Emotional Couturiers

"SOCRATES:  ... Good evening, Sandra. You look stunning, as always. Who are you wearing?

SANDRA: Valentino.


Essential, holistic, from  New York Daily News . Photo: Jason Merritt, 2010.

Essential, holistic, from New York Daily News. Photo: Jason Merritt, 2010.

SANDRA: And? There’s no “and.” I’m wearing Valentino.

SOCRATES: Yes, obviously, your trainer-hewn physical form is draped in tangible designer fashions but, in a more essential, holistic sense, are you not also wearing, or, to be less metaphorical, bearing, the values, the views, the emotional residue of all—father, mother, siblings, peers, teachers, The Ex Who Must Not Be Named, et cetera—who have figured significantly in your life? Shouldn’t one’s emotional couturiers receive equal acknowledgement on this night?"


Woodiwiss, Bob. "Socrates on the Red Carpet" from McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

There's an academic article's worth of sartorial word-play in this piece: read more of it here!

The Peoples of the World

The sculptures of the tympanum were equally beautiful but not so disturbing as those of the newer church. Here again, the tympanum was dominated by an enthroned Christ; but at his sides, in various poses and with various objects in their hands, were the twelve apostles, who had received from him the mission to go forth and preach among all peoples. Over Christ's head, in an arc divided into twelve panels, and under Christ's feet, in an unbroken procession of figures, the peoples of the world were portrayed, destined to receive the Word.

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, a Cappadocian father. From a fresco at Kariye Camii, Istanbul.

From their dress I could recognize the Hebrews, the Cappadocians, the Arabs, the Indians, the Phrygians, the Byzantines, the Armenians, the Scythians, the Romans. But, along with them, in thirty round frames that made an arc above the arc of twelve panels, were the inhabitants of the unknown worlds, of whom only the Physiologus and the vague reports of travelers speak slightly. (336)


Eco, UmbertoThe Name of the Rose. London: Picador, 1984 [Italy, 1980].


Peoples of the world recognizable from their outfits. What screams Scythian, or is so Cappadocian? Are we so distinct now? Or, on the other hand, how accurate was the dress reported, if travelers' accounts of fantastical creatures was so off the mark?

Tråkiga som tapeter.

"--Det är en bluff, Baby, sade jag överlägset. Men ni har inte frågat ett ord om bröllopet.


Fanns det sköna kvinnor? Hade de vackra kläder?

sade Eva, och jag märkte, att hon var glad att komma så helskinnad undan från sin ofrivilliga dumhet nyss.

Dresses made of wallpaper for the "Superior Interiors" issue of the 

Financial Times'


How to Spend It

" Magazine. See it




Där det finns sköna kvinnor finns det alltid ännu skönare kläder, sade jag, och här var båda delarna. Men nästan alla var tråkiga som tapeter.

Jag frågade mig själv, hur det kan komma sig, att vi, som knappt har tid att manicurera oss, mycket mindre att ha högre intressen, genomsnittligt är så mycket trevligare och roligare." (102)


, Elin.


. Falun: Scandbook AB, 2011 [1908].

"'Where there are beautiful women there is always even more beautiful clothing,' I said, 'and there were both [at the wedding]. But almost all were as boring as wallpaper.'"

It's always better to be poor and interesting than rich and boring, don't you think?

Simple and Fresh

"We believe that Steely Dan will crush you hard with love and renewed gratitude if you’ve ever longed for any person or golden age while killing dead-end days in Southern California. Fuck the devil, fuck sensible clothes, and steer clear of life vampires with their shit drugs and bad intentions, that’s what we believe."

Sensible Bud Cort as The Bond Company Stooge in T he Life Aquatic.

Sensible Bud Cort as The Bond Company Stooge in The Life Aquatic.

From "Here's Our Fucking Healthy Fast Food Philosophy," by Dan Kennedy. Published on McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

Yeah, forget sensible clothes, go crazy! Reminds of this, obviously, or even better because you can imagine the guy has seen that poster in everyone one of his friends' rooms and it has creeped into his unconscious.

The Silly Gown

The Red Dress

I always saw, I always said

If I were grown and free,

I’d have a gown of reddest red

As fine as you could see,

To wear out walking, sleek and slow,

Upon a Summer day,

And there’d be one to see me so

And flip the world away.

"A Girl in a Red Dress," Pietro Antonio Rotari, 1775.   El Paso Museum of Art  .

"A Girl in a Red Dress," Pietro Antonio Rotari, 1775. El Paso Museum of Art.

And he would be a gallant one,

With stars behind his eyes,

And hair like metal in the sun,

And lips too warm for lies.

I always saw us, gay and good,

High honored in the town.

Now I am grown to womanhood…

I have the silly gown. (212)


Parker, DorothyThe Portable Dorothy Parker. New York: Penguin Books, 1973.

What is it to be grown and free? Or just grown?