We are having one of those winters that’s cold and dreary and rainy and just depressing. My husband and I looked at the current weather map, trying to find a spot within five or six hours of us that is sunny and relatively warm. That place, at present, does not exist, but we will continue to look. I can be packed and ready to leave in an hour.
This post is either a day early, or thirteen days late. Let’s just say I’m early. And now for some news.
- Let’s start with the obvious. Karl Lagerfeld has died. I knew he must be seriously ill when he did not show up for the latest Chanel show. His death has brought about an interesting conversation on “speaking ill of the dead.” While most of what I’ve read about Lagerfeld in the past few days reminds us of his very successful career at the head of one of the most famous fashion brands, other writers were quick to point out his faults. Let’s look at both sides. Karl was a fat-shaming misogynist. Karl was my surrogate brother. It does give one pause to think. How do we reconcile the bad parts of people whose work we admire?
- The fashion weeks have been going on, so that means another round of what the hell were they thinking. First Gucci makes a turtleneck sweater with a quite obvious reference to blackface, and then claimed the inspiration was skiwear. Not to be outdone, Burberry came out with a hoodie with ties that look like a noose. Their excuse was that it tied in with their nautical theme. No. This happens so often that I’ve concluded that they, like Mae West, have decided that it is better to be looked over than to be overlooked.
- A study by the University of California, Berkeley found that people from the poorest communities in India worked for as little as 15 cents an hour. “Every major brand, every boutique retailer and everyone in between who sources garments from India is touched by this issue.”
- If clothing companies would actually pay the workers a decent wage, making clothing prices more reasonable (and by that I mean more expensive) then perhaps over-consumption would not be such a tremendous problem. In the meantime, many people are determined to stop “feeding the monster.”
- “The calming effects of sewing can help people express and heal themselves.” True.
- One of my dreams is to get lost in the racks at Western Costume.
- Would your last wish be to visit an art museum?
- Don’t buy this book.
- How do the struggle for women’s suffrage and the use of a dirigible intersect?
- One of the last hand-pleating workshops, Sorelle Antonini Atelier in Rome, has closed. The business was over 100 years old.
- Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving is now showing at the Brooklyn Museum and I’m really, really hoping it will travel south.
- The Minnesota Historical Society has digitized and put online their entire collection of hats. I hope that more museums find the resources to follow suit.
- The Glasgow Museums have a thought-provoking piece on their blog, “The Black History of White Cotton Dresses.”