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

Thursday 21 February 2008

An apology to my American readers

The name is Bond, James Bond

For the past forty or so years we in Britain may have given you the impression that our security services are staffed by devilishly handsome, impeccably tailored men in Aston Martins who exclusively drink martinis shaken not stirred and who have a license to kill.

Due to the the subpoenaing of the retired head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove, to the inquest of Princess Diana yesterday, we must now concede that this is not the case:

He was MI6's director of operations from 1994 to 1999, and served as head of the agency from 1999 to 2004.

He denied that any assassinations took place under his authority.

Ian Burnett QC, for the coroner, asked him: "During the whole of your time in SIS, from 1966 to 2004, were you ever aware of the service assassinating anyone?"

Sir Richard replied: "No, I was not."

He added that the service was legally required to seek authorisation from the Foreign Secretary to carry out any operation which involved breaking the law.


A rocket aimed at Moscow

'That collection was like a rocket aimed at Moscow and Brazil and many other places that are influencing through capital and other means the rest of the world.'

So writes Cathy Horyn in her NYT blog of the Milan shows this week. We labour under the illusion that designers design clothes for us, whoever us is. She goes on

I kept thinking, as Zegna pointed to this row of fabulous shoes and that display of $10,000 vicuna jackets, “Who buys all this stuff?” America is hurting, so is Japan. But Zegna told me that nearly 20 percent of the company’s sales now come from the so-called emerging markets, like Brazil, Russia, China and parts of the Middle East, and that’s happened in just a matter of a few years. And the runways shouldn’t reflect that fact both in design and the casting of the models? It’s an interesting reality challenge for fashion companies, maybe more so for its design leaders like Prada.

Of the Gucci show, the Telegraph writes:

The Gucci designer, Frida Giannini, staged a Russian Revolution at Milan Fashion Week this evening.

Gucci autumn/winter 2008/2009 collection
Russian Revolution: Frida Giannini's new a/w collection for Gucci

Her models invaded the Gucci catwalk as a band of sexy Cossacks in folklore-printed tunics, heavy metal hip-belts, skin-tight jeans bristling with studs and riding boots, embellished with long, whip-like, leather thongs.

If, at times, they looked more like early 1970's Rolling Stones' girlfriends, this was exactly what Giannini intended.

Her aim was to combine the bohemian mood of Paris at the turn of the century when Russian émigrés transformed the arts and theatrical scene, with the kind of 'boho chic' in vogue when The Stones recorded 'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)'.

The semi-colon

From the Guardian, today:

New York has been celebrating the semicolon; a development as welcome as it is unexpected. According to the New York Times, an announcement about the disposal of newspapers, posted on the city's subway, which was to have read: "Please put it in a trash can, that's good news for everyone" was amended by some scholarly hand in the marketing department to insert a semicolon in place of its comma. Congratulations have followed, and rightly; it is usually seen as bad practice to join two sentences together with a mere comma, that is something only the semi-literate do. "In literature and journalism, not to mention in advertising", the New York Times reports, "the semicolon has been largely jettisoned as a pretentious anachronism." Not, however, in the Guardian, whose most famous editor was unusually fond of the creatures. The speech in which he declared that comment was free but fact sacred is peppered with them, as in: "It is well to be frank; it is even better to be fair." That is how the semicolon ought to be used - as a kind of necessary staging post on the way to the end of the sentence; or as the great authority Fowler put it, to indicate "a discontinuity of grammatical construction greater than that indicated by a comma but less than that indicated by a full stop". This is, of course, dangerous territory; where pedants are on the prowl. Even the best intentioned will sometimes blunder; but as Alexander Pope impeccably said: "To err is human; to forgive, divine."

Thought for the day

Annie Hall

Being 'well-dressed' is not a question of having expensive clothes or the 'right 'clothes - I don't care if you're wearing rags - but they must suit you. Louise Nevelson (sculptor)