Sunday, March 3, 2024

"Keep Going" by Guster

A lovely positive song, "Keep Going" by Guster, from their new release "Ooh La La" out May 17, 2024...when things don't work out quite right, keep going, you will be alright.

I bought a ticket but the train didn’t stop
Ended up walking all the way singing “Ooh La La”
I made it home and put the radio loud
Was just static but still turned me on

Well the world brought us here
If we let it now, all good things reappear

It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright

Keep going
Keep going
To the light

It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright

Slow motion on a video tape
We had magic, it still turns me on
And at the end of this dark night
Which way to go
I may just take a walk to the bright side, the bright side

Well the world brought us here
If we let it now, all good things reappear

It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright

Keep going
Keep going
To the light
It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright

Keep going
To the light

Keep going
Keep going
To the light

It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright
It’s ok I’m alright

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Don't Rush, You'll Hurt Yourself

I found this piece by Melissa Kirsch to be a nice reminder about pace of life and priorities. Thank you for the wisdom, Melissa!

Hurry up and wait

The New York Times | The Morning
March 2, 2024
by Melissa Kirsch

Racing to catch a subway train recently, I tripped on the stairs leading to the platform, steadying myself only barely by grabbing the arm of an unsuspecting and rightfully alarmed fellow passenger. I sustained no major damage — a scraped knee, a bruise on my thigh I’d discover a week later. These injuries were, I told myself in the aftermath, well deserved. I’d disregarded one of my precepts for personal happiness, the one that stipulates, “Most misery is caused by rushing.”

My fall was the most basic evidence of this, a frying-pan-over-the-head reminder that running late and reckless from one place to the next puts one at risk of a spill. But there was also all the incidental unhappiness I’d incurred and inflicted in the lead-up: I’d been rushing to get out of the house, which put me in a foul mood. I’d been impatient with everyone I encountered on the way to the subway, adding some measure of unpleasantness to their mornings.

We rush because we’re late. We also rush because we want to move quickly away from discomfort. We rush to come up with solutions to problems that would benefit from more sustained consideration. We rush into obligations or decisions or relationships because we want things settled.

Worrying is a kind of rushing: It’s uncomfortable to sit in a state of uncertainty, so we fast-forward the tape, accelerating our lives past the present moment into fearsome imagined scenarios.

A friend and I remind each other regularly of a radio news segment she heard years ago. The reporter concluded the story, about a mess of delays on the Long Island Rail Road, with the line, “These commuters are ready for this day to be over, once and for all.” Of course the message was the commuters wanted to get home and have dinner and go to bed already. But the finality of “once and for all” made it sound as though the commuters were so fed up that they wanted to end that day and all days. Or, as my friend wrote: “Certainly at one point the day will definitely be over once and for all for each of us. Is that what we’re rushing toward?”

This obsession with being done with things, of living life like an endless to-do list, is ridiculous. I find myself sometimes having a lovely time, out to dinner with friends, say, and I’ll notice an insistent hankering for the dinner to be over. Why? So I can get to the next thing, who cares what the next thing is, just keep going. Keep rushing, even through the good parts.

In Marie Howe’s poem “Hurry,” she describes running errands with a child in tow. “Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,” she urges, as the little one scampers to keep up. Then she wonders: “Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave? / To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?”

This is not novel advice, to stop and smell the roses, to be here now, to slow down. But it’s not easily heeded. Our culture, now as ever, rewards hustle. The Silicon Valley maxim “Done is better than perfect” can be constructive when applied to procrastination. But we bring it to bear on situations in which “done” is not necessarily a desirable goal.

Since my subway incident, I’ve been trying to notice when I’m rushing, physically and psychologically. “Where are you going?” I ask myself. “And why are you in such a hurry?” That pause helps put a little space between here and there, and might, with any luck, avert future misery.

Link to original article in the New York Times Morning Newsletter:

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Monday, February 26, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Versace and Ferragamo

Milan Fashion Week is currently happening...not to be confused with Milano Moda Uomo which is for menswear. Traditionally for womenswear, this week features lots of houses, brands, and designers showing men's and women's collections together, on the same runway at the same time.

And two things caught my eye... at Versace and Ferragamo who both showed very high boots for men.

At Versace, they were thigh high and amazing.

And at Ferragamo they were even higher, inching up to the very top of the leg (look #3). The bulk of the collection though was made up of some effective monotonal (the autumn trio of olive green, mustard, and deep plum) looks in leather.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Antonio Marras

It has been quite a while since Antonio Marras has appeared here on Oh, By The Way, (last seen here). But his show at Milan Fashion Week for women was a co-ed show (like so many designers now, he showed men's and women's pieces in the same presentation), and it was quite a beauteous affair.

Based on the life of Eleanor of Arborea or Eleanor De Serra Bas (1347— June 1404), the queen who united all of Sardinia under her rule, the show featured garments that mixed contemporary cuts with Medieval silhouettes and details to wonderful effect. The results are quite powerful. Marras is from Sardinia, and much like Dolce and Gabbana who love to use various iterations and aspects of Italian culture and history specifically from Sicily as a springboard for inspiration, Marras uses his beloved home island the same method. The show itself opened in a highly theatrical way with an actor sporting the first look of the show (a lovely doublet made of a cable knit sweater with slashed sleeves) entering the runway space in search of Eleanor herself. Her spirit soon found him and the show the video below!

Snow Moon

Monday, February 19, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Paolo Carzana

Welsh designer Paolo Carzana showed up on my radar last year when I saw his SS '24 collection "My Heart is a River For You to Bend" shown at London Fashion Week (seen here). He is a newer designer but has already amassed some clout: he is a recipient of the British Fashion Council NewGen award and has BFC support money to put on shows, and is also an artist in residence at the Sarabande Foundation, the arts foundation supported at the bequest of Lee Alexander McQueen.

His vision is fairly singular, much like McQueen. While promoting his Fall Winter '23 collection entitled "Queer Symphony," he said, "It’s mainly related to this idea that everything I was ashamed of as a kid is now my strength. Up until I was 17, I would literally pray every night to wake up straight, and pray to be normal. And every single day, I was bullied in school, when I didn’t even know who I was." It is a shared story among many of us in the gay community, one I have heard many times...surviving emotional, psychological, and often physical abuse to emerge on the other side, despite or probably because of it all, with a hunger and drive to create something beautiful, to express a force that could not be taken from us. I can attest to the truth of this from my own personal experience. So I feel great tenderness toward and interest in the creations of Paolo Carzana.

His sartorial vernacular is made of delicate fabrics tied and stitched together that seem like creations from some dream world, as if those wearing his garments should be lounging around on marble terraces in bright Pre-Raphaelite splendor, or in a lush production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." There is a hushed beauty to the silhouettes and construction of the garments that casts a spell. And while this Fall-Winter '24-'25 collection might have originated in a dark place, it is still this other, brighter world he strives toward. "It’s very much sort of journeying through the darkness, passing through the storm, up through the clouds, and onto the top where the light shines. I’ve called the collection 'Melanchronic Mountain.' Everyone around is feeling a lot in this moment, the way the world is. It's this feeling I have that it’s so hard to try and be positive, but we can. It’s within the bones that we carry, how we can transform that pain into hope."

I like that sustainability is important to Carzana: he is committed to using deadstock or recycled fabric, and he uses plant dyes and spices to color his fabrics, including introducing sappanwood reds and black walnut browns in this collection. But here is what I truly love: his cuts feel like they are memories of historical clothing, like tattered remnants of a far-away homeland after a shipwreck, and his beautiful sheer, ripped, ruched tops and trousers seem like they belong on wood sprites, elves, fairies. Or just those who wish to live in a softer, gentler world.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha is riding high after being the most recent guest designer for Jean Paul Gaultier. Since Gaultier retired, the house is hosting a rotating cast of artistics to reinterpret the Gaultier catalog (see my post about creative director of Balmain Olivier Rousteing's turn here) and Rocha's Fall Winter '24-'25 collection at London Fashion Week continued a Gaultier vibe. Interestingly, while she was allowed to go through the Gaultier archives to create her collaboration with the house (she delights in the fact that the Gaultier vault keeps garments in boxes they actually refer to as coffins!), she was allowed to view the mourning dress of Queen Victoria in the British royal archive at Hampton Court palace. Victoria of course wore only black after the death of her husband Albert...for the rest of her life, all forty years of it (what a love!). The confluence of history from two different sources along with her own creative juices gave birth to this collection titled "The Wake" which was aptly presented in the circa 12th century St. Bartholomew’s Church. It was a co-ed show but I am only showing the menswear here. Reflective of the period she was evoking, jackets sported twin shooting patches in faux fur or glass beading, a pair of Wellies were jeweled with pearls, and there was lots and lots of mourning black in silhouettes of a wistful, historical feeling.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Chet Lo

This year is flying by already. Here we are, mid-February for London Fashion Week. Yesterday was the first official day and the Fall-Winter '24-'25 collection Chet Lo sent out was pretty interesting. Definitely looking to the future, with perhaps a little dash dystopia (or is that just me and I seem to be projecting dystopia everywhere I look these days, ha ha...but not really), his set played with fabrics that look like they were used in the criminally underrated sci-fi film "Aeon Flux." Garments were made of Lo's famous spiked materials which resemble the outside of a horned melon. Models sported horns on their heads as well but it certainly feels more like a comment about some kind of biomorphic body modification than a reference to anything demonic. There was also a marvelous skirt among the loose, flowing trousers (and some wonderful loose, flowing tops!)

BEAUTY: Clothing--Olly Shinder

Since 2000, Fashion East has been a fantastic incubator for talent in the fashion world. Founded by Lulu Kennedy MBE, Fashion East has nurtured the likes of Kim Jones, Craig  Green, Simone Rocha, Martine Rose, Wales Bonner, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Per Gotesson, J.W. Anderson, all of whom can be found featured on this blog!

The current crop of talent at Fashion East includes young designer Olly Shinder who showed his FW '24-'25 collection at London Fashion Week. Shinder is inspired by his interaction with the underground gay fetish world. He told Vogue UK, "My fascination lies in uniforms with an underlying theme of kink. Delving into subcultures, I previously explored everyday uniforms. This season, I’ve taken the collection to the lab – think a bit scientist, a bit testing lab. I was drawn to the silhouettes of more extreme uniforms like hazmat suits, imagining how the fetish community might incorporate these pieces. Alongside, there are cotton and wool pieces reminiscent of ceremonial guards’ uniforms, with a more decorative flair evoking an old, classic English – perhaps aristocratic – aesthetic. My focus isn’t on specific places; I’m much more interested in a world of function, which is much more contemporary."


Shinder does not have a site for his brand yet but you can follow him on Instagram.

Friday, February 16, 2024

BEAUTY: Clothing--Thom Browne

Thom Browne closed New York Fashion Week with a spectacular, theatrical performance showcasing his Fall-Winter '24-'25 men's and women's collection. He took inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe's iconic poem "The Raven" and sent models out with black talon nails, black feathered hairpieces, and garments featuring ravens and of course the word "Nevermore." During the show, the Poe poem was read in its entirety by actress Carrie Coon who plays Bertha Russell on HBO Max's "The Gilded Age." Her reading should go down in history as the definitive the video below (the streaming and pre-show lasts until 23:00 when the show gets underway) and listen to Coon's effective, escalating emotion that leads to a chilling state of utter madness, while taking in the staging and set of a snow-covered field populated with bare, gnarled trees. And the clothing? Perfection.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Omasake Bar, Paris

Architect duo Sala Hars created this amazing octagonal shaped space for Omasake Bar in Paris. I love not only the unusual shape but the use of pierced copper and stainless steel for walls and furniture! Très chouette (very cool), as they say in France.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

"Connecticut" by Lo Moon

Another great track from Lo Moon's new release "I Wish You Way More Than Luck" (see a previous post of the track "Evidence" here). This beautiful, compelling song, "Connecticut" is moody yet resolute.

I hear the voice of my father
Without a shadow of doubt
There's no more hope in the water
I can't believe we've run out
I can't believe we've run out

He said we're cut from the same cloth
Stuck in the same head
If I turned my back I can't pretend you will be there in the end
He said
I wish you were all wrong
Asleep in the same bed
I see the gleaming crown of Connecticut doing 80 round the bend
Now I've got nothing to lose
I've got nothing to prove
I have nothing to lose
Cause it's just an illusion

I know you hear when I talk back
Born in the same bed
Upside down and inside Just like a spider in your web

Now everyone that I knew
Disappeared in a suit
There goes the wonder of youth
What a poor substitute
Are we all disillusioned?
No doubt in my mind
The voice of my father

There's no doubt in my mind
The voice of my father

Monday, February 12, 2024

An Iridescent Pheasant

I have just learned of a bird called the Himalayan Monal. The male of the species sports stunningly beautiful iridescent feathers in saturated jewel colors. It is the national bird of Nepal, and state bird of Uttarakhand, India. Just looking at it mesmerizes me.

Photo by Ajit Hota
Photo by Dibyendu Ash