Monday, September 13, 2010

worth emulating...

photo: Maria Alexandra Vettese
I'm not sure I'm fully able to articulate how lovely the "Behind the Bar" experience was for me, though perhaps not in the way one might expect.  As I've expressed before, "chelliswilson.", my little "retail adventure",  is a personal gesture towards expanding the conversation about what we buy and why, that makes the suggestion that issues of intention and production should factor into our sense of what is desirable.   And, as you can imagine, such concepts don't always sit well with all and sundry.  I'm OK with that because I love ideas, have big opinions, and am generally feisty.  But when I donned my bartender/storyteller hat (thanks to Alissa and Ryan who invited me (and, of course, Grace), I realized the extent to which others embrace these ideas as well and the extent to which they, oh so generously, support me.  I blushed at the lavish praise. I reveled in the connectedness, the sense of being part of a "tribe".  Thank you for all the kind words.  Thank you for the love. 

Speaking of tribes....what are the human components of a truly great one?  Today I'll offer up three: The Burgeoning Girl, The Provocateur, The Role Model.  The first two are primary and essential to my life, the last is a supremely stylish, intelligent, and insightful woman I admire intensely from afar.  Truly worth emulating....

"Portrait of Miss Margaret" (after she left the room).  Thirteen year old girls remind us to keep embracing curiosity, romance, enthusiasm.  The Burgeoning Girl is pure potential.

photo by Ross Albert

detail of Big Flowers by Ross Albert

R.'s Artifacts....

One of the "children of Marx and Coca-Cola",  Mr. Ross is an artist, a filmmaker, and partner in crime (and "chelliswilson.").   One part Attitude, two parts Cool, many parts Devotion, we share Sondheim and Godard, Cy and Steely Dan.  Thank you for twenty years of service.  The Provocateur is fiercely loyal.

photo by Todd Selby
This spot-on interview with Sally Singer has given me new permission to blog with abandon about whatever I desire.  Yes, it's "retail", but it's also intensely personal.  Singer reminds us that our lifestyle choices are "emotional and about what moves us."  And that fashion is about "aesthetics and the zeitgeist".  Commercial ventures will be expected to show their ethical and emotional sides as our purchases increasingly reflect our core beliefs.  With perfect clarity, she makes her point by saying:

Everyone gets dressed every day and wants to look better. It's a common denominator. So the question is, what are you going to put on and what is it going to say about you in the world?....and what are you going to buy at the grocery store and feed your kids? Or how are you going to power your car? These are lifestyle choices that matter.  They may not matter as much as other decisions you make, but these decisions are emotional and relevant. And they are, in the aggregate, political.

More Sally (at length) here and hereAny tribe would be fortunate to have her as The Role Model.

My amusing encore is from an interview in Issue VII of Corduroy with Jean Touitou of A.P.C.  When asked, "With all your success, what do you still need to accomplish?"  His answer, which I have decided should be the new middle-aged man's credo, was...

Read Philip Roth's latest remarkable novel and not hang myself.

Indeed.  OK, he can be in my tribe, too.

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