Monday, November 20, 2006

Crimson and clover. 40s rayon cocktail dress. Beautiful condition in jungle red with black trimming and luscious details. Black heart appliqués unite to form clover. Novelty appliqué rather than print, but too much of a doll not to post. You’d look like you stepped right out of that fashion show in "The Women". Go get it. (Don't you just love the little peek into the seller's closet?)

I’d wear this one with a matching floor length cape with a capacious hood to hold my pompadour, snood, and a corona of black velvet hearts.

Being in the market for a new winter coat, I’ve been trying to focus on substance rather than style. Since I travel a lot, it looks as though I need one of those dreaded down-filled puffy coats with a hood. It’s so prosaic it makes me shudder. Sighs. All my winter coats are vintage, and alas, they are weighty. One tips the scales at 6 pounds. Add my purse and a suitcase and winter becomes a big heavy drag. Sporting a lush Jew ’fro, I’ve discovered, much to my horror, all contemporary coats have hoods too small to accommodate my hair. I call for an end to the tyranny of straight WASPy hair now. It is done, kaput, ovah. The Gilda Radner look shall prevail once more. All you straight-haireds out there are gonna be perming, crimping, and desperately fluffing. That is as soon as I find my magic wand. You can’t say I didn’t warn you.

What I’m reading: an excellent article by John Waters on Tennessee Williams in the Sunday Times, adapted from his introduction to Williams’ “Memoirs”. Though Pink Flamingoes made me kind of nauseous, I still can’t resist John Waters. He describes pinching a copy of Williams’ "One Arm and other Stories" from the local library and finding his fairy godmother. Waters longs for the “bad” Tennessee Williams, and name checks 3 howlers he would like to see in a boxed DVD set: “Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots”, “This Property is Condemned” and “Boom!”.

Waters kindly (and accurately) describes “Boom!” as “the greatest failed art film ever made”. It stars Elizabeth Taylor as Sissy Goforth, the world’s richest woman who is dying from something that causes her intense pain but leaves her with enough energy to smash things and scream at the help. Richard Burton appears as a failed poet forced into the role of the Angel of Death. They wear outlandish getups from Sissy’s collection of antique Japanese court costumes and play come here/go away games of attraction/repulsion. I kid you not. The star turn is by Noel Coward. Billed only as the “Witch of Capri”, his sharp tongue and crisp white suit make the dinner party scene burn so brightly you have to wipe your eyes.

I think "Boom!" may have even been inspiration for Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9. Stay with me here: a remote location, elaborate Japanese costumes and enough Orientalism to torment to ghost of Edward Said, the dance of death, lots of domestic help on hand for art projects. Can you see it now? If only Barney’s film had John Waters come to dinner.


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