Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Religious Weekend


Yummy sofa at ABC - thick, textured linen and piles of down and feather.


A beautiful simple wood chair.


Pillows galore.

The weekend was one religious experience after another. It began on Friday afternoon at Barney's. I haven't been to Barney's for, maybe, 28 years. When I went way back then, I was working in fashion - so Barney's was Mecca. Of course so was Bendel's and probably Bergdorf's. I had only been back in New York once since then - about three years ago to see the Chanel exhibit at the Met.

Now, I live here. Lee took a teaching job (old news by now) and here I am. Happy as a clam. Lee spent the weekend in North Carolina working with his dissertation mentor and my sister, Holly, came to NY to hang out with me. She is also a designer so we have many things in common. Clothes, food, and design. That is what we are about!

On Friday, we walked down Madison and ended up at Barney's. I was a fashionista in my 20's. I was enamored with St. Laurent and Chanel (I bought one St. Laurent coat in 1979 on a huge sale at Dayton's Oval Room - I still have it and wear it!) I was a designer and seamstress and HOW these clothes were made is what interested me. After perusing the hat and bag area and coveting no less than 4 hats and 5 bags each, but with prices over our weekly incomes, we passed on the purchases. We made our way to the second floor where designer clothes hung elegantly and sparely on curving rods. First....Nina Ricci. Unbelievable. Holly and I wanted at least 4 of these pieces and the bill would have topped $20,000. But gorgeous, understated, silk, 20's inspired tops and dresses. Quiet elegance. Next was Yves St. Laurent. Amazing sleeves. They actually are cut like a human being's arm - slightly curved forward. It takes a great deal more fabric(thus costing a great deal more) but actually fits the human form. It was so beautiful. Then on to Prada - and the exquisite laces.

What was most pleasant is that no one made us feel like we shouldn't be there. We were casually dressed in jeans and boots. But no one bugged us or watched over us. We browsed freely. I think in NY the sales people are taught not to judge people - you never know who has money but happens to look like a homeless person today. So here's my snobby part - Lee asked me how it compared to Neiman's in Minneapolis. My response? "It makes Neiman's Minneapolis look like a Walmart." Unfortunately, I'm not kidding. Then again, now that I know that is Sarah Palin's new shopping spot, it all makes sense.

Then on to ABC Home on Saturday. Wow. Just one inspiring floor after another, filled with delicious linens and pillows, lighting and furniture - from lucite to naked woods, hammered metal and old painted chests. It is my newest resource for my clients.

Saturday night we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Whirling Dirvishes of Turkey - okay - unbeliveable. It was like being a mouse in the corner of a Turkish market in 1400 and watching the dirvishes pay tribute to the Beloved. All based on Rumi's poetry, the Sufi poet from the 13th Century. It was quite beautiful to see the way they crossed their arms over their hearts before they whirl. It is the same way the children at the Waldorf school cross their arms over their hearts while they say their morning verse - a ritual of reverence.

Followed by mussels and shrimp and salad at home courtesy of Holly's culinary talents. And sitting at the dinner table until 11:30 while we talked and laughed and talked and laughed.

1 comment:

  1. I just finished reading Zora Neale Hurston, "Their Eyes Were Watching God, " for the first time. Maybe you've already read it? She wrote a description of someone grandly furnishing a house that I thought you might appreciate. This was rural Florida in the 1920s, early 30s:

    "And then he spit in that gold-looking vase that anybody else would have been glad to put on their front-room table. Said it was a spittoon...Didn't have to get up and go to the door every time he had to spit. Didn't spit on his floor neither. Had that golded-up spitting pot right handy. But he went further than that. He bought a little lady-size spitting pot for Janie to spit in. Had it right in the parlor with little sprigs of flowers painted all around the sides. It took people by surprise because most of the women dipped snuff and of course had a spit-cup in the house. But how could they know up-to-date folks was spitting in flowery little things like that? It sort of made the rest of them feel that they had been taken advantage of. LIke things had been kept from them. Maybe more things in the world besides spitting pots had been hid from them, when they wasn't told no better than to spit in tomato cans."

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