Saturday, 1 January 2022


Let us hope for a better, more stable new year ahead

★  Peace & Blessings    

The two images above are courtesy of: Forbes & Etsy

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Words of Good Cheer

(All rights reserved)

★ Wishing you a happy holiday season   

Video courtesy of: Libera Official ~ YouTube

Friday, 1 January 2021

The Light of A Single Candle

All the darkness in the world 

cannot extinguish the light of a single candle” 

~ Saint Francis of Assisi

As this exceptionally challenging year comes to an end 
& a new one begins,
let us hope for healthier, brighter & more stable 2021

★ Peace & Blessings  

(Image courtesy of: EastMojo)

Monday, 21 December 2020

Good Tidings To You & Yours


(All rights reserved)

★ Wishing you a good & safe holiday season   

Friday, 1 May 2020

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the Horror of shade.
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

~ William Ernest Henley

Image courtesy of: Media Storehouse
(Mary Evans Picture Library)

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Miserere Mei, Deus, Secundum Magnam Misericordiam Tuam

(The Choir of Clare College)
Video courtesy of: Rudolf Neubock ~ YouTube

Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam;
et secundum multitudeinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.

(Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness;
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.)

Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea:
et a peccato meo munda me.

(Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity:
and cleanse me from my sin.)

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco,
et peccatum meum contra me est semper.

(For I acknowledge my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.)

Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci;
ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis,
et vincas cum judicaris.

(Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight;
that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, 
and be clear when thou judgest.)

Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum:
et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.

(Behold, I was shapen in iniquity:
and in sin did my mother conceive me.)

Ecce enim, veritatem dilexisti;
incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.

(Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts;
and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.)

Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor;
lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

(Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.)

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam:
et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.

(Make me to hear joy and gladness:
that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.)

Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis,
et omnes iniquitates meas dele.

(Avert thy face from my sins,
and blot out all mine iniquities.)

Cor mundum crea in me, Deus,
et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.

(Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.)

Ne projicias me a facie tua,
et spiritum sanctum ne auferas a me.

(Cast me not away from thy presence,
and take not thy holy spirit from me.)

Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui,
et spiritu principali confirma me.

(Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation,
and uphold me with thy free Spirit.)

Docebo iniquos vias tuas,
et impii ad te convertentur.

(Then will I teach transgressors thy ways,
and sinners shall be converted unto thee.)

Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus,
Deus salutis meae,
et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.

(Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
thou God of my salvation,
and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.)

Domine, labia mea aperies,
et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

(O Lord, open thou my lips,
and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.)

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique;
holocaustis non delectaberis.

(For thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it;
thou delightest not in burnt offering.)

Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus;
cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.

(The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and a contrite heart, O God,
thou wilt not despise.)

Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion,
ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.

(Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion, O Lord,
build thou the walls of Jerusalem.)

Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae,
oblationes et holocausta;
tunc imponent super altare tuum viulos.

(Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
with burnt offering and oblations;
then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.)

The Book of Psalms of David: Ch. 51, Vrs. 1-19

(The Choir of King's College)
Video courtesy of: mikatuu ~ YouTube

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

“Je Suis Couturier” | Azzedine Alaïa & The Evolution of Perfection

Azzedine Alaïa
Image courtesy of: REDEF | Alexander Fury

For the women he dressed, Alaïa wasn't about right here, right now. Timelessness is supremely seductive in its intangibility. Here was a designer who developed his aesthetic out of the public eye, getting to intimately know a handful of clients of all ages, shapes and sizes, from the moment he started to make clothes” ~ Tim Blanks

Time, it has been said, reveals all truth. Time, it can also be said, is the ultimate judge; it is only through the passage of time, for instance, that the true merit of an individual's work is made evident—or dispensed withwhether that be the work left behind by an architect, an artist, a sculptor, an engineer, a scientist, an inventor, a statesman, an intellectual, a writer, a composer, a performer, or a designer. More than unerring judge, time validates; time vindicates.

When we come to consider such a topic as that of fashion design—that most ephemeral of applied artsit is time's affirmation which undoubtedly separates authentic talent and abiding taste from sheer hype; the genuine couturier from nothing more than the stylist, the ‘confectioner’ or au courant trend-setter. That is unmistakably the case with an exhibition, held in January of 2018. Entitled Je Suis Couturier’ and held in lieu of a memorial service (the exhibition, like many of his collections, was presented at the couturier's Marais headquarters in the 4th arrondissement district at the Association Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verriere)a mere couple of months past the death of Azzedine Alaïa—it spotlighted a selection of forty-one archival pieces (nearly all of which were in black and white, with the exception of one red bias-cut chiffon gown) of the late designer's oeuvre, with examples ranging through four decades from 1981 to his last couture collection, presented in July of 2017

Azzedine represents fashion at its purest. In his clothes, women feel beautiful, comfortable, admired. What more could we want?” ~ Carla Sozzani

Azzedine Alaïa & Naomi Campbell 
(Photo by Josh Olins)
Image courtesy of: tumblr | Arizona Semones

Alaïa's garments seem engineered rather than simply sewn; their fluctuating, distinctly physical relationship with the individual beneath them the real mark of his mastery of craft. They flare and wrap and grip and knead the human body, as if the flesh were clay ready to be sculpted. Like sculpture, they belong in a museum” ~ Alexander Fury

‘Timeless’ and ‘timely’ are adjectives most often applied to Alaïa and his decades-long output—and well-deserved, well-earned adjectives they are. ‘Timely’ because Alaïa's collections were conceived and created, like all creations, within the frame of their eras and are of their time; ‘timeless’ because Alaïa's work, especially when compared with that of other contemporary designers of the same periods and seasons, stands alone, transcending the eras in which they were created: time ultimately transcends mediocrity; it transcends the mundane. And subsequently, discerning designslike the names of their creatorsresonate, in whatever period of time in which they are considered.

To create something—anything—of substantial quality, something of genuine merit, requires time and Alaïa took his time to create his collections; there is nothing superfluous to be found in his creations. Alaïa was one of the most vociferous condemners of the exhausting modern fashion system of presenting multiple and even overlapping collections a year; instead, he presented his collections only when he felt ready to do so and when his collections were, he felt, complete. (The essential requirement of time is a concept which Alaïa fully understood: in all of his career, he only presented three haute couture collections, with years intervening each: 2003, 2011 and 2017.Adamantly refusing to abide by set fashion collection presentation schedules, Alaïa was notorious for unveiling his collections—and delivering order shipments—late, off-schedule, past (and out of sync with) the collections' seasons, thereby necessitating buyers, private customers and editors alike to travel back to Paris, chiefly for his showings. But no one complained; no one had reason to. Anyone privileged enough to attend one of Alaïa's collections—whether they be ready-to-wear or one of his three haute couture collections—was aware that what they were presented with was something unique and unlike any other collection; and those who were sensitive enough to the vagaries of fashion to realize it, recognized that Alaïa's work was the time-transcending work of genius—that presently oft-repeated, oft-tossed noun so misused.

“...his immediately identifiable clothes, though much copied, remain unlike anything else. He has been refining his chosen metier for more than half a century and is now universally respected—even revered—both by the women who love to wear his designs and by others of his profession, which, it goes without saying, is extremely rare” ~ Susannah Frankel

As with an earlier exhibit (as well as more recent and current Alaïa exhibitions) held at the Palais Galliera in 2014, Azzedine Alaïa: Je Suis Couturier’ (January to June 2018) was curated by Olivier Saillard (formerly the curator of Palais Galliera) and has the distinction of being the first posthumous Alaïa exhibition. The title of the show is a reference to Alaïa's refusal of the term ‘designer’—he was, from beginning to end, a couturier in the truest sense of the term and, undoubtedly, among the grandest. In regards to his craft, which he refined over a life-long career, Carla Sozzani, who knew Alaïa for forty years, put it succinctly: You could spend hours with him, with his ruler, pins, and patterns. (Quote: Isaac-Goize, T., Vogue)

In as many as there are those who refuse to designate fashion as a valid art form, there are those who adamantly believe it to be so; but on whatever side of the debate you may be, what is indisputable is the fact that fashion is, inevitably, a reflection of its time, depicting backmuch as a mirror doesthe disparate factors that constitute and define its times: ideological, political, social, ethical, cultural, economical, and artistic. In essence, there is much more to fashion than the clothes we choose to don and present ourselves to the world in. Very few designers have the longevity, much less possess the required talent, the dedication, the rigorous discipline or the skill necessary, to raise the craft—the metierof dressmaking to an art form; fewer still are those whose work can withstand the test (and authentication) of time. Years from now, when fashion historians look back to the last and first decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries respectively, they will undoubtedly cite not only the intrinsic talent of Azzedine Alaïa but will number him among the preeminent couturiers of our time.

(Sources: Diderich, J., Paris Retrospective Keeps Alaïa's Spirit Alive, WWD, January 20, 2018; Isaac-Goize, T., Inside ‘Je Suis Couturier,’ a 41 Dress Azzedine Alaïa Exhibition at His Marais HeadquartersJanuary 20, 2018, Vogue; Horyn, C., A Powerful Alaïa Exhibit Capture's the Designer's Spirit and Signals the Future of the Brand, The Cut, January, 2018)

Part geometer, part alchemist, Alaïa endeavors to tame material into behaving in a manner alien to its intrinsic nature: chiffon takes on heft, knits assume structure, leather softens to a fluid 
~ Amy Fine Collins

Image courtesy of: Journal du Luxe

The above eight images are all courtesy of: The Cut

The above two images are both courtesy of: Vogue

The above image is courtesy of: Pinterest

The above five images are all courtesy of: CR Fashion Book

Top image is courtesy of: ba-idane.over-blog
The two lower images above are courtesy of: I Prefer Paris

Image courtesy of: Pinterest

Video courtesy of: Fashion Network

Eschewing the fashion show calendar altogether, the forty decades of Alaïa's work shown here reveals no defining trends, only an increasing interest in the refinement of technique, a kind of reverse neoclassicist ethos that lends soft flesh and airy fabric the smooth, uncanny weightiness of sculpture” 
~ Christina Catherine Martinez

Image courtesy of: MFFashion

Azzedine was the last of them. In ten years, there will be a new one, but in the meantime he or she might as well start learning here. That would be a fine start” ~ Olivier Saillard