Bridging Arts

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Red velvet for a grey Polish morning

A very cold grey morning in Warsaw. Not quite cold enough for real snow - just the occasional flurry. Colour has drained from everything.
So perfect to find a cafe where everything is red and plush. Love the contrast of the striped velvet chair back with the washed out rose print table cloth. Real roses in a glass on the table. It's still Christmas in Warsaw.





Monday, 26 January 2015

Carnations in Warsaw

Carnations in Warsaw stripped of leaves and stems - bound very tightly together under the head of the flower. Thus transformed into something else - defiant and bold colour. Outside it's starting to snow.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Duelling scars

Duelling scars might seem light years away from needlework and embroidery - but perhaps something connects them. The stitching together of the gash perhaps .... the pattern carved on the face.

Until this week during my reading about the Warsaw Uprising... .I had no idea about the significance of duelling scars. Then after several hundred pages and repeated mentions of  heavily scarred faces, I looked it up.
Duelling scars were the body branding of choice at the start of the 20th century: very much in vogue.
Aristocratic Prussians for much of the 19th and early 20th century fenced.
Scars earned in fencing contests - sited always on one side of the face so that the other remained perfect in profile - were a badge of honour.
Who knew?


Sunday, 11 January 2015

On trend fur in the Royal Academy's Moroni exhibition

Wonderful fabrics and fur in the Royal Academy's current exhibition (closing soon!) of Giovanni Battista Moroni portraits.  This pink and white striped fur bag held by Isotta Brembati c1553 would be an asset to anyone's wardrobe today.

Reminiscent of Prada pink fur well over 400 years later....
Fur in other Moroni's portraits also has a contemporary feel.

This long fur stole worn by Giovanni Gerolamo Albani is rather like my own purchase this winter from New Look....Though Albani's will have cost a small fortune and mine a mere £14.99.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Joan Didion as the new face of Celine

The American writer Joan Didion is the new face of Celine - the fashion label run by Phoebe Philo (who I 've always thought of as the coolest of cool).
Much written yesterday as this was announced of Didion being the original 'cool girl'.  I always liked her journalism - in particular her list of items that she packed for the road.

Re her love of clothes - was reading this morning Blue Nights the memoir written after her daughter's death (a Christmas present).

She recalls a Chanel suit worn by one of the guests at her daughter's christening. Love the detail of the cyclamen pink lining - lining can have many meanings.

'Connie Wald, wearing one of the several Chanel suits in evidence that afternoon, in her case one of blue-and-cream tweed lined in cyclamen-pink silk.'

Earlier she mentions a 'black wool challis dress' bought at Bendel's on West Fifth-seventh Street.  Clothes as totems.

"When I bought that black wool challis dress Bendel's was still on West Fifty-seventh Street. It was that long ago. Bendel's became after Geraldine Stutz stopped running it just another store, but when it was still on West Fifty-seventh Street and I bought that dress it was special, it was everything I wanted either one of us to wear, it was all Holly's Harp Chiffon and lettuce edges and sizes zero and two."

Have had to google Holly's Harp Chiffon. Love the idea of the dress - especially 'everything I wanted either of us to wear'.
Holly Harp was a evening dress designer who really took off in the 60s in the US. She blended old and new and called herself a 'junk-shop-aholic'.