Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Feathers, again...



Regular readers will know about my ongoing preoccupation with feathers; here's my latest offering (in the Sunday Telegraph).
In between thinking about these, I've been up and down to East Lothian for the day, to the lovely Lennoxlove festival. It's a beautiful place, and I was lucky enough to be talking in the Great Hall to a delightful audience, who made the long journey feel well worthwhile. Pictures to follow...
Meanwhile, I've been eating butternut squash and sweet potatoes -- the perfect winter food -- and cooking a vat of lentil, ham and spinach soup.
This morning I went to sign copies of Coco at Hatchards in Piccadilly, and Heywood Hill in Curzon Street; both of them bookshops that make me glad to be a writer, and a reader. I bought the OUP edition of Virginia Woolf's Orlando for myself (good notes, introduction, etc); and some secret Christmas presents for others.
Now on my Christmas list:
Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris. (Thames & Hudson).
Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook. (Assouline).

15 comments:

Lilacs In May said...

My first grown up 'do' was my company Christmas dinner. I wore a top trimmed with black feathers and felt so glamourous. A photographer took my photo that night, I still keep the photo, it captured the glamour I felt.

Weirdly, I saw 2 peacocks whilst out walking today. Proudly strutting, they seemed to know they were an exotic flash of glamour on a cold winter morning.

kairu said...

Ah, you and your feathers, Justine.

I remember a dark red velvet dress, beaded on the bodice, that was a Christmas present one year. I was 8 or 9, perhaps. The velvet was heavy and incredibly soft. I wore it for holiday parties and piano recitals until it, sadly, grew too small.

Now my uniform is a little black dress with a cardigan or shawl. No feathers, though - they tickle.

I was at a wedding back in September, for which the dress code was "Roaring Twenties;" many of the women dressed as flappers, floating around the garden in their beaded dresses and feathered headbands and glittering jewels, like sparkling butterflies. I have some photographs here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kairuy/sets/72157624780519561/with/4969793030/

Seattle is covered in snow, and I am thinking a vat of soup is the perfect thing for tonight...

Vintage Tea Time said...

I love feathers too. I got a set of angel's wings from a charity shop recently - made with real(?goose) feathers. Probably not very ethically made - but I love them! Tickly little maribou type feathers are lovely too, around the neckline of cashmere (I wish!) cardigans. I often pick up stray birds feathers on walks - they are quite magical.
re previous post, it's so easy to give others advice, but not always easy to do it yourself. I felt very low today - thought 'must get out', but I couldn't get out of bed!! Got there eventually - and it is beautifully misty in the meadows.
Have a good day, Abby

enid said...

I hate feathers and think they are best on birds but I must say the sight of a Xmas tree made of white feathers filled me with delight. Should I read Orlando? - it is the only Woolf I have not read.

Justine Picardie said...

I haven't read Orlando since I was 18 -- so not sure if I can recommend it yet, but I'm going to try it again soon. Thanks to everyone for the feathery comments (they lighten my heart)...
So cold tonight in London; winter is hard upon us. Must buy bird food tomorrow...

Vintage Tea Time said...

Just bought this week's Big Issue -interview with Annie Lennox in it.

enid said...

Had such a Chanel day yesterday. Your book is on the tables in Cape Town and on display as an Xmas gift in my favourite bookshop. Later went to see Coco and Igor which I loved.

Justine Picardie said...

Hurrah! How exciting to hear that my book has made it to Cape Town! I'm glad you enjoyed Coco & Igor. I thought some of the dialogue was a bit wooden, but I loved the opening sequence of the Rite of Spring, and the visual impact of Chanel's villa, and its gardens.
Now reading about the trade in ostrich feathers from South Africa to London before the great feather crash. I remember seeing ostrichs in the Karoo as a child; such grumpy looking creatures, but now I know why...

Granny takes a trip said...

Hola Justine!

I'm a student at Goldsmiths College and i was wondering if you could help me for one of my projects...

Your wonderful book, "My Mother's Wedding Dress" has inspired me to make a radio documentary called "ghost dresses" about vintage clothing and how material can hold narratives and emotions.

I was just wondering whether you could spare 5 minutes over the next couple of weeks as I would love to interview you for this project. I understand if you're busy with the new book.. I'm just about to start reading it, I can't wait..

Haf x

P.S - I also love feathers, especially when attached to birds! I recently collected lots of beautiful feathers and made a mobile of birds which I've hung above my bed.. dreamy.

Justine Picardie said...

Haf, I'd be happy to meet you. What's your email address?

Theron said...

Hi, Justine -

Just learned of your book. Will pick up copy. I wondered if you know of her friend, companion and personal photographer (house photographer from '62 - '69), Shahrokh Hatami. Would be happy to put you in touch if you are interested. He's '82 and returning to Europe in January. He has a mountain of photos of Coco, private, professional, fashion, well known clients and models, etc. You can email me at theron@sfae.com

Theron Kabrich
San Francisco

Haf said...

great! thanks Justine. My email address is: seren_haf_gibson@hotmail.co.uk.

enid said...

Oudsthoorn is the ostrich centreand has the Ostrich palaces built by those who made a fortune from the feathers when they were so popular. It is a lovely town to visit as it also has the Cango caves which are full of stalagmites and stalagtites and has the Devils Chimney to crawl through. The feathers were dyed all colurs and as a child I couldn't understand why ostriches were so grey and dull.

Justine Picardie said...

I remember going to Oudsthoorn as a child...I'd love to go back and see the feather palaces...

MarttinUttero said...

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