Sunday, September 29, 2013

Flashback to the Seventies - LouLou

Betty Catroux, YSL, LouLou de la Falaise

When I was studying fashion in the early 1970's I fell crazy in love with Yves St. Laurent. The original. (Deceased in 2008.) I loved that his clothes were tailored but sexy. Always some androgynous quality that was very feminine without hitting you over the head with it. He was the first to have women wear a tux. But with it? a sexy silk blouse.

I know his line has been revived by a Hedi Slimane and it is very hot and his look the topic of today's New York Times "On the Street" by Bill Cunningham. Well, I loved him then and I love the revival now. The big black felt hat, the plaid shirts, the street wear worn in a sexy, feminine way.

Here's the Sunday Times article:

Back to LouLou...

At some point in the 1970's, St. Laurent met his lifelong muse LouLou de la Falaise. He hired her and all she had to do was be her brilliant, vibrant self. As I think about the muses of our culture over the past 30 - 40 years, I think of only a few who had this kind of self-assurance and courage to express herself in a public way through clothing. It was sooooooo much more than the insipid "sexy" Hollywood thing that has gagged and tied us for the last ten years here in the US. She was an original.
She died in 2008 at 63 years old, but any images I saw of her in her later years still revealed her unmatched sense of style. As I enter my Sixties, she's a beacon of light in the fashion hell for women over 50. I want to march to her drum.

Before I show you images of the magical LouLou, here is my short list of modern women who are maybe in her class:

Kate Moss, model
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and their fabulous clothing line, The Row
Ines de la Fressange, muse to Karl Lagerfeld when he took over Chanel in the 1980's. Still gorgeous!
Carinne Roitfeld, previous editor of French Vogue. 59 years old. Maybe top of my list.
Emanuelle Alt, current editor of French Vogue. Street smart.
Franca Sozzani, Editor of italian Vogue
Alexa Chung, model, Tv personality, writer

But, not sure any of them can top LouLou and her friend Betty Catroux, the other "half" of St. Laurent's sartorial team.

Here are some images from the '70s. Happy imagining yourself into this world.

LouLou, YSL and Bianca Jagger

Saturday, September 28, 2013

On Sixty: " An Object in Motion Tends to Stay in Motion."

Since last writing, I've turned Sixty. I've been working on a book and swore that I would take every last minute that I have to write to work on that and not allow the distraction of my blog to derail that. But, alas, I just miss writing little ditties on my blog! I miss writing for twenty minutes and being done with it, not trying to imagine when, if ever, a book will be done.

I like completion.

So, I'll catch up on news since turning Sixty in late August.

The coolest news is this:

Around my birthday, Lee mentions the need to find a new obsession. (Of course this is not to replace his obsession with MOI!) This is to replace his obsession with golf. He's heard about the 30th anniversary of the LA Marathon in April 2015 and (yep, seems pretty far away) but as it ends in Santa Monica at the Pier, one of those places that rings his bells, he thought he'd train for it. Now, Lee is 62, so he'll be 64 when this happens.

A few days later, right after my 60th birthday, Lee and I were having morning coffee. He's up early to go pay golf. I was telling Lee about Isabelle's training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon - taking place next weekend, Oct 6. She is running it with her brother, Zan. Izzy has never been a runner. She's played soccer, but not really trained to run. So she took it up this past spring with a very proscribed training program and has been an animal with it!  A few weeks ago she sent her training calendar and it looked like this.

Izzy's Training Calendar

So, I"m describing this to Lee. I tell him about a program Izzy mentioned to me called COUCH TO  5K. He immediately goes to his computer to look it up, and without a beat says, "Let's do it. I'll give up golf today if you'll start this with me."

Now, I'm not even awake. It takes me one full and very strong cappuccino to wake up. And then it take whatever time caffeine requires to enter the brain. So I say, "Honey, consider me in. I'm doing the COUCH part. Now leave me alone."

"No, Alecia, let's do it. Let's start today. It would be great to do this together. I'll wait."

Somehow I just said, why not? I've never run in my life, but I thought about him wanting to run again, Izzy running, my client Brigit who has run for thirty years and encouraged me to take it up. She's the one to paraphrase that great law of physics, above.

I was in the mood for something new in my life so I just said, Ok.

Now, what to wear? Well, all I had were these flimsy little walking shoes, a pair of very Edina looking knee length khaki shorts and a Lucia's t-shirt. That was my first day running outfit. It was really bad.

Lee downloaded the program and off we went to Loring Park to take our first run. Walk 5 minutes, run 2 minutes, walk 3 minutes, run 2 minutes, walk three minutes or something like that. The problem, and a sad one, is that the homeless in Loring Park are just waking up at 7:00 in the morning and I felt a little weird out for a jog among the homeless. I mean I was going home to have toasted french bread and apricot jam and it just seemed weird.

So, I bought running clothes the next day because I couldn't be seen running in the khakis again. And we've been running the program ever since. We just finished Week 5.

My fabulous flying shoes.

The coolest thing of all is that we finish at Week 9 - the week we are in Paris! So, we are running a 5 K in Paris one way or another. Even if it is our own little race.