the girls common room

January 22, 2012

The Gryffindor common room, secured by the oil painting of the Fat Lady in a pink silk dress, will most likely be the first image that springs to mind when one mentions common rooms. Unlike Hogwarts, the University/boarding school in the Jil Sander campaign is clearly an all girls one and as such Mona Lisa Smile might be your first cultural association. There was a time, I have to confess, I had a mild obsession with boarding schools/sharing a dorm room in University – mostly thinking of the life-long bond & friendship you would end up sharing with your fellow ‘inmates’. And so I read The New Girls by Beth Gutcheon, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (which I wholeheartedly recommend) & then last summer Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan (which I only recommend if you’re feeling like a super light read). Where the boys are concerned, there is, if course, the much better Mona Lisa Smile pendant – Dead Poets Society & Alan Bennett’s  The History Boys, which I read on a bus from New York to Boston (host to many a University) two summers ago. All of which evoke a similar sense of camaraderie & perhaps even coming-of-age.

And that’s what I love so much about this Jil Sander campaign – clearly set in an Ivy League college – each picture tells of one such story. After all, these girls are doing each other’s hair, gossiping, lazing around amidst busts of Old Romans in monogrammed sweaters all while nipping on tea & playing cards, or sipping champagne while getting ready to go out, though one of the girls seems to rather want and stay put – solve crossword puzzles & read instead. For more, go here.

(Oh, and just because it also takes place in an academic setting & the audiobook has been helping me fall asleep lately – Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is a mandatory mention.)


a plump firm lady

July 3, 2011

What I hadn’t discussed before: I also love the way Sophie Dahl describes food, the metaphors she uses. Furthermore: the presentation of the dishes plays a huge part & flowers feature heavily. And to end the day with even more britishness: for the ultimate 60s and 70s playlist might I suggest The Boat That Rocked OST. And maybe hide beneath a blanket with either Chocolat or Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris.

Here I have a mixture of blackberries, blueberries and a few black currants. There’s something triumphant and celebratory about them. They belong in a Ruben painting with a plump firm lady kind of lying amidst it. It won’t be me.
Sophie Dahl

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What with the weather being so unusually dreary for this time of the year, having finally finished my first year of college but at at the same time starting work tomorrow – I have spend all weekend watching period pieces (Jane Eyre, Downton Abbey etc.), reading A Game of Thrones and watching Sophie Dahl cook roasted tomato soup and double-baked cheese and chive potato, which reminded me an awful lot of the short time I spent in Ireland and I wish I could be back there right now. By the way, and you didn’t hear this from me, but you can download most of the episodes right here. The show just seems so right at the moment because mostly the food’s about comfort, and as she herself says: “simple, honest & straight-forward food”, it’s also accompanied by great rainy-day music and some lovely fitting quotes.

I’ve almost managed not to leave my bed today, were it not for the short period of time where I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth & made tea. Right now I am debating wether to stay here or go to the bookshop, because as pleasantly surprising as it’s been reading A Game of Thrones on my iPad, I don’t think it will suffice. Alas I shall go because N. just called and we’re gonna go to the movies and get frozen yoghurt. Sundays, I adore you. Now where are my corduroys – it’s such a corduroy day, don’t you think?

I ate more cake, read tragic French novels and hated the fields and stupid fences I was surrounded by. I longed for London, a minor Parisian appetite, lithe limbs, complication and Chantal Thomass knickers. Mercifully, the knowledge of how to aquire such things remained totally out of my reach.
Sophie Dahl 

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boardwalk empire

June 26, 2011

The weather’s been unusually solemn for this time of year, which I don’t actually mind because all it means is a wonderfully mild climate and that I get to cover up with a blazer or a light jacket, which is always preferable to sitting in that sauna called the metro.
I have my two last exams of the year on Monday and Tuesday (business law & media politics) which I can’t wait to be done with.

I haven’t actually studied all that much so far which is why I really need to get my ass in gear. Instead of studying I have spent way too much time on Polyvore & started watching ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ which is officially about the Prohibition era but really all about gangsters being their wonderful selfs. Have always had a knack for morally ambiguous characters, still I didn’t think this show was going to be up my alley but it surprisingly is very much so. Unlike a lot of other gangster shows it’s kind of subtle actually and not all that showy. Furthermore I have started reading A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan because apparently I have too much time on my hands.

On top of that I’ve also slowly but surely started preparing for my semester abroad in Paris – got an apartment, booked my flight, made a list of places I still need to visit even though I haven been to Paris twice before (Versailles, Maison de Victor Hugo etc.)
Also definitely on my list: pop by COS, the A.P.C. surplus store and IRO to buy up their whole line of goods.

“When I think of bookishness in music, it’s not of Katy Perry
but something more awkward, more earnest, the type of music that stays inside on
a sunny day.”

Laura Barton

Might I suggest this fine piece of music?!

This [post] is isn’t to say I celebrate our throw-away culture but over, let’s say the last two years, I’ve simply become less sentimental about objects. A lesson learned mostly by the fact that I am the biggest klutz and tend to forget scarves on airplanes, am stupid enough to wear light shoes to nightclubs etc. As most of us know Oscar Wilde once said: “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months,” this isn’t what I am talking about either. It’s more to do with the buddhist concept of impermanence. The cycle of birth and rebirth and how it relates to clothes. And I’m going to stop talking now because I think you’re either there or you’re not, you either understand or you don’t, which isn’t to say one way is the right way.

What piece in your closet means the most to you?
None: clothes are made to disappear. They lose their magic with time, and one shouldn’t treat any object with devotion—which doesn’t mean that you don’t appreciate quality, beauty, rarity, refinement and talent.
Inès de la Fressange

“I’m not big on possessions. The last time I moved, I left everything in my old house. I’m not sentimental. I lose things easily, which annoys people.”
Luella Bartley

“It is in the nature for things to be lost and not otherwise.”
A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit

238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.

239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. “Love is not consolation,” she wrote. “It is light.”

240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.

Bluets, Maggie Nelson

  1. I need more white in my wardrobe.
  2. I want to get rid of half of the stuff I own. Honestly.

Michelle Williams and Spike Jonze

  1. a peacoat in black or navy. i’ve been wearing the last one i bought for the past three winters, it’s time for a new one.
  2. black ray bans, for the occasional ray of sunshine.
  3. rouge, preferably in bourdeaux.
  4. anything and everything that includes apples & pumpkins. french apple tarte & pumpkin soup for example.
  5. mushrooms. you, fabulous fungus, you.
  6. sand-colored boots. usually i just wear my sneakers no matter the weather but this year i feel like getting some nice booties.
  7. gothic fiction. this time of the year my book reading tends to focus very much on gothic fiction/dark romanticism.

Click the picture to see the uncropped version.