Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Resolution Time (Buy more Dior)

A cup of tea and some fashion news, HERE.

Actually, that's not a bad idea.  I desperately want Maria Grazia Chiuri to succeed at Dior, the house founded by arguably the most famous man in fashion history, who incidentally is known for designing some of the most feminine clothes ever.

Maria's work at her previous employer, Valentino, was stunning.  I sincerely hope Bernard Arnault will give her time to develop her style at Dior.

I watched a French movie on the plane home: Tout de suite maintenant, in which Isabelle Huppert carries a very simple and soft Dior bag with a thin palladium chain.  Her co-star Agathe Bonitzer wears the simple French classics, trousers with cotton men's shirts and blazers, a trench coat, and when she is dressed for dinner she wears a cream silk blouse with a long shawl tie and black trousers without any other embellishment.  That kind of French dressing is always seductive to me, but I am not sure it translates well to regular non-stunning women. It may just appear a bit dull.

The film's stylish simplicity does, however, remind me that beautiful quality cloth (for example the coat Huppert wears in the car scene of the trailer) is so obviously different from all the high street rubbish we wear nowadays.  For me the best classic fashion on film is found in I Am Love, with Tilda Swinton and Marisa Berenson.  It's depressing, but stunning.

My real 2017 resolution is to pay for my daily news.  I already have a subscription to The New York Times and the Washington Post.  In order to make sure broadsheet news does not perish, I think it is vitally important we start paying for our online news, just like we paid for our news when it only came in paper form.  The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph and the periodical The Economist top my list.

I hope I can convince you to do the same for the newspapers in your geographical area.  Aside from political and financial news the fashion writing in these publications is excellent as well, and you may still find fashion critics there, a long gone phenomenon in fashion magazines.

Whether it regards fashion, political elections or the war in Syria: it is of paramount importance in 2017 that we support freedom of the press, and quality independent journalism. It does not matter what your politics are, freedom of the press is crucial for the survival of democracy.  If you think freedom to publicly dissent is not an issue in your life, read this PBS interview with world champion chess player Garry Kasparov HERE.  Imagine living in a world where a champion chess player is not allowed to voice his concerns about his government's policies and then ask yourself if you want to live in such a world.  If you prefer the freedom to tell your friends at a dinner party that you think Clinton is a liar or that Trump is a vulgarian, then you should act by making sure these publications stay in business.  Read more about the current state of press freedom HERE.

I don't think I personally have the courage of a Garry Kasparov, or the courage displayed by critical journalists around the world every single day, but monetarily supporting the work these reporters do is an easy, yet meaningful contribution anyone can make in 2017.

On a personal editorial note, my mother received a letter while I was in Holland, from the son of a British soldier who was billeted at my grandparents' house for much of the second world war.  The letter informed us that Jack's widow had died.  The bravery of my grandparents, hiding two British soldiers from their German occupiers, is awe-inspiring to me.  And the courage of those young British and American men who risked their precious lives, often voluntarily, to fight tyranny abroad must never be forgotten.

Happy New Year - I hope 2017 will be a great year for you all.

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