Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Artist: 1920s style roars back

If you've seen this delightful film, you too have been mesmerized: cloches, drop-waisted dresses, t-straps, lush wrap coats.

You know the advice, "If you wore it the first time around, don't wear it the second." I doubt many of us were young women in the 1920s, so we can adopt as much as we like of this era.

Flapper dresses were on the runway for spring 2012; perhaps echoes of a prosperous decade hearten an impecunious world. At least we don't have Prohibition. ("Not that we noticed, really", my mother said, glossing over the evening the cops raided the casino.)

She was a flapper in the roaring '20s of Chicago. After nine years of courtship her father finally permitted the marriage. (They loved her Bill, but he had to establish himself first, and my mother was only 14 when they met.)

Here, her satin wedding blouse, first worn on October 7, 1931. In the height of the Depression, weddings were sensible; she wore it with an ecru and brown tweed suit, forgoing a wedding  gown.

Her sister and brother-in-law were the witnesses; the flower girl was Oona O'Neill, who grew up to marry Charlie Chaplin at seventeen. 

Look at the sleeve detail, the covered buttons and gathered cuff! This was high-end ready to wear, bought at Marshall Field's.

The silent-film nostalgia of soft chiffon, wrap coats, pearl buttons, and the dawn of knitwear for women: why not yearn for these clothes? There, romance met refinement, hand finishing was not confined to couture, fur did not incite fury.

The 2012 reincarnations:

Victor Osborne's velour cloche (featured in the New York Times), $200, shows how modern meets minimalist, and would work with a blazer or easy coat.



Vionnet's silk-twill dress would have graced the deck of the Queen Mary, and  the revival is every bit as alluring. ($2,000 at net-a-porter.)


Also very '20's, Tory Burch's hammered-silk Darya dress, the one I would pick for a spring wedding or simply to feel pretty, worn with long strands of pearls. ($450 from net-a-porter.)

A nautical sweater, but worn with soft, wide-legged knit jersey pants, as Chanel favoured, not with jeans. Markus Lupfker's has sequined stripes, reminding us of an era before synthetics. ($420 at net-a-porter.)

Shoes: soft, un-technical, retro. For casual wear, the Esquival perforated brogues are the cat's pajamas. ($665 at net-a-porter.)


Peppy Miller danced her heart out in character shoes. You can, too: Capezio still make the Manhattan Character Shoe, in 1 1/2 and two inch heights. (A steal  at $67.50 at Zappos.)


The price for this Spring '12  deco-design Etro dress (shown on the runway) is not something I'd venture, let alone afford, but look for this and other '20's-era styles to be translated into more accessible price points by the summer.


'20's inspired pieces are cut with ease and grace. I could see wearing this Balenciaga silk stripe-front top as a nod to the early century. Though it evokes Sonia Delaunay, it also looks entirely modern–that is the artistry of the house. ($1,235 at Barney's.)

"Can't I get this in a budget version?", you might wonder. Sure, stalk vintage shops, or, if you can sew, run up a shift in a '20s print. But, as we pass eight decades from the originals, authentic pieces from the era are rare. Perhaps you have a relative who has saved precious memories. 

I can no longer fit into my mother's blouse (which I recall wearing only once, to a wedding), and it shows its age, but I will always keep it in memory of the woman she was on that day and the hopes the young couple shared, even in a time of such difficulty.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The landscape of luxe, Part Two: Can you live with it?

Dior coat
For some this is a simple, end-of-story decision: Are you kidding?

But if you have ever stroked a featherweight mohair Dior coat in a consignment store and wondered if it was worth the still-hefty price tag, read on.

I imagine some luxury-goods customers don't fret if the things don't return value, but I've known some mighty wealthy folks who refuse to pay the freight for an item they consider substandard, overpriced or ugly. And why shouldn't they? 

Whether you are buying a coat in a couture salon or Christie's Consignment, here are things to consider:



Is the quality really there, or just the label?

Anne Klein ca. 1980
In one of my university textiles classes, we took apart high-end ready-to-wear clothes and learned a lesson I'll never forget: bias cuts that weren't, misaligned pants, badly-bound seams. (Yes, possums, seams used to be bound.)

Quality can slip; brands are sold, orders are filled by offshore jobbers, and the accountants decide the margins aren't high enough, so decree cheaper zippers.

For all talk about "brand equity", a 30-year-old Anne Klein jacket was infinitely better quality than today's.


Do I value this?

A $600 pair of designer pants is thrilling to one woman and an egregious display of mindless consumption to her sister.  

Value is a subjective assessment derived from various factors:

Label: Does the brand have any worth to you, as a display of your image, status or taste? Does the brand have meaning to you because of emotional or symbolic  connection? Barbara loves her Bulgari bracelet because her mother wore a similar one.

Durability: Can you use and enjoy the purchase for a long time, because it is well-designed and made? Alice has a Pucci dress her mother wore in the '60s and it still looks striking. 
McQueen iPad case

Innovation: Is the style so cutting-edge that you derive satisfaction from having something fresh, new and unlikely to be replicated in cheaper versions? An iPad sleeve is not unique but a McQueen skull-buttoned one offers a bit more devil in the detail. Is it worth $250?
Cardin coat

Provenance: A 1960 Cardin wool coat; (price $2,500 from 1st Dibs seller Jennifer Kobrin), is a stellar example of a late master's work.


Beauty: AKA the Purr Factor
Does it sing? Is the piece a high expression of the craft and aesthetic? Is it 'just right'? Jill said she cried the first time she tried on the ruby Beene dress that was a graduation gift from her father.


Does it fit in my life?

I recently saw a 50ish woman in a Prada coat, rundown flats and cheap vinyl bag. We all know that the head-to-toe designer is a bore, and you can mix high and low, but luxury clothing demands a certain respect for the piece.

You are also helped by attitude. Don't make my mistake (years ago): buy something so costly that it scares you silly to wear it, so it sits in your closet, an effing museum piece. Dear Sylvie, if you're reading, I'm thinking of the Lanvin suit I gave to you, which I hope you wore more than I did– five times will do.

At the same time, I wouldn't forgo the pleasure of a beautifully-made object by making a knee-jerk judgment that it "must be overpriced".  Just because I can't afford it doesn't mean it's overpriced, and the inverse is also true: what I can afford is not always fairly priced either! 

You'll stand out
Then there's the Daphne Guinness Effect: You may attract certain assumptions and projections when people see you in the thing, or be conspicuous among your colleagues– should, for example, your officemates wear Banana Republic and you collect vintage Galliano. I applaud your verve, but you will stand out, and have to deal with it.

In the end, your attraction to luxury goods comes down to your values and priorities.  Some commenters said in the previous post that they want to upgrade and experiment with better quality than before, while others say they will admire, but not own. 

The luxury brands hope many will buy, either because they don't have to worry about price, or because they desire it and will sacrifice. I'd only say, be wary about things perceived as trophies. (What exactly do we win?)


Also, some of us have a luxe Achilles' Heel. For some that's accessories, for me, coats. I melt before a swath of cashmere with horn buttons or an immaculately-tailored topper.


Does luxury boost happiness? 

I can't get a crisp correlation, maybe because I buy at the highest levels so rarely. A MaxMara coat delighted for nearly a decade, but for the move, I shed bags of Level 3 without a twinge.

I know women who can afford the finest but reject it and others who will exist on toast and tea to save for something special. Most of us inhabit a comfortable mid-ground, with a few "bests" and many basics.

Should you choose a luxury object, even as the rarest indulgence, I hope you are happy and serene with your choice. Clearly, I've been conflicted and intimidated by some of my own purchases. (Never pearls, though.)


Your comments on the first part of the series fascinated me, and I would love to hear more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The landscape of luxe, Part One: Levels of luxury

One of Frugal Scholar's commenters asked her:
I know if a regular piece of clothing is well made, but that's about the extent of my knowledge in this area. Perhaps you could do a series of posts explaining the various levels of luxury?

Though this wasn't asked of me, as so often happens in the blogworld, I began to think, Are there various levels of luxury? 

I'm not addressing consumption at this level today; that's a matter of individual choice and means that I'll discuss in Part Two.

I'd sort luxury clothing or accessories (products of fine quality, workmanship and design) into four categories, with some overlap. My brand examples may not resonate for you, and some brands have drifted up and down. 


1. Aspirational or LuxeLite

Though some brands borrow features of luxury, they are not generally thought of as luxury; merchants call this niche "class for mass".

J. Crew LBD
The materials may be natural fibers but are often blends, the workmanship decent, the brand recognizable and desirable (at least to its target market).

Sometimes the brand ramps up its image by introducing limited edition or designer-affiliated pieces, like Uniqlo and J. Crew do. The logo is often apparent. Clothes are not usually lined. You may see copies of higher-priced styles.

The brand may be attributed to a person, but she is rarely the actual designer.

There is some overlap with Level 2, which is exactly what the makers want. Even at this level, when quality drops, customers are bitter.

Examples: Coach (once at Level 2), J. Crew (shown, Lilabeth dress, $340); Diane von Furstenberg, Theory, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Michael Michael Kors 


2. Entry-Level Luxe

Welcome to "Net-a-porter Land".

Preen LBD
Here you find natural fibers, good finishing, more generous hems, better quality buttons. (Though not as good as in the past. I say sternly, where are the pearl buttons?) You'll see embellishment and detail (feathers, beading, trim) but also well-cut minimalist clothes of fabrics like double-faced wool. 

This $1,625 Preen black dress should look and feel different from the $340 J. Crew black dress at Level 1 and nothing like a $75 one from Target.

Examples: Barbara Tfank, Isabel Marant, Michael Kors, Clements Ribero, Ronaldus Shamask

There's a wide range of prices at this level, from things you can buy in a top-tier department store (e.g., MaxMara) to items sold only in boutiques. The logo is nearly always apparent on shoes and accessories, and sometimes on clothes, and the designer actually designs at least some of the line.


3. Haut de gamme Luxe

Hermès black leather
Ready-to-wear of fine tailoring; details may include hand-finishing, high-quality embellishment like leather trim on a sleeve-edge; full linings, bound buttonholes.  At this level the fabric should be excellent. You will also find more fragile fabrics, such as gossamer-weight silks and laces.

You should notice a difference in the quality of dyes. In this world, you will find odd, interesting colours like a grey infused with a whiff of hyacinth, and even standard shades like navy have more depth. (You can find it at lower levels but it's rare.)

Brands in this category must work hard to balance exclusivity with growth. The houses cycle through designers, who may be relatively anonymous, or stars.


There may be a couture collection (Level 4) and sometimes a second, lower-priced label intended to scoop the Level 2 customer, as well as fragrance and sometimes make-up or accessories. Logos go low-key but there are exceptions like Vuitton, which would probably go dark if they discontinued the monogrammed bags.

Examples: Loro Piana, Stella MacCartney, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Dries Van Noten, Bottega Veneta


4. UltraLuxe: Cult and Couture

These goods do not depend on brand recognition, and offer the highest standards of workmanship and quality. They cater to clients who do not wish the ostentation of brands, or who want bespoke. Prada was once one, before Miuccia Prada achieved worldwide saturation. The goods can be bought only at one or a few small company-owned boutiques.

Examples: Tailors and couturiers; specialty crafts like tiny Japanese denim boutiques and Italian leather-goods makers; exquisite, sometimes unmarked ateliers in world-class cities or exclusive resort locales.   

Alaia couture suit
There may be a small, subtle cipher in an inconspicuous place, but no big logos. A woman wearing a couture Alaia suit will recognize another woman in one, but we might not. We would, though, notice the perfect fit and impeccable line.

This is also the category for couture, available to very few. (See this Cathy Horyn article, "The Fine Line" which explains the allure and characteristics of current big-name couture.)

Most of the recognized houses are now global brands kept afloat by perfumes and ready-to-wear (Dior, Chanel, YSL.) While prices are astronomical, there is a good resale market for the best examples from renowned designers.



That's the landscape of luxury, a destination I have visited on occasion, but where I don't live. Is it desirable? Is it worth the very high price? I'll tackle that on Thursday, Part Two: Can You Live with It?

But right now I'm wondering, do you pine for luxe? Does luxury attract, repel, or incite some other emotion in you?


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Choosing a carré: Advice from Vicky

Like red lips or heels, you are a woman for printed silk carrés or not. I'm one, embracing as I do a small wardrobe. Two or three in a suitcase will stretch a few tops for a week.

If you're investing in one of the best examples of silk printing
(Hermès,Ferragamo, Chanel, etc.) you might profit from tips from my delightful friend Vicky, who worked at Hermès for years, and has always given forthright counsel.

Tip #1:  When deliberating, it's essential to tie a scarf in various ways. Don't decide based on the opened-out piece; prints look entirely different when the scarf is folded, and will change as you experiment with different ties.

Example: Here's Hermès' Homage to Shackleton. Who else would create a tribute to an Arctic exploration of heartrending hardship and eventual rescue as a scarf?  

At left, the open scarf in a soft blue colourway, courtesy of the site HSCI (Hermès Scarf Photo Catalogue).

I'm wearing Shackleton in another colourway, soft greys and taupes with an  orange hem.

Contrast-hems add an extra kick and makes scarves more casual: catnip to me.



Tip #2: Look for good corners, meaning the corners are pleasingly detailed, since they show on many tie-folds. Shackleton has exquisite corners, penguins, ice floes and compasses right to the hem.

Les Truites was first issued in 1953, and reissued in the mid-90s. Opened, it shows a graceful distribution of trout, mayflies, fishing gear. You can see why Le Duc, who gave it to me, was captivated, and he is happy still when I wear it.



I am too, but its corners are unremarkable and unfilled sections below the knot make it less vibrant when tied than when opened out. 

Where was Vicky when he chose it? Probably on her sailboat, enjoying a Pernod with her dashing husband.

Hermès' website shows the current season's  scarves both opened and folded (one way), which helps, but there's nothing like playing with one. 



 



Tip #3: Think about scale.


Les Parisiens is one of the most-loved of the Paris-themed scarves. Women who think the carré is stuffy might make an exception for it. Above, the opened scarf with its café habitués in the peach, green and coral colourway.

Mine is black, grey and orange.

This is ideal for me, a tall, large woman, but the busy, non-repeating print might overwhelm a petite frame.

A small woman would suit a smaller-scale or quieter motif like the classic Cosmos, shown below in amethyst and turquoise. Great corners, and the unfilled space glows with jacquard stars (which look like dots in this shot). Vicky admires the added depth and texture of the jacquards.



Tied, the navy and gold colourway looks like this; the neck area is ombré blue with small stars, a scale a woman of any size could wear easily:



More tips from La Vicks:
- If you wear foundation, stay away from the palest scarves.

- Though the French (and Vicky is one) are renowned for knowing what to do with a scarf, she says a woman need not be a tucking genius.

Most often, she simply folds it to a rectangle, ties it once, and just gets on with it, so that's what I do, too. It's a scarf, not an origami contest. Scarf shown is Concours d'Elegance.

For other ideas, videos like this one showing two simple knots by the wonderful deja pseu, are available. (Visit une femme d'un certain age; Under Labels in the right menu, click Scarves.)

If you dislike the printed carré, this post might renew your certainty; there are many other options. If interested in a pared-down wardrobe for daily or travel wear, you will find own woven signature, from silk twill to hand-knits.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine: "Ma plus belle histoire d'amour" by Barbara

For Valentine's Day, a favourite love song, "Ma plus belle histoire d'amour", written and sung by the beloved chanteuse, Barbara.

Even if you don't understand the French, watch. Barbara transcends, with her touching yet bold glamour. Fusing passion, melancholy, respect and a keen sense of time passing, Barbara sang from an experienced heart.

I asked Le Duc to translate the lyrics. He said, "I cannot, it simply would lose so much." "But people want to know what it's about", I protested. An English adaptation is below the French lyrics, with the caveat that the poetry and passion will be diluted.





Du plus loin, que me revienne
L'ombre de mes amours anciennes
Du plus loin, du premier rendez-vous
Du temps des premières peines
Lors, j'avais quinze ans, à peine
Coeur tout blanc, et griffes aux genoux
Que ce furent, j'étais précoce
De tendres amours de gosse
Ou les morsures d'un amour fou
Du plus loin qu'il m'en souvienne
Si depuis, j'ai dit "je t'aime"
Ma plus belle histoire d'amour, c'est vous

C'est vrai, je ne fus pas sage
Et j'ai tourné bien des pages
Sans les lire, blanches, et puis rien dessus
C'est vrai, je ne fus pas sage
Et mes guerriers de passage
A peine vus, déjà disparus
Mais à travers leur visage
C'était déjà votre image
C'était vous déjà et le coeur nu
Je refaisais mes bagages
Et poursuivais mon mirage,
Ma plus belle histoire d'amour, c'est vous

Sur la longue route
Qui menait vers vous
Sur la longue route
J'allais le coeur fou
Le vent de décembre
Me gelait au cou
Qu'importait décembre
Si c'était pour vous

Elle fut longue la route
Mais je l'ai faite, la route
Celle-là, qui menait jusqu'à vous
Et je ne suis pas parjure
Si ce soir, je vous jure
Que, pour vous, je l'eus faite à genoux
Il en eut fallu bien d'autres
Que quelques mauvais apôtres
Que l'hiver ou la neige à mon cou
Pour que je perde patience
Et j'ai calmé ma violence,
Ma plus belle histoire d'amour, c'est vous,

Les temps d'hiver et d'automne
De nuit, de jour, et personne
Vous n'étiez jamais au rendez-vous
Et de vous, perdant courage
Soudain, me prenait la rage
Mon Dieu, que j'avais besoin de vous
Que le Diable vous emporte
D'autres m'ont ouvert leur porte
Heureuse, je m'en allais loin de vous
Oui, je vous fus infidèle
Mais vous revenais quand même,
Ma plus belle histoire d'amour, c'est vous

J'ai pleuré mes larmes
Mais qu'il me fut doux
Oh, qu'il me fut doux
Ce premier sourire de vous
Et pour une larme
Qui venait de vous
J'ai pleuré d'amour
Vous souvenez-vous?

Ce fut, un soir, en septembre
Vous étiez venus m'attendre
Ici même, vous en souvenez-vous?
A vous regarder sourire
A vous aimer, sans rien dire
C'est là que j'ai compris, tout à coup
J'avais fini mon voyage
Et j'ai posé mes bagages
Vous étiez venus au rendez-vous
Qu'importe ce qu'on peut en dire
Je tenais à vous le dire
Ce soir je vous remercie de vous
Qu'importe ce qu'on peut en dire
Je suis venue pour vous dire,
Ma plus belle histoire d'amour, c'est vous



Deep, deep in my memories,
In the shadows of my ancient loves
Of my first broken hearts
I remember that first rendez-vous
I was but fifteen, barely,
All scabby knees and a virgin heart
They were — I was quite precocious —
The tender loves of adolescence
Or the bite of an "amour fou"
Deep, deep in my memories
If I've ever said since "I love you"
Know that my deepest love, ever, is you

It's true I was a bad girl
I turned many pages
Never reading them, all those empty pages
It's true I was a bad girl
All my warriors between battles,
Barely seen, they would quickly vanish
But in their faces, even then,
It was your image I saw
And with naked heart
I would pack my bags
To pursue my mirage,
Know that my deepest love, ever, is you

On the long road
that lead to you
On that long road
My heart was going crazy
The winds of December
chilled me to the bone
But I never worried about December
If it was for you

The road was long
But I walked it, that road
That led to you
And I do not lie
When I say to you tonight
That, for you, I would have done it on my knees
It would have taken much more
Than a few bad apostles
Than Winter or snow 'round my neck
To wear down my patience
So I calmed my violence
Know that my deepest love, ever, is you

The times of Winter and Fall
Of night, of day, and nobody
You were never at the rendez-vous
And suddenly, losing courage
I would rage in anger about you
My God, how I needed you
The hell with you
Others opened their door to me
Happy, I would go far from you
Yes, I was unfaithful
But still I came back to you
Know that my deepest love, ever, is you

I cried my tears
But how sweet it was
Oh, how sweet it was
That first smile from you
And, for a tear
that came from you
I cried with love
Do you remember?

It was an evening in September
You had come to wait for me
In this very spot, do you remember?
It was watching you smile
Loving you with no word said
That I understood, all of a sudden,
That my journey was over
I could lay my luggage down
You had come to our rendez-vous
No matter what people say
I wanted to say to you
Tonight I thank you for you
No matter what people say
I came to say to you:
Know that my deepest love, ever, is you

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Health: 23 1/2 Hours

This is just so great!

Watch this engaging, fact-packed and persuasive lecture by a Toronto physician, Dr. Mike Evans and it's just under 10 minutes.

I enjoy his style so much that I spent an enlightening (sedentary, I admit) hour on his web site, which is a trove of well-researched health information. Evidence rules! Go, Mike!




What do you think?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Friendships: The fast and the fleeting

The New York Times ran an article last Sunday on how to end a friendship, "It's Not Me, It's You". For those thinking of letting go of friends, Richard Perry describes the range of tactics, from discreet to dramatic.

My problem though, is the opposite: how to keep connected to those I cherish after this move.

No doubt some will move to the further shores of friendship, like the old university roommates with whom I exchange cards once a year. And I can't predict who those will do so.

One of my longtime friends, Ruth, once gave me a short essay that began
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.


The full version is here, and while I find it syrupy, I like its observation that some relationships are time-limited, and its assertion that an end is not always a failure.

Susan's puppy with her mum

Skype has been a boon. I saw Susan's new boxer puppy and toured her country house; laughed at Marla's jokes, which she tells with her whole face. And I'm happy to have moved to Montreal: almost forty visitors have stopped by since last spring. Others send their favourite movies, songs, photos of daughters in party  dresses.

I miss, though, the shared time at our table, seeing a good play or a movie, meeting for coffee.

Everything I've read about wise aging says that the social network is essential.

The Times article mentions that the peak accumulation of friends happens in adolescence; at the other end of life, I've witnessed the slow melt as friends become too infirm to socialize or die: my mother's green address book has nearly all the names x'd out. But I also saw her make new friends in her 90s, when she moved to assisted living.

Because of her experience, I have hope that my tapestry of friends will endure, with new threads added as life moves along. I'm grateful to have met some sympatico women here, and we've reconnected with several distant relatives who are great company. 

I related to the issues described in the Times' article. Not all friendships are built to last; some are confined to "a season". But others are resilient, weathering mistakes, misunderstandings, moves. This was my sole reservation about the move, but thanks to technology and a bit of will, these need not be lost. 

I realize that chatting with a friend on Skype, in real time, at no cost, is likely the best everyday invention of my lifetime.  

I am offline for a short time, and will respond to comments on Friday.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tagged: Elevenses

Tagged by hostess of the humble bungalow, I will play! She has caught me in the mood on a snowy, all-alone night. And she said she "would like to know more about me"— this is cheaper than a ticket to the west coast, though I would love a cup of tea with her in the bungalow, Pepper nearby.

11 random things about me: I

1. No longer practice the religion, but live in a condo in a former Catholic church
2. Sold lingerie at JC Penney at 16 (Don't get a bra fitting from a 16 year old!)
3. Love magic, especially sleight of hand (I have Ricky Jay's king of hearts!)
4. Used to visit a family friend when I was a child, to pore over his autographed set of Rudyard Kipling
5. Was arrested twice for Vietnam war demonstrations (but not charged)
6. Named one son for the male character in the film "Diva" (Jules)
7. Started blogging as an antidote to writing entirely different material for a
living
8. Carry a tape measure in my bag at all times
9. Cannot stand picky eaters, especially if they are over age 10
10. Was the 8th grade spelling champion of my county
11. Was given the middle name Gertrude (ugh) because that was the name of my mother's two closest friends when I was born


The questions hostess asked:

1. What name would you choose for yourself if you could pick your own name?
Alison Palmer, the name yearningly uttered in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" and the name of an old friend's daughter

2. Who would you most like to meet and spend an evening getting to know?
If it's an evening, June Callwood, but if it's a night, Marcello Mastrioanni!

3. What are your pet peeves?
Overpriced jewelers; the person who asks a restaurant to make something not on the menu; the person who starts sentences with "To tell you the truth..."; any designer who makes clothes only to size 8 or 10

4. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
I would not have married my ex-husbands. (Two: one very briefly and one for longer.) But that story had a happy ending!

5. If money were no object where would you like to live?
Where I live, with an open ticket to spend time in major cities, with periodic escapes to sunny isles and the Charlevoix region of Québec. No luggage, a small wardrobe in each place.

6. How would you describe your fashion style?
Quiet luxury interspersed with stealth bargains

Towe
7. Who influenced your life the most?
Towe Widstrand, a teacher

8. What is your favourite book?
The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard

9. What have you discovered about yourself that surprised you?
After many decades of intense work, I'm content living quietly and working lightly.

10. What is your favourite blog?
Don't have one, but am most grateful to deja pseu for hers, which started me blogging.

11. What 5 beauty products would you take if you were to go to a desert island?
1. Eight Hour Cream (Elizabeth Arden)
2. Rene Furterer After Sun Hair Masque
3. Sunblock
4. Assorted perfume samples, let's say everything L'Artisan Parfumeur has ever made, enough for the duration
5. Myers's Rum


You're it! 
I 'm tagging not only bloggers, but some women who comment here. If you're too busy, that's fine, but I'd love to hear from you if this appeals.
Anonymous "C."
diverchic 
lagatta à montréal
Sylvie (send me an e-mail and I'll paste it here)
Chicatanyage
and anyone else who would enjoy contributing!

If you would like to play, you can do so in my comments section or direct us to your site.

The request:
- 11 random things about you
- Please answer my questions, below
- Make up your own 11 questions and tag a few other people

My questions:

1. What is the best piece of advice you have received, and why?
2. What cause do you contribute to (in any way) to make the world better?
3. What is your most-enjoyed purchase in the last year or two?
4. Please describe a meal you love to eat
5. What does diddy-wah-diddy mean?
6.  If you could spend a perfect afternoon, what would you do?
7.  What three to five adjectives would a close friend use to describe you?
8. What seems unfair to you?
9.  Who or what makes you laugh deeply and wholly?
10. The entire world will sit up, be quiet and listen raptly to you for one minute. What might you say?
11. What work of art moves you deeply?