If you had sold your soul to big corp. during the last few decades with the money you have earned (or inherited) you can now buy it back. How? Just browse the internet and look for an old VW T2 Kombi, then go glamping somewhere like Ibiza, Bali, or Goa and you will find yourself surrounded with people just like you: chastened consumer, now wannabee hippy with a taste for luxury. Forget about following Siddhartha’s path, it’s all about the style, or, the lifestyle if you prefer: an over-indulgent looking for the next “hip” thing to do, covered with some “shanti-shanti” philosophy, lots of meditations retreats, festival attendances (Coachella, anyone?), garnished with a fake carelessness on look, while it’s all about the brand, right? from the never-heard-before name $400 custom made sunglasses frame, to Birkenstock shoes, to those Lululemon $120 yoga pants, not to mention the must have Stella McCartney $1,800 chain trim handbag (but it’s cruelty free!), and the annual subscription to Kinkfolk and Monocle.
Somehow I now respect more UES people, at least they are honest to themselves, rather than these folks judging you with the same harsh disgust of the “I’m rich, you’re poor” crowd, if you don’t have the latest (RED) iPhone.
Yes, this time of the year is finally come, the time where we all are so looking forward to spend every single acid comment —that our minds is able to think— on this very juicy parade where everything is debatable, even the notion of what could be considered good taste and appropriate.
After so many years of wandering life Sunday equals late waking-ups and lazy brunches. This morning, as I didn’t have my personal slave to spoil me, I’ve been forced to roll out of bed and get out looking for milk. Not an easy one if you are in a small village, lost in the mountains that has zero open supermarket till Monday morning. There may not be shops open there but they’ve got this brilliant idea: milk dispenser. You won’t find junk food in it, just plain fresh whole milk – don’t forget to bring your own bottle to fill. When I was approaching the dispenser I saw a woman cleaning it and I thought «Oh, no s****! No milk for me!» but turned out being there just for filling in the next dispenser machine with fresh hand made yoghurt, butter, and cheese. And there I recognised her. If it is true that I grew up in a small village, it is also true that I never “fill in” with the local crowd. I was the black sheep, the one who attended piano and art lessons, the one wearing Clarks and dungarees, the one going to the city visiting exhibitions. The kids weren’t particularly interested in me and the feeling was mutual. There was really nothing that tied us together: nor their activities – limited to going around in bikes or attending church functions on Saturday morning, or playing footballs – or their lives that I knew were destined to “being local”. We knew each-other and we ignored each-other equally. So, after decades I met one of this girls and, for some strange reasons, it has been very nice. We didn’t talk much as we’ve never been friends or have anything to share, but the expressions in our faces revealed a kindness and such good will that it is for me very hard to find anywhere or to experience in “normal life”.
I have to say this year the red carped didn’t release a lot of fashion nightmares, so it hasn’t been fun at all watching it; but here and there some faux passes have been made so here’s my personal list of the worse (and some best) dressed.
I discovered this new – let’s call it – trend back in 2009, in New York – as usual, I mean, where else? – and I immediately fell in love with it, reporting it on the fashionable pages of the glossy magazine «Flair».
What had caught my eye was not only the obvious bold and funny style that these women showed off, but – and more importantly – how this was a new form of revolution.
In these times where a woman is constantly under pressure for the way she looks, the way she dresses, how much she weight, this is something that teaches us a great deal.
We are not supposed to get old. We are not supposed to have wrinkles. Menopause is still something to be ashamed of.
These women, in a very womanly way, tell us: «C’mon girls, let’s have fun with ourselves! Let’s express who we are despite what we are supposed to look and behave at our age». AND. THEY. NAILED. IT. Breaking down the wall that has been build all around being old, because we live in a society that is so erasing the concept of getting old that has to call it “chronologically gifted”, like the word “old” has something shameful in it.
Ari Cohen, the genius behind this whole idea, after the release of the book «Advanced Style» back in 2012, is now the eye behind the camera that shoot the movie «Advanced style», released on February 19th, 2015. We cannot thank him enough for the work he has done for them. And for us. We are so looking forward to learn from Tziporah (62), Deborah (67), Lynn (80), Joyce (80), Jackie “Taja” (81), Ilona (93), and Zelda (95).
This time, following the trend, and not setting it, the acclaimed fashion guru photographer Tim Walker released in 2013 the very nice book «The Granny Alphabet», dedicated to his great grandmother Louisa Wicks. The book is a combination between his wonderful pictures (26 as the letters of the alphabet), cute graphic design and powerful verses by Kit Heshketh-Harvey. It does not have the same power as Cohen’s one, but is a sign that “old” is something we have to relate with on a different way than the “damnatio memoriae” currently in use.
I am particularly happy to own this book because, as Tim Walker says, :«Old age brings back this childlike clarity of vision, and so children and elderly have an agreement, a bond, united both by a sense of being out of time and by the brilliantly reckless lack of responsibility that bookends adulthood and allows them to see things as they really are. This is why I’ve always loved the very old and the very young, whether in age or spirit, and why I’ve taken the photographs for this book – part photographic love letter to the elderly and part documentation of the dying breed of little old ladies who live down the lane.».
It’s about that time of the year, that marvelous moment when you just want take your coat off and spend some time enjoying the sunlight, as it’s been all the Winter that you were sitting on a dirty stoop surrounded by pigeons just to be out in the fresh air.
And now that the season it’s just right why not to take a trip upstate and visit some of the most beautiful gardens in the world?
No, you don’t need to buy a gazillions guide or print maps & itineraries, now there is a more eco-friendly and smart tool: the perfect app! Gardens of Italy (available on iTunes) helps you find the nearest or most distant gardens open to the public.
The app gives you the complete map of Italian gardens (parks, botalical gardens and so on) that really worth a visit. You can find them by location, by theme (English garden, French garden, Italian garden, garden with labyrinth), by architecture, history, landscape, season. Each of them has a colorful sketched map, trivia history and helpful information not to mention breath taking pictures.
The App is updated every other two months, and has been integrated with a QR scanner, just in case you find one inside of a garden.
Topiary, the ancient art of bending greenery to one’s will. (And it’s a definite step up from the garden gnome.)