Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Double Dutch

We're in the Dutch edition of Elle magazine this month!  It's the JULY 2012 edition (but that's "JULI" in Dutch!)

Some of you may remember that we were in the Dutch magazine Visagie in March. Here’s the link to that posting. So we're delighted to make an additional appearance in a magazine from the land that gives us Rem Koolhaas and other masters of modern design. Elle's editor wrote to us that it would be for a serial column by Merel Bem entitled The Aubergine Coat (GREAT title!), in which "Merel writes about wardrobes, and the stories that can be told about clothing items or accessories." (GREAT topic!) And all we had to do was provide a photograph. As it turns out, Merel wrote about the opening of the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at Cooper Hewitt, and used the opening photograph of us from our posting on it. Here's the link to that posting, too.

Jean shows you a close-up of the cover so you can go out and buy your own copy.

Valerie shows you what the article looks like, and the photo from the Sonia Delaunay posting.

As before, since we don't speak Dutch, we ran it through Google Translate, with the occasionally hilarious mistakes that computers make. We get the general idea, though, and we are soooo familiar - and sympathetic - with the theme of lost opportunities, and with the stories that nestle deep within one's clothes. Below is Google's best shot, and we like to think of it as our own personal version of  that poignant  Bill Murray & Scarlet Johanson film "Lost in Translation".  We confess that we were won over in the first paragraph, as soon as the author referred to us as birds of paradise! How could we resist!? To paraphrase the line from Jerry McGuire: "You had me at 'bird'!"  The paragraphs are long, exactly as they are in the original.



In her quest for remarkable stories behind the clothes of interesting encounters Merel appearances on two New York birds of paradise.

While I was in the museum for an exhibition, I had long halls eyes only for an old woman. Not just any old woman, of course, no extremely rare copy on gossamer by the Hague Municipal heels seemed to float.  The old woman was in the company of a younger, perhaps her daughter, and viewed together they whisper the garments here were gathered for the exhibition Fashion.

What she wore I can not remember exactly. There was something black, something with a geometric print something with a scarf in one or another node, a node which only Parisiennes from ancient noble families know the secret, was draped around her neck - and no that does not sound very observant but believe me: it was the whole.  All garments that enveloped this woman were so perfectly matched that they are like an exquisite work of art through the museum moved.  And as I walked back into enchantment. The two women remained standing long look in a small room with windows.  It coats the fabric swatches that the Russian-French artist Sonia Delaunay in the twenties and thirties designed for the lux Amsterdam department store Metz & Co. textile happy with colorful, geometric prints that have proved awfully contemporary.  The old woman whispered more insistent, pressing her hands gesturing. They clearly had a story to tell.  Suddenly I was reminded of pictures I had seen on a fashion blog of Jean and Valerie. Jean and Valerie are two New York ladies 'of a certain age', which together all parties and hot fashion exhibition openings expire.  On the blog, Idiosyncratic Fashionistas, they put pictures of themselves in the most hysterical outits and give commentary on everyone they encounter.

Last year, Jean and Valerie at the opening of Color Moves, an exhibition on the textile designs by Sonia Delaunay. There they met a lot of kindred spirits, that is old (honorary) women and men who refused because of their certain age to indulge in beige and gray, and instead brought an ode to the hallucinatory world of colors by Sonia Delaunay.  One of the women that Jean and Valerie saw there was the artist even knowing you. She wore a self-designed hat in the style of her idol.  She had also worn the hat for the funeral of Sonia Delaunay, in 1979. Unfortunately, Jean and Valerie forget to ask for the name of the woman with the hat and example to the rest of her life.  It will be a certain age have been. But do you still imagine what this unknown woman could all still talk about Sonia. About the clothes she had designed for actress Gloria Swanson and artist Louise Bourgeois, and the contents of her wardrobe, maybe.  That was all I miss the gross journalistic negligence of Jean and Valerie.

And when it appeared that I was no better. For the elegant lady in the Hague Municipal Museum, the lady who used her clothes probably at Metz & Co. ordered, perhaps a background in the fashion world had, the lady there who moved majestically through the galleries and the attic down an old trunk full of Sonia Delaunay - dust and 1001 stories preserved - that lady I let walk.  Call it youthful shyness. But that is now changing. Hereby I would like all the old, well-dressed women say: to me you no longer escape. Open your closets.

Clothing stories are too good to run. And also to hang.

We took these pictures against the wall of a restaurant called Gibson, in the Williamsburgh section of Brooklyn. We thought it looked rad and edgy and avant garde, and worthy of a backdrop for a really cool Dutch magazine (especially one with us in it!)

Our second favorite article?  "Slank & Bruin Uit Een Potje: Wat Werkt Echt?"

Like Blanche DuBois, we relied on the kindness of strangers when possible, to get a picture of the two of us together. And when no kind strangers were available, we photographed each other.  At the time, neither of us could identify the creature depicted in the wall art.  Pig? Otter? Chipmunk? Badger? Upon further reflection, looking at his tuxedo jacket and body shape, Jean is now betting it's a Walrus.  ("I am the Egg Man. They are the Egg Men. I am the Walrus. Goo goo g' joob!") Take a gander and give us your best guess!

Our thanks to the ladies at Dutch Elle!

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The New York Botanical Garden put us up on their website after we reviewed the Monet show. Click here to see our cameo appearance there.

And The Modern, the wonderful bar attached to the Museum of Modern Art, put us on their Facebook page after we wrote a story about their wayward chocolate roosters, Max and Mel. Click here if you’d like to see for yourself.

What We're Wearing:

Jean is wearing an Ignatius hat, Made Her Think cross-body bag, Lilith jumpsuit, Burberry t-shirt, TUK black leather creepers, plastic and leather necklace and matching cuff, vintage plastic and bakelite black and white and polka dot bangle bracelets, vintage bakelite, plastic, resin and gold rings.

Valerie is wearing: natural colored vintage straw hat spray painted black, with new ribbon by M&J Trimmings; transparent shirt by H&M (from this year, worn back to front); bustier by H&M (from last year, worn the right way); metal bracelets from the flea market; Talbot’s skirt; shoes by Melissa (Gareth Pugh design).


  1. Congratulations on you most recent article. Oh how I would love to look through 'ladies of certain age' closet, it is sure to be just as thrilling as the wonderful museums exhibits.

    Haha, I do remember your Max and Mel story, hilarious. And the creature behind you is a Bullebebus, very similar in nature to our local canines, but often times with a lot more flair, very appropriate background.

    I should work up some hat designs, very inspiring, painted black you say, hmmmm...

  2. You two must have a whole stack of magazines containing your photos by now! Cool article, made even more entertaining by the translation glitches. I was going to say that the creature in the painting looked like a sloth, but I see that the previous commenter identified it as a Bullebebus (!!?).

  3. All of this press is very exciting! Congratulations! The translation was worthy of laughter and I'm noticing that Jean's hat is horizontal in design and Valerie's hat goes vertical. Smashing contrast!