Oh DEAR (oh DEER), I need this. As I was saying yesterday…
Image source: the lovely Julia
The trend towards minimalism and simplicity in fashion, the idea of classic style, has been ringing loud and clear for a while now. It seems like everywhere people are pointing out the perfect plain white shirt, praising the line of a camel trench coat, swooning over crisply cut trousers. A curated “capsule wardrobe” is the dream – owning a few very fine, very simple items that all fit together.
I have one or two friends who do this very well, which I think is terribly grown up of them. And I’m inspired by the fashiony people online who have the confidence to wear basics and still stand out – like Anniemiek of mode d’amour, pictured above. Unfortunately some days I need to wear a tutu, and others absolutely require studded cowboy boots, or masses of leopard print. I guess I still haven’t graduated from dressing as playing dress-up.
And much as I admire the ideals of a chic, all-purpose wardrobe, reading about these perfect bastions of simplicity doesn’t make me want to pare back. It just makes me want to buy MORE – white silk shirts and tailored pants, but more nonetheless. So if it’s going to be excess anyway, I might as well keep up my diet of variety and resign myself to a collection of mismatched rainbow indulgences, knowing there are a few bright stars out there who play that game at a much higher level and utterly rock it. Thank goodness for Gossip Girl, Gala Darling & Sea of Shoes. I’m not ready to grow up just yet…
Been reading Door Wide Open and loving it hard. It’s a collection of letters between a restless Jack Kerouac at 35, with On The Road written years earlier but not yet published, and his 21 year old girlfriend Joyce Glassman, working on her first novel and exploring the beat scene in New York. Joyce (now Johnston) edited this book recently, and in her frequent interjections gives context to everything, explains the untruths and unsayable things the letters are skimming around. While it’s amazing to see Kerouac’s charisma shine through his letters, it’s definitely not all about him – I can’t get over how smart and brave and clear-v0iced Glassman was at 21, choosing to walk away from respectable society in the 1950s, pre-feminism , pre-free love. Here’s one of my favourite excerpts, from a letter Joyce wrote to Jack:
July 26 1957
… But then I remember walking with you at night through the Brooklyn docks and seeing the white steam rising from the ships against the black sky and how beautiful it was and I’d never seen it before – imagine! – but if I’d walked through it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have seen it either, because I wouldn’t have felt safe in what my mother would categorically call “a bad neighborhood,” I would have been thinking “Where’s the subway?” and missed everything. But with you – I felt as though nothing could touch me, and if anything happened, the Hell with it. You don’t know what narrow lives girls have, how few real adventures there are for them; misadventures, yes, like abortions and little men following them in subways, but seldom anything like seeing ships at night. So that’s why we’ve all taken off like this, and that’s also part of why I love you.”