"A graceful and honorable old age is the childhood of immortality" - Pindar

I have to ask...when you read the words "...delicate, delineating a young girl with personality and natural allure, unabashedly intermingling gracefulness and laidback insouciance. The combination of materials and volumes as well as the recrafted finishing, harmoniously cultivate a parisian 'couture' elegance" what do you imagine they're talking about?

Something expensive? Definitely. Some youth driven designer frippery? Probably. If you're anything like me the one thing that you did not forsee was this...Chloé's Fall/Winter children's wear collection...


I suppose it's fair to describe a toddler as 'insouciant'...their main sources of anxiety being where the next hit of milk is coming from and how quickly a diaper change will be affected...but why should they be cultivating a 'parisian couture elegance'...and what happens when they dribble all over that recrafted finishing?


"If the past cannot teach the present and the father cannot teach the son, then history need not have bothered to go on, and the world has wasted a great deal of time." - Russell Hoban

A couple of learnings from Vegas...

  1. People can be...by accident rather than design...incredibly insensitive.  At first I thought I was imagining the stares that my cast was receiving...then Mr. Heb mentioned it...then people began stopping and staring...then a woman asked the rest of her group (and, at the decibel level her voice was pitched a good deal of the people surrounding her) in horrified tones, "Who comes to Vegas with a cast?"  Clearly, in her mind, I should have kept my deformity in a darkened room.
  2. When you're up at the tables...just walk away...
  3. When you happen across a sartorial stumbling block...the kind of expensive, shiny, little bauble that would normally make you whip out your credit card faster than you can say "I'll regret this purchase in a year or two"...like this (absolutely stunning) brooch/necklace from Balenciaga...and you identify it as such...and, furthermore, realize that previous purchases of such expensive bejeweled items has given you the knowledge that such pieces tend to shed a stone or two a few years down the road...and you just walk away...you feel pretty, darned good.
  4. Photobucket

  5. Then, when you satisfy your yen for something shiny with a pair of $10 Elvis sunglasses, you feel decidedly virtuous...



"As Hulot wanders, half-lost through the city, he becomes quite absorbed in the crowd..."

It takes a certain amount of pathological cussedness to visit Las Vegas...shimmering with both heat and the glow of thousand upon thousand of flashing lights...and shoot in black and white. Yet that's what felt right...for, to me, Vegas will always be the Vegas of lore...of Sinatra, and mobsters, and hotels that are now only a memory...even if I happen to be fixating on City Center...the sort of architectural anomaly through which Jacques Tati would happily have strolled...


Today's quote is taken from a review of Tati's Playtime by Richard von Busack...click thumbnails to view larger images...


"Man, I really like Vegas." - Elvis Presley

The Hebden household...comprised of yours truly...Daniel, the walking cast...and Mr. Heb...have just returned from Vegas. After a few hours sleep, normal posting will resume...


"There is a thin line between love and hate and that line, my friend, is a scarf." - Friends

Judging by the almost universal blog-related love for Hermès' new J'Aime Mon Carré website I may be the lone naysayer...not that I don't enjoy learning a few extra ways to tie my scarves...or find the general layout of the site pleasing...or know that I'll while away some time clicking through the pictures of the scarves themselves in (what appears to be) every color variation known to mankind. No, it's the relentless "we're so young and effortlessly chic it hurts" vibe that I find so irritating.

I know, I know...this is Hermes attempt to be "cool"...but wouldn't it be so much cooler to just be a luxury house that has has existed for 170-or-so years and is still producing coveted merchandise? Is the cloying answer to the question "What do you do?"...posed to Ella, from Paris..."I drink red wine, eat croissants and make love while listening to Edith Piaf" being the incredibly stereotypical answer...really supposed to make me go out and buy a scarf?



"Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. London is a teenager, an urchin, and, in this, hasn't changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman." - John Berger

Am I the only one who who finds the idea of a perfume packaged in a sea urchin shell completely irresistible (regardless of how the aforementioned perfume actually smells)?



"I walked beside the evening sea and dreamed a dream that could not be; the waves that plunged along the shore said only: "Dreamer, dream no more!"- George William Curtis

Continuing on from last week's circus related post I had been going to draw your attention to a little tchotchke from Rodarte...namely their circus charm necklace. At least, I would have liked to but the picture of this particular neck adornment is no longer up on Barney's website so I can only assume it's been sold. Instead, I ask you to feast your eye on the similar (except aquatic rather than circus-y) Jacques Cousteau Charm Necklace...squint your eyes and try to image clown heads instead of sunken ships...and to then ask yourself, "would I pay $1,875 for something I could make after a visit to my local joke shop?"Photobucket

Clearly, for at least one person with an extreme lack of concern for such paltry considerations as paying the rent, the answer is a resounding yes...how about you?


"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up." - A. A. Milne

It's obviously the time of year when you look at your closet and think "God, this could do with a little organization...containment...earth-moving equipment". On the grand scale, think Susie Bubble's new wall of Ikea...a clothing storage system that I covet but, realistically, know is not for me...as the moths that I wage a continuous battle with would regard such an arrangement as being akin to an invitation to an all-you-can-eat-buffet.

On a more modest scale...much, much, more modest...think ant to elephant...drop of water to ocean...well, you get the idea...I finally decided that the Net-a-Porter delivery box that I was using to corral my sunglasses...while being functional, ecologically conservative, and fiscally sound...was taking up too much space and lacking a little something when it came to getting me any closer to the luxurious, well-appointed closet of my dreams. The cardboard box is now where it belongs...in the trash...and has been replaced by a velvet lined jewelry tray from The Container Store...which, trite as it may sound, does actually make me feel like I'm "shopping in my closet" every time I go to get a pair of sunglasses.



"Does the world need another motivational speaker that has nothing to say? Absolutely, unequivocally not" - Cervantes

Which is why we need a little de-motivational reading...like the chirpily titled "All My Friends Are Dead" by Avery Monsen and Jory John. As their publisher points out..."If you're a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you're a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you're a tree, all of your friends are end tables."

If you're a milk carton...don't even ask...



"The more minimal the art, the more maximum the explanation" - Hilton Kramer

I'm trying to "embrace the new minimalism"...as they say in the fashion magazines...really I am...witness the just-below-the-knee-is-it-2010-minimalism-or-70's-housewife khaki skirt that I managed to leave Zara with the other day. Sure to become...as they also say, a "closet staple".

But...for every Celine inspired, quietly restrained little number that I buy...something embellished seems to join the party...witness the military-ish, Fall leaf-ish, neck piece (also from Zara)...which joined the fray...

The phrase "old...dog...new...tricks" comes to mind



"Don't be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life." - Bertolt Brecht

A British survey has left me feeling strangely...inadequate...and it's not even discussing careers, or sex, or any of the myriad of other things that are generally designed to make us feel sub-par. Nope, this time the reason is (excuse me if I fake laugh here) my lack of consumerism.

For if I was a true Brit I would, apparently, be aiming to try on 21,000 items of clothing during my lifetime yet only (and this is the best part) purchasing half of them. Half? 10,500 clothing-related things? I can barely close my closet doors now...where are my British brethren putting this stuff?


The lady and the tramp...

What's not to love about the cashmere crewneck from Lutz & Patmos' 10 year anniversary guest designer re-editions? Designed by French Vogue's Carine Roitfeld...called 'Pull Tramp Pour Femme'...and featuring a few strategically placed runs for that luxuriously disheveled look.

The only downside is that 99.9% of the people you encounter during the day when you're wearing it will say "oh no, you ripped your sweater". If you can smile sweetly...and ignore the urge to run amok in a fashion-fueled fury, screaming "it's supposed to be like that"...this could be the perfect sweater.



The circus, my friend, is most definitely in town...

Way back when...in the days when this little Heb was given to indulge in the odd, irrational, life-changing act...I almost ran away with the circus. My act was planned...a combination of the classic diabolo and fire (because, let's face it, everything is slightly more impressive when accompanied by a mass of flames)...my circus of choice had been selected (very dark and very French)...and a campaign of battle planned to encourage them to allow me to join their ranks...but, as so often happens in life, another opportunity arose...and the moment passed.

I still, however, maintain a certain nostalgia for all things circus related...and practice my diabolo (much to the amusement of the groundsmen and joggers in my local park)...both of which, combined with a love of slightly dark illustrations, make these t-shirts from vengeful minds a little difficult to resist...


"If you ever teach a yodeling class, probably the hardest thing is to keep the students from just trying to yodel right off. You see, we build to that." - Jack Handy

When you have one foot, and the better part of a leg, entombed in a walking cast you should not waste time window shopping at footwear...especially when the footwear in question features 4 inch heels that you know perfectly well you couldn't walk in with two good feet and a sherpa holding onto each arm...

I'm not even going to go into the whole Tyrolean secretary vibe emanating from every suede and tasseled pore...



"Sometimes life seems unbearably tragic..."

"A box of new crayons! Now they're all pointy, lined up in order, bright and perfect. Soon they'll be a bunch of ground down, rounded, indistinguishable stumps, missing their wrappers and smudged with other colors. Sometimes life seems unbearably tragic." - Bill Watterson

Even though I am the...um...proud...possessor of an over-sized Andy Warhol coloring book (bought at The Conran Store many years ago and languishing, uncolored, on a shelf because I can't convince myself to desecrate its pristine whiteness)...I have to draw the line at Hermes' version...at a little over $10 a page I know that my thrifty little Scottish soul would never put pen to paper...Photobucket


"We are not amused!" - Queen Victoria

Walking cast related complaint #64...concerning the number of perfectly decent men...men who, I'm sure, in the daily run of things are kind to their mothers and stray kittens...and who would not normally make disparaging comments on a stranger's clothes (to their face, at any rate)...that have taken to walking up to me and, with all the wittiness at their disposal, letting me know that "your shoes don't match". True raconteurs can be identified by the follow-up line (if the limited selection of shoes that I possess whose heel height matches the cast has dictated that tan suede Chelsea boots go with the rest of the outfit...as opposed to their black leather brethren) by the line "didn't anyone tell you that black doesn't go with brown?"

Something that was merely not that amusing the first, second, or third times I heard it has become downright annoying after the thirtieth rendition. I get it...you're the spiritual love child of Oscar Wilde, Peter Ustinov, and Mark Twain...now, for the love of God, let me hobble around in relative peace...



"Strange, that some of us, with quick alternate vision, see beyond our infatuations, and even while we rave on the heights, behold the wide plain where our persistent self pauses and awaits us" - George Eliot

I was initially going to compare my longing for Madewell's city slouch trouser jeans to the three stages of a relationship...starting, quite naturally, with infatuation...but then I got to stage two, power struggle, and realized that pretty much summed it up.

For pretty soon after the dizzy whirl of passion had faded a little I found that I had entered resistance...where the little voice inside my head was pointing out that there might be a smidgeon of mom-jean in their design...a niggling doubt affirmed by the side view (at which point I had entered resentment and was asking myself why you'd show such an unflattering side view of a product you were trying to sell)...quickly followed by the picture of the rear view...and rejection. Love, despite what others may tell you, dies right about the time you realize that even the model's derriere looks wide in those pants...


"I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life...I just go on from day to day, taking what comes." - Frank Sinatra

While I'm on the subject...APC, that is, not origami...I may as well include my two favorite looks currently up on their their site. Uncomplicated...classic...the perfect thing to wear while wandering around flea markets on the weekend...

The only dark cloud in an otherwise clear sky...is the fact that, in this case, "easy" does not equal "cheap"...actually, it doesn't even equal "moderately expensive but I can take a deep breath, hit the buy button, and repress the feelings of guilt that will follow"...the ensemble on the left, for example, costs a decidedly un-easy $1,860...and that doesn't even include the cost of the jeans...



"We were a silent, hidden thought in the folds of oblivion, and we have become a voice that causes the heavens to tremble." - Kahlil Gibran

As I went through the mail that had accumulated over the last week or so I was reminded of two things. One, the sheer volume of junk mail...of the type that isn't worth the paper it's printed on...that I receive...is staggering. After all these years you would have assumed that the faceless beings behind these things would have figured out that I'm not going to fall prey to their unsolicited offers but, no, they just keep coming...

Number two, that an almost indecent amount of childish pleasure can be derived from a catalog or invitation that has been folded...or boxed...or packaged a little differently from the norm. Like, for instance, APC's Fall 2010 poster-a-log...a perfect blending of poster and catalog...featuring a very 1970's safari Eniko (styled by Venetia Scott) on one side...and APC's finest on the other.

After all this paper folding...sitting indoors as I try to avoid the 104 degree heat index outside...I may need to make some origami water bombs...


On the road...(unexpectedly)...again...

Apologies, a last minute work assignment left me with no posts pre-written and just enough time to make a mad dash...hobble...gimp towards the nearest cab. Regular posting should resume in a few days.


"Don't wanna sleep. Don't wanna die. Just wanna go a-travelin' through the pastures of the sky." - Breakfast at Tiffany's

Back home...and ridiculously tired...but not tired enough to miss the typo in Net-a-Porter's latest "What's new" email...

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...the See by Chloé Hippie (that looks suspiciously like a hippo...even to my bleary eyes) acrylic keyfob...


The embodiment of everything we fear...

"I've always liked reptiles. I used to see the universe as a mammoth snake, and I used to see all the people and objects, landscapes, as little pictures in the facets of their scales. I think peristaltic motion is the basic life movement. Swallowing, digestion, the rhythms of sexual intercourse. We must not forget that the lizard and the snake are identified with the unconscious, with the forces of evil. There's something deep in the human memory that reacts very strongly to reptiles. Even if you've never seen one, the snake embodies everything we fear." - Jim Morrison

It is, I have to admit, terribly clichéd...in a teenage angst meets biker babe kind of way...to admit to even a minor longing for a snake ring. Even if the ring in question is 18-karat gold-plated...bestowed with a certain artsy cachet (having been designed by French jewelry designer...and former art historian...Aurélie Bidermann)...and the sort of mammoth finger adornment that does double duty as a worry bead stand-in during times of stress...Photobucket


"With their souls of patent leather, they come down the road. Hunched and nocturnal, where they breathe they impose, silence of dark rubber, and fear of fine sand." - Federico Garcia Lorca

PhotobucketWould I like these rubber riding boots if they weren't Givenchy? Well, probably...but then I can garner an almost unhealthy amount of happiness from simply splashing through a few puddles on a rainy day. Doing so in equestrian-ized dry comfort is simply the cherry on a (slightly soggy) cake...


"It's a small apartment, I've barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends." - Dorothy Parker

Couldn't afford the Givenchy headband...couldn't figure out where to wear Maison Michel's rabbit ears...seriously considering bronzed stag antlers...

What that says about me...not too sure...



"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away." - Sir Thomas Beecham

It may just be my miserly Scottish soul but I find myself mildly obsessed with vintage brass jewelry at the moment...all the warmth of gold...at pocket-money prices. This curb chain, for example, was a very fiscally responsible $14.50...as I plan on wearing it every day for the foreseeable future my cost-per-wear should break down to about a cent a week...




"It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea" - Dylan Thomas

Though the bandleader-meets-yeti cross-body bag...and its larger cousin, the "is that the abominable snowman on your shoulder or are you just pleased to see me?" bag...are alluring...am I the only one asking themselves who is buying an $800 tote at J Crew...and just how long it will take for the aforementioned bag to have so much dirt nestled within its curly coat that it will look like a lucky thrift store find?


"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come." - Milan Kundera

One of the "pros" of hotel life...apart from stumbling across a room service menu featuring butter poached lobster rolls with lemon truffle aioli and hand-cut fries (not that I'm about to go off on yet another food tangent)...is, what I'm going to call, the Unbearable Lightness of Closet.

The clutter-free joy (made all the more streamlined by the fact I only needed to bring shoes for my right foot)...the ability to wake up each day...throw open the closet doors...and find myself faced with an edited selection of pieces that will work in multiple variations.

In an ideal world...if I had the strength of will to be able to get rid of all those things that I am saving for "one day" but will probably never wear...or the things that are almost what I would like them to be...or the things that were irrational impulse buys, whose expulsion would only highlight how much money was wasted on them in the first place...every day would be like this...



"A reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

I joke about being klutz-y. Oh, alright...I am klutz-y...and generally mask the pain of my uncoordinated ineptitude behind humor (and thick, black tights). I was unprepared, however, for the overwhelming evidence of klutz-dom that would accompany my leg cast. Namely, bruises. Bruises on my legs...bruises on my arms...and, most confusingly, bruises on the backs of my hands...

As I don't remember walking into the furniture I can only imagine that days of enforced restriction are causing me to sleep walk (and klutz) during my sleeping hours...

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