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

Friday, 28 March 2008

Everything's coming up Carla

Madame Sarkozy in Dior, Mrs Brown in Jaeger

The Guardian today goes Carla crazy, including my own brief observations on The Gaze.

The gaze

Just look at the man-trapping stare that Carla Bruni has triumphantly brought to Britain. Show us how it's done, Carla.

As a basic foundation one needs to be ravishingly beautiful with large, lash-fringed eyes above a slightly parted mouth. If you lack the gorgeousness, you might resemble that deranged fan in the Stephen King novel Misery, who kidnaps a famous writer and amputates his foot.

If you direct all your attention at a man, you need to have a face that commands attention.

The Gaze tells an unlikely story, which men fall for every time. Witness Prince Philip in his gilded coach yesterday, as Carla turned on the 10,000-watt radiance. He sits back, as if hit by a stun gun. The Gaze says, "You, my darling desiccated duke, you, you could make me happy. Everything you say and do absorbs me. Look, I am smiling. And why? Because you are so witty, so handsome, so debonair in your overcoat. So what, you are married? Wives are easily disposed of."

In the Gaze, the face is mainly immobile. It is unnecessary to speak. The face speaks. The recipient of the Gaze interprets its language: my God, she fancies me! Then, alarmingly, the Gaze turns off, or away.

The sun is put out. The Gaze is directed to someone else. Yet how can that be, when it is me she loves?

Try practising the Gaze in front of a mirror, or on your pets. Take a good look at the goldfish. When you try this at home you'll find you're more likely to resemble a carp than Carla.
Linda Grant

Thought for the day

'Why don't you write books people can read?' Nora Joyce, to her husband James