At the moment, this sketch by the incredible Jean Dupas is how I picture my inner girl.... if she was a celebrated chanteuse in a Paris cabaret circa 1928 posing in-between curtain calls too many to keep count.
Even though I have accumulated a hefty stack of fabric cuttings waiting to be assembled and stitched into a rather large (and extra crazy) quilt it is so much easier to simply buy one and claim it as your own: Oh, this old thing? Why, I remember the weekend I spent stitching that up like it was yesterday.
Now that the weather has chilled considerably, my inner girl is ready to don this simple winter bootie by Chanel.... perfect for keeping toes cozy warm whilst one is slogging through the sleet and snow. The best part? The transparent heel shaped like a jagged chunk of ice. Be still my (inner girl's) beating heart.
While I wander about today in my post-Thanksgiving stupor, marveling at my new-found ability to eat copious amounts of pumpkin pie in one sitting, I must give thanks to one Daniel Halifax.... the very talented homme of the wonderful blog Hibernian Homme who was kind enough to honor me with a most generous review of Diary of a Wandering Eye. My first ever! I am filled to bursting with happiness...and pie.
It goes without saying that we at W.E. have much to be grateful for.....family, friends, health, humor and the gift of delusion....but what of the smaller joys? The unsung pleasures? Herewith, a short list of small things (in no particular order) we are thankful for:
After an unfortunate stray pitch and resulting cracked helmet, my career as a Little League superstar was over before it even began. At the soft-headed age of six I had yet to learn that one must duck one's head when faced with an oncoming baseball. To the dismay of my baseball-loving Mother, my season was cut short. Fortunately, I wasn't as crushed as my helmet. Truth be told I wanted off the team once I learned that our Little League uniform did not include the snazzy lace front cropped pants of professional ball players. My interest in sports (both playing and watching) has always depended on the uniform which is why I'm interested in joining this team... crank up the time machine and pass me that helmet please!
After a rather dismal Monday (the details of which I don't wish to recall) I am longing for escape....an early morning race through Grand Central, the conductor shouting his final call, boarding just as the doors close, finding my private compartment with fully stocked bar, stack of leather bound books and fresh linens....feeling the steady click clack of track racing beneath my feet headed for a destination anywhere but here.
While it may be hard to believe... the Wandering Eye is not talented in all of the arts. Dramatic monologue? Why yes. Water color, oil, acrylic and finger paints? Of course. Interpretive dance? Clear a space. An operatic rendition of the Madonna songbook? Step aside Jenny Lind. Yet, even with such a bottomless barrel of talent (and modesty in equal measure) there is one thing the Wandering Eye struggles with....and.... that....is.... playing a musical instrument. There, the truth is out. Burden of secrets lifted. Still, as my summer spent touring with the National Kazoo Orchestra of Upper Iceland proves, it is never too late for a Wandering Eye to learn a new trick and guess what instrument is next on the list?
Here at the Wandering Eye HQ, we love a moustachioed man. During this mornings emergency meeting, the board of directors (me, myself and I) were in agreement for the first time in months....moustaches are numero uno in our Rhyme nor Reason log book! Substantial and sculpted at the top of the list. Add a bit of military finery and/or a boutonniere for extra credit points.
Since my future home will have sky high ceilings very similar to those in the lobby at Rockefeller Center, I think some massive wrap-a-round murals would be perfect. Of course, I will do a double somersault ending with a hitch kick if I find a painter as talented as Jose Maria Sert who created the images in these photographs. Any volunteers?
Tres chic and perfect for retrieving from a stylishly rumpled leather satchel whilst sitting at a sidewalk cafe somewhere in Paris, nursing a late morning cafe au lait as all those wandering thoughts flow through your vintage fountain pen onto the page. Non?
I am a big Wandering Eye fan of Paul Cadmus and his amazing figurative work. While I would be more than happy hanging one of his celebrated paintings such as Bar Italia (1953-55), Playground (1948) or Coney Island (1934) in my humble home... I would be just as happy admiring one of his quiet portraits right here on the wall.
Was all set to post about one of my favorite artists, Paul Cadmus, but then got completely side-tracked (thank you ADD) when I found this striking 1928 portrait of Cadmus by Luigi Lucioni. With a name like that I was bound to get distracted.
From the papers of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas... two ladies I would definitely fire up the trusty time machine for... perhaps if I wear something extra dapper and mind all my (two) manners I can be their plus one.
Interesting how you can pass something daily... back and forth and back again... not really seeing until there is a shift in light... a late afternoon moment... a wide brushstroke of sun bouncing about and landing just where you stand, paused in a hallway, watching as all is revealed.
If I were a girl I wouldn't be afraid of letting my hair get extra frizzy (damn that humidity) then braiding just the very ends into tiny little braids and finishing the look with blue feathers to match my subtle eyeshadow. Voila! Ready to spread Love and Peace across the land.
If I was a wee person (instead of the rather Amazonian creature that I am) I would be quite happy living in a beautifully aged home such as this.... of course, I'd need to do a bit of decorating... tack up some tissue curtains, hang some postage stamp art, fluff the cotton ball bedding, arrange the thimble seating and we're ready for guests.
Stayed up much too late last night (curse you mint chip frozen yogurt) watching one of the best/worst movies ever: The Eyes of Laura Mars. A late 70's romp through the glossy world of high fashion photography starring Faye Dunaway who excels at making her eyes get white-all-around-the-pupil wide whenever she has one of her "terrifying" visions. Worth a viewing for the Helmut Newton photo shoots, fashion styling (more shawls please!), interior decor and 70's Soho....plus there's a laughable scene involving an out of control Pacer on the streets of Manhattan.... What!?! No Academy Award?
There is one voice that never fails to impress me no matter the number of repeat listens and that voice belongs to the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.... yes, the range is incredible and the timing impeccable but there is a childlike purity in that voice that can make a Wandering Eye extra misty. I'm partial to Ella's earliest recordings.... those scratchy tracks from the late 30's and early 40's before the overblown orchestrations of the 50's studio sessions.... and I love her concert recordings. Oh, to be in that audience... to experience that voice first hand.... under a star filled sky in the Hollywood Bowl or tucked into a dark, smoke-filled New York club... to have such lucky ears would be more than divine.
Saddle up the horses and round up the wagons...I'm headed down to that land where the stars at night shine big and bright...more specifically I'm going directly to the lovely Menil Collection situated in the...well... less than lovely (in my opinion) Texas town of Houston for the new Kurt Schwitter exhibition. Oh, to see these wonderful mixed media pieces in person would be a Texas-sized joy.
My choice for a Friday soundtrack: Grace Jones' rendition of La Vie en Rose ... en repete s'il vous plait! I love the instrumental introduction... that guitar makes me swoon.... plus Miss Jones' voice running the full spectrum from sultry & seductive to guttural roar. Can you tell that I've a thing for Grace? How can I resist the music, the face and all those wonderful images by one of my favorite photographers, Jean Paul Goude? J'adore.
With apologies to Edith Piaf...I still love you Edie.
Barely mid-week and I'm already fantasizing about a get away... a quick jaunt into the great outdoors like the magical excursions I remember from my fabulous and completely fabricated childhood....the brightly colored pop-up camper (so easy!), inflatable chairs, lucite table, portable TV and jumbo sized transistor radio. Dad with those fetching sideburns tending to the barbecue while I supervised... a vision of pig-tailed, fresh faced cuteness... pretending that the smell of rotisserie meat mixing with the salty ocean air isn't making me want to cough up my breakfast Pop Tart and Mom lounging glamorously in polyester separates, ignoring both of us as she watches one of her programs nursing her fifth screwdriver of the morning. Ah, such sweet memories.
Fire up the hot air balloon! I'm headed back across the pond to see an exhibition of fabric work by the late artist Louise Bourgeois at the Hauser & Wirth gallery. The gallery is now conveniently located on Savile Row.... so I may have to wander into a few shops for some natty bespoke additions to my fall wardrobe before I return home.
Even on a Monday morn with the weekend already a mere glittery glamorous glimmer in my memory all can still be right in the world... I have just unwrapped the November issue of World of Interiors and found this lovely image... a perfect early morning, coffee time distraction... one of many delights from the home of the late novelist Dame Beryl Bainbridge.
In my thrillingly delusional existence as a world renowned designer, stylist, photographer, writer, flea-market scavenger and tap dancer my wandering eyes chance upon many items of wonder and beauty. This blog is where I share my visual discoveries. Thanks for wandering over and taking a look.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, are copyright Diary of a Wandering Eye. Please do not borrow any original images without linking back to this blog and if you ask permission first that would be most appreciated.