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

Monday, 4 February 2008

Let the dressmaking begin

I have found a dressmaker. He tells me he can copy this, by Alberta Ferretti, but below the knee and in a different colour. And the fabric will be silk crepe de chine.

Diane von Furstenberg comes to her senses


Guardian's Sounds Jewish podcast

A new half-hour show courtesy of the Guardian where we discuss the American elections, Israel at 60, a man who decided to live according to every law of the Bible for a year - in Manhattan (and yes, he did find someone to stone for adultery) and a very funny discussion of Yiddish.

Listen here

Evening Standard review

. . .The Clothes On Their Backs is a return to the form of Linda Grant's first and best novel, The Cast iron Shore. Gripping and written with keen understatement it managed to be a domestic coming of age story, even as it takes in, via Sandor, the tumultuous sweep of the 20th century (in Sandor's run-down boarding house, Vivien doesn't only find her roots, her great grandfather "with the curls in front of his ears', but animal sex, too.)

In other words, that rare thing, a novel of big ideas that never forgets to tell you a story. Any frocks and bolero jackets you happen to come upon along the way are just the icing on the cake.

Not yet online

BBC Radio Four Woman's Hour interview

If you go here, and click on listen again latest programme, it's 30 minutes in

Further thoughts on botox

It says here

This kind of procedure - which carries no benefit, and appeals to none but the very vain - is never going to attract the most rigorous medics. My half-sister was trained to give Botox injections, on a course that lasted a day, cost £120 and was full of half-qualified dentists whose medical training doesn't extend below the thorax. Most proper doctors (no offence) don't want to get their hands dirty administering poisons for cosmetic reasons. And when problems do occur, it is reasonable to expect that it would take a skilled physician to notice (one symptom is muscle paralysis: since that's the purpose of the injection in the first place, you can see why a dentist or layman might miss it).

I wouldn't say it only appeals to the very vain, lots of people I know have had it, and I won't say it hasn't crossed my own mind. But it's still a no. I also hear that it hurts.

Who is responsible for the revival of British fashion?

Professor Louise Wilson, at Central St Martins, that's who

Wilson, 45, has run London's Central Saint Martins fashion MA since 1994. Even given its exalted history - alumni include Alexander McQueen, Sophia Kokosalaki and Jonathan Saunders - she's on a roll. Of the designers in this month's London Fashion Week, more than a third - Giles Deacon, Christopher Kane and Luella Bartley included - are ex-pupils; a remarkable number from one tutor.

With Wilson's exclusively black wardrobe, fondness for foul-mouthed tirades and methodology described as everything from "exacting" to "fascistic", her reputation precedes her. "If someone spoke to me like I speak to the students, I don't know what I'd do." The former Donna Karan designer, who herself studied at Saint Martins under Ossie Clark, says getting students into LFW isn't the remit of the course. Nurturing individuality is.

"If you murdered somebody and went to prison for 12 years, you'd get a social worker to help you re-enter society. When my students come to me they've been in education since they were five, and they're damaged. Damaged by a system of not thinking for themselves."

Talking to Wilson, it's clear that she loves her job, really - she even refused time off to recover from breast cancer. "Is that why people hold me in regard? Because I was a sad fucker who gave up my whole social life?"

Thought for the day

Fond pride of dress is sure an empty curse; E'er Fancy you consult, consult your purse. Benjamin Franklin