The exhibition at Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro features the work of photographer Jacques-henri Lartique. Captured are fashionable men and women of the 1910, 20s and 30s, as well as the predictable and unpredictable activities of new modern lifestyles. Aeroplanes, cars and people are shown in searing flight, or spontaneously and enjoyably crashed to the ground. Seawater provides the setting for popular water sports such as bathing, swimming and diving. It is also shown out of control, spraying and crashing over passersby in uncontrollable storms and tempests. The general feeling is one of exuberance, activity and action for the active pastimes, such as swimming, tennis and driving, that became part of life in the early 20th century. Highly recommended.
In Sam Wasson’s book Fifth Avenue, 5 A. M. Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman, he writes, ‘They’ll all deny it between their gulps of booze, but all writers love nothing more than the sound of their own voice.’ True?
When i thanked my sister for letting me know of Anna Piaggi’s death, as sad as it was, she wrote in response, ‘I thought you should know that one of your people had
passed to that great runway in the sky.’ It makes me feel better to imagine her there.
How funny is this? Diana Vreelend, ex editor of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue on meeting her husband…
she was so smitten, on their first meeting, that when he asked her to play golf, she jumped at the chance, although she barely knew how to play. She showed up at the first tee with a bandaged arm and announced that she could only walk around the course with him.
On Friday our director gave a floor talk on the 19th century collection. As an aside he said something like ‘because we don’t collect what’s in fashion, we collect what we deem to be outstanding.’ He was talking about fashions in collecting art and he did not use the word fashion in a positive context. This got me thinking, why did we choose the word fashion when we gave up the term costume?? There are fashions in just about everything, fashions in decorative arts, painting, text, not just clothing. Was that a mistake? When every other department takes their medium, ie photography, painting etc. and chooses what is best for the collection within that, why did we choose such a loaded term? In-ter-esting…
I’m just doing some research and it turns out that if i was to have a dinner party in Sydney in 1933 it might include: a tomato juice cocktail, pea soup, fish soufflé, rhubard cake, orange fritters, sardine cigarettes, welsh rabbit, velvet cake or donuts. Pretty great.
I’ve recently finished my masters, which taught me to expand my ideas. Every draft i submitted was punctuated with a single word, MORE. Now I’m on the radio, which forces me to contract ideas into single sentences, words or punchy one-liners. Was one good training for the other? At first I thought not, but now I think that Masters taught me the importance of getting the single words right as well as expanding ideas. So i just have to harness that first skill and apply it to radio. I’ll keep practicing. Tune into Radio National Life Matters to listen.
Something worth thinking about is Lara Svendsen’s theory on the new in fashion. He argues that ‘the traditional logic of fashion is a logic of replacement’. This means that new fashions cause their predecessors to become unfashionable. Yet now, the increased speed of fashion has led to the logic of supplementation. New fashions are introduced so rapidly they barely have time to be established as fashionable before they are replaced again, or recycled back into fashion. This means there is no clear definition of what is in fashion or what is out, but an endless array of options as more fashion is added to the already existing spectrum, and vintage or recycled fashion is rapidly recycled back into itself. It seems, in his view, things are neither in or out of fashion, they simply present options. I think he presents an accurate summary on the current state, which seems to encourage a freedom of anything goes.
'Anyone who does not regularly visit Paris will never be completely elegant'. I didn't say it, Balzac did, but I like it.