Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

In which we speak

Nina Ricci Spring/Summer 2007

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has launched a new blog in which it invites the general public to comment on items in its Costume Institute collection. How fabulous if the V&A here would do the same.

Discussing it in the Wall Street Journal Rachel Dodes, writes:

Fashion criticism has long been the exclusive realm of an insular band of journalists who traveled the big runway shows in Paris, Milan and New York and seemed to speak their own esoteric language. But the Met's new exhibit, "Blog.mode Addressing Fashion," is inviting anyone with an Internet connection to critique the clothes on display. With its new blog, blog.metmuseum.org/blogmode/, which went up this week, the august museum is also acknowledging that traditional fashion criticism is over.

"There's a whole new field out there," says Andrew Bolton, the Costume Institute's curator. He decided last summer to turn a retrospective of important garments acquired by the museum since 2000 into a three-way conversation of sorts between curator, designer and outside observers. "We wanted to further the practice of fashion interpretation and appreciation," he says.

Later it is revealed that Manolo Blahnik is a great fan of Manolo the Shoeblogger, 'I love it,' he says. Manolo the Shoblogger was the first fashion blog I ever read, and the first to wake me up to the possibilities of writing and thinking about fashion in non-traditional ways.

Pointless debate succintly summed up

Xmas tree at Trafalgar Square
A Jew in this country who's bothered by the prevalence of Christian symbols at Christmas should find something more important to worry about. Normblog

Uggs: The Thoughtful Dresser recants

Winter has come cold and early to Britain. Frost on the car roofs in the mornings, biting wind, clear skies. I bring out my year-old brown shearling (which has suffered a small amount of unaccountable wardrobe shrinkage in the past year, a condition only solved, in my experience, by going more regularly to the gym - a scientific mystery!) I have lots of knee-high leather or suede boots, but it is so cold. Meeting some old friends for lunch at a Lebanese restaurant on Edgware Road yesterday, and walking up Oxford Street, into Marks and Spencer and out again and into Selfridge's for rather longer, detained by a DvF dress that just might go in the sale, what I cannot help but notice is




Everyone is wearing them, Everyone is wearing their jeans tucked in, or with thick tights. All the shops are selling variants of them. This once teenaged fad, Uggs worn with bare legs in the summer, has decisively passed into the mainstream. The basic, classic Ugg has been superseded by sheepskin boots that no longer look much like Uggs, laced up, cuff turned over, split side seam . . . there are endless variations.

These are mine, but in black


Even M&S is doing its own Ugg.

Warning, not made from real sheep

And indeed I was wearing them myself, and so warm did they keep my toes, that in a shearling, cashmere sweater and my new John Smedley scarf, I felt like I was in the Bahamas.

So, yes, I am prepared to recant. The cold snap did it and now smart British women who shop on Bond Street are shod in Uggs. Thus does an ugly fashion with pluck and determination eventually win us over. The only downside is that you have to take them off when you go to bed.

But absolutely no to Crocs.

Thought for the day


I work in three shades of black. Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garcons)