with the dreaded Captain, I would wear the following.

First, a red striped marinière

Saint James

… and of course sailor pants…

Junya Watanabe

… striped shoes to match the top…

Tabitha Simmons

and a navy coat on top of that…



And since I’m clad for the Fliegende Holländer, here’s a classic version of one of the greatest innamoramento scenes in the whole history of Opera. Senta meets the Dutchman, he looks for redemption, she looks for a destiny, they recognize their own fate in each other… which is as good as tragic: they will soon die together.

Hans Hotter and Birgit Nilsson are arguably some of the better Wagner interprets ever, and boy one can hear it! Try at least to reach 6″30, when the entanglement of their compassion reaches a first peak. I cannot hear it without feeling the tears rise to my eyes.



The slow and irresistible process of their falling in love, the over-present marine element in the Opera, all of this by some mental association lead me to this sublime poem by D. H. Lawrence, The Elephant is Slow to Mate.

The elephant, the huge old beast,
is slow to mate;
he finds a female, they show no haste
they wait

for the sympathy in their vast shy hearts
slowly, slowly to rouse
as they loiter along the river-beds
and drink and browse

and dash in panic through the brake
of forest with the herd,
and sleep in massive silence, and wake
together, without a word.

So slowly the great hot elephant hearts
grow full of desire,
and the great beasts mate in secret at last,
hiding their fire.

Oldest they are and the wisest of beasts
so they know at last
how to wait for the loneliest of feasts
for the full repast.

They do not snatch, they do not tear;
their massive blood
moves as the moon-tides, near, more near
till they touch in flood.


That’s it for today, my little shrimps.

Joho ho hoe!

Delight in disorder…

19 Feb

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness;—
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distraction;—
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher;—
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbons to flow confusedly;—
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat;—
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility;—
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

This poem of Robert Herrick, which is here courtesy of Manolo, strikes me as a perfect expression of the quintessential Galliano. An aesthetics of the wild civility.

Herrick is giving examples of what may add the touch of négligé that higher chic depends on. I do not think he advocates using all the tips at once. Galliano does. To the tenth. But there is a fundamental intuition underlying both sensibilities: that what is really human, the finest product of culture, that which above all may touch the sensibility of the artist and the educated, is not the rule and the regularity. On the contrary, the essence of civilization is reached when control is loosening and refinement becomes a spontaneous and exuberant manifestation.

Obviously, nothing in art requires a harder work, a stricter discipline, than spontaneity. It is a supremely ordered disorder we see in these pictures. Yet, all that hard work you went through eventually settles into your bones, and this wild civility appears in the way you move when you’re really drunk, or the way you look when you had 45 seconds to improvise something because the doorbell just rung and you were still sleeping, or the way you run with those heels trying to catch a bus…

For endless delights, I recommend FuckYeahJohnGalliano

The Grace of the Anemometer…

15 Feb

… is only for those who read the very long and boring previous post.
I’m watching, no cheating.

I borrow the following beautiful verses from Stan Winn‘s poem. Thank you Stan.

Momentary composure is air light sleep.
The grace of the anemometer comes
From its being sensitive and sure.
Measurement follows grace.


Measurement follows grace

Picture from an editorial of Numero Tokyo, FashionGoneRogue.

Upon Julia’s clothes…

14 Feb

Whenas in silks my Julia goes,
Till, then, methinks, how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes!
Next, when I cast mine eyes, and see
That brave vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

... how sweetly flows that liquefaction of her clothes!