Friday, June 25, 2010 which M goes House and Garden

I've already discussed this with, um, about a third of my readership (see tag) (if there are any lurkers out there to contradict my estimation, now's the time to show yourselves! no? nobody? well, I had to ask...), but since the more I look at the pictures, the more I become convinced that this is a case of 'I wanna be like her when I grow up', seems like a good reason to post about it.

So, about ten years ago, a man and a woman were brought together by their common interest in gardening. One thing lead to another, and they got married, and will henceforth be referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Foster. A rundown farm was purchased to act as family home. Mr. Foster, finding himself on a losing streak business-wise, stayed home at The Countryside and tended to the farm, which needed heavy duty repair. Mrs. Foster held on to her job in The City to earn money and pay for everything. Seemed like a perfect arrangement. Only soon enough Mrs.Foster began noticing that Mr.Foster and her differed in several important aspects. To put it bluntly, Mr.Foster was a messy guy, and, apparently, just couldn't help it. Mrs.Foster, on the other hand, couldn't help feeling rather downhearted for that reason. At some point, the story has it, the disappointment was significant enough to bring Mrs.Foster to the verge of a nervous breakdown. At that point a decision was made - no, not to divorce - to sell the farm and buy a property with two homes, one for each (and anyway, why divorce an otherwise perfectly sweet man who loves to bake rolls?).

Now, about those homes: one of them was a trailer, and the other - a tiny shabby cottage on the other side of the stream, with no kitchen, no bathroom, and no running water.

And yet, the cottage looked like dream house material to Mrs. Foster. She rolled up her sleeves and set to work, and rambled flea-markets during breaks. She did everything herself, and only called on Mr.Foster once, to help her lift some heavy stuff. Here's the result:

And the fashion bit: as becomes a superwoman, Mrs.Foster is good at everything, including styling (I'm so glad to see that she accessorizes with dogs!):

Ok, I'll give you a moment to pick up your jaws. While doing that, look at this nice picture of one of the door handles:

So, the place still doesn't have running water nor heating (and, sadly, it isn't habitable in winter), but even a sissy like myself went 'who needs running water?!' upon seeing this:

The NYT profile (where these wonderful pictures are from) said that the house's interior looked like a wedding cake. I associate wedding cakes with the creepy Miss Havisham's, of 'Great Expectations' (well, basically, when she was young her fiance didn't show up at the altar, and despite being about 200 years old, she still lives in her wedding dress and has the dried up wedding cake as main decorative piece in her lounge). The NYT writer clearly doesn't have the same associations: the house is the opposite of creepy (although I'd like to see a creepy wedding cake interior too..).

Now, if you're wondering about the other house, the trailer, I have to say, it looks great as well. Different, but still great. I urge you not to take my word for it and to follow the link. There are many more wonderful pictures there, which unfortunately I couldn't embed here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

yellow, pastels, men

My friend F. (who already deserves a tag of her own on this blog) asked for some diversity. She's a great believer in diversity, and is troubled by the lack thereof in the fashion world. 'Where are the curvy models?' she asks. 'And the male models?' (And the male curvy models? And the middle-aged models? And the male pot-bellied middle-aged models? And don't even get me started on the racial diversity!). My answer is that the problem with diversity isn't its non existence but its low visibility. There are models of all kinds, but the white skinny girls in their twenties are more popular in virtue of being more glamorized. They dominate the uber fashion magazines, that's true, but let's not pretend that our consciousness and body image is shaped principally by them. Beyonce is more popular than Adriana Lima. But we'll get to that.

Our first step towards diversity will be Armani's Spring 2011 collection for men. There's a whole men's fashion industry out there, but I'm not prepared to write about that. Nor do I think I owe a 'diverse' post for the sake of diversity, since this blog is about what I like, whether or not it happens to be on skinny white women in their twenties (and sometimes it happens to be). So, I like the use of yellow in Armani's Spring 2011 men collection:

I like the yellow detail (which eludes categorization) on the suits:

Now notice the belt:

The knitted vest over the tight tee:

The discrete but still visibly stylish scarf, and the wonderfully tailored jacket which doesn't look like it's trying too hard:

The ton-sur-ton casual chic:

The magic jacquard jacket which can dress up any trousers (and I'm guessing even shorts):

And finally, what Armani overview without a beautiful, honest to God double-breasted jacket suit?

I'd only add that I'd gladly wear any of this myself.