Thursday, 13 October 2011

London Love.

Flippin' A!
 Our 1 year old has taken to walloping of late. That random, didn't see it coming, arm back, smack in the face sort. Always timed when I am attempting a serious conversation with another adult and he (Asa) deems it inappropriate to the schedule he had planned, namely eating, playing, eating some more and then sleeping with his jumbo soft toy that needs its own mode of transport to manouvre it. I rather admire his approach in halting my waffle and often can't help but chuckle at his timing, as I look at him in shock while he sizes me up for another blow - 'wham, take that woman!' I've had enough little folk now to understand the term 'phases' and 'boundaries' but after an embarassing incident in our local park this week, where he left evidence of his misdoings all over the face of another small person (he had been examining the oily wheel of a car prior to the attack), I felt it was time to introduce my young offender to a bit of culture. We live in an amazing city, piled high with art, architecture and museums. It was time to step this nurturing thing up a gear. 
 Tacita Dean, a British artist, now based in Berlin, is the 12th artist commissioned to install a piece of work in the Tate Modern' Turbine Hall. All of our children have spent many hours over the years, running around this fantastic space and the excuse to visit is always just one whack too many away. So on Wednesday Asa and I did just that and we felt exceptionally lucky. London can be perceived as a dirty, overcrowded, overpriced metropolis, belching out fumes and noises often indistinguishable to our country counterpart but for all of that there is an unquantifiable energy of creativity and to have exposure to so much is a heavy weight in the balance that favours our life here. Tacita Deans work, entitled Film, is a homage to analogue film, a medium which, in the digital age is fast becoming extinct. Stretching the whole height of the hall, it commands your immediate attention as you sit, engulfed by the blackness of the space, eyes drawn towards her everchanging, calming and hypnotic images. Asa loved it. What had I been waiting for, pushing him on swings and shadowing him around playgrounds these last few months? 'Culture me up mama.' Next week Gerhard Richter is on his hit-list (and that's not the walloping kind!). I love this kind of reform.
That's my boy, calling forth another mini.
'Good work Tacita. Who needs a swing, eh?'


Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Beautiful People.

Richard Avedon's anonymous beauty. 
 It is hard to pinpoint the moment when I fell out of love with 'fashion'. Hard because I'm not sure I ever truly fell for her at all. The youngest child in a family of five, I always tried to find a way of re-interpreting an overly worn, multi-hand down, out of date and probably other sex item of clothing. Three brothers and then a sister who confused even the local priest with her boyish haircuts, scuffed up knees and inability to do pink, left me with little in the way of glitter but as Cinders would agree, it's when you're up against it that you really dig deep. So as I grew and would occasionally be gifted some money by my Mum, 'to spend wisely on a few new pieces of clothing to see you through this next year', it was understandable that I might find one item that compelled me to buy it. As I would sit on the cross-country train home, post splurging at the nearest shopping centre in the ultra glamorous city of Peterborough, my sister would be weighed down with a dozen or so bags bursting with dependable navy tops, reliable jeans, the occasional Etam number and a whole lot of grey. I however would have one bag. One item. No change. But I would adore that dress/top/jumpsuit. They would be the most fantastic shoes this side of Paris. The greatest pair of trousers East Anglia had ever seen. Fortunately my parents saw me as the token creative number in a house full of super brains and such things would be allowed to go unjudged. So it came as no surprise to them when, after art school I chose to do a degree in fashion design. It was easy. It made sense. I could do the whole collection thing, work the production, fuss over the details but I never really factored in the people.
 My woman, my world, the life that I saw being draped in my designs was never going to be the person that shopped in the boutiques I ended up selling to. She was someone that might appreciate the work I would do but lived outside of the business I was in. She was a woman in her husbands shirt and some jeans, collecting vegetables from an allotment. The woman covered in paint, wearing overalls, decorating a garden shed. The lady who always talked to my mum after church on Saturday evening, perfectly balanced in her dress, antique jewellery and silver grey hair. And then there was the lady who always carried her wicker basket with her, smoking a cigar, her perfect figure wrapped in a tailored shirt and slacks. These were the women I admired. To me they were bourgeoise left bank intellectuals who talked about literature, art and music. Not to say that is what I have become, this is all fantasy don't forget! But essentially it is this woman who made me turn my nose up at the business of 'Fashion'. For all its supposed glamour around show-time, its fantastical crowd of followers lapping up the next it-bag, it-shoe, it-girl, the beauty is pretty thin. I saw a girl crossing the road today, as I was waiting at the lights who, in all her wonky unself-aware ways was one hundred times more beautiful than any of the fash pack, presently pounding their pointy feet around the shows in Paris. She wouldn't have turned heads and she didn't stop traffic but in a world where everyone and everything is sprayed, polished and prepped to within an inch of its life, her natural and uncomplicated way of dressing and just being, made her stand apart. 
 Fashion will always draw me in but as I get older I definitely care a little less about Vogue' version of beauty. I've lived long enough now to see the wheel of style turn over more than once, repeating old looks with little change. True beauty is often found in the differences and I can embrace that thought. It's a whole lot cheaper to master. 


Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow my house

Who is this Lady?

My photo
went to st.martins,graduated as a fashion designer, worked in italy, set up my own womenswear label, married a lovely man and then stopped everything (well, almost) to pop out four little boys. have plans. will do.