CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/1/2020
This edition of our social distancing activity booklist is an ode to all things glamorous, impractical and native to the imaginary escape-hatch of the night. For many of us, the last two weeks of social distancing have been the hardest. Cooking at home has lost much of its charm, as have the natural look, sweatpants and parenting. So we're breaking away from defensive pragmatism and finding inspiration in the avant-garde (yet DIY-patterned) designs of "America's First Couturier" Charles James; the weirdly interesting hairstyle trends of 70s, 80s and 90s Switzerland; and an energizing 90s playlist from Waltpaper's New York: Club Kids days. Click here to listen while you dream, preen and play!
DREAM: Fancy yourself a couturier? Make a Charles James Möbius Strip Scarf.
You may not be able to meet friends for lunch, a drink or a night on the town, but you can always dress for intrigue and variety—even in a pandemic. Witness Charles James's 1929 pattern for the elegant silk accessory known as the Möbius Strip Scarf. A Möbius strip is a surface with only one boundary. It has the mathematical property of being non-orientable: it is an endless, twisted tube. The original Möbius Strip Scarf was created and sold in pairs of contrasting colors. When entwined, they could be worn as a headpiece, neck scarf, sham, waistcoat or belt, depending on the size.
Also included in this beautifully designed 398-page history of the man who inspired Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread are chapters on the Eiderdown Jacket (which Salvador Dalí called "the first Soft Sculpture"); life at the Chelsea Hotel; and a facsimile of James's handmade 1973 engineering guidebook, The Charles James Approach to Structural Design. The book also contains a wealth of original designs with how-to instructions, as well as patterns and directions for draping shoulders, creating armholes, making pants, and reshaping the silhouette. For the craftiest among us, it also includes detailed, illustrated instructions for making your own dress form, based on James's classic "Jennies."
Charles James: The Couture Secrets of Shape is published by Spector Books.
PREEN: Need a lift? Five-Finger-Fluff up that hair.
A new coif is a new lease on life. Awaken the New Wave beautician in you!
A collection of slick, vaseline-lensed promotional photographs produced for bougie Zürich hair salons from the 1970s through the 1990s, this book has the potential to keep you, your mirror and your iPhone occupied for hours, if not days. Grab your brush, your hot rollers, blow drier and hairspray, and channel your inner ice queen. Or dancing queen. Or drag queen. All are welcome here.
Peter Gaechter & Bettina Clahsen: Fünf Finger Föhn Frisur is published by Edition Patrick Frey.
PLAY: Want to play dress-up? Raid the closet, press play and come on out!
In the 1990s, Waltpaper (aka Walt Cassidy) and friends roamed the clubs of NYC, a liberated army of the after-hours. Time-travel back to the last subculture of the analog world with this Techno Warriors playlist by Cassidy, mixed by Juliana Huxtable. Tracks are by Age of Love, Phantasia, Joey Beltram, D.H.S, Jaydee, Armand Van Helden, Human Resource, Apotheosis, Cajmere, Frankie Bones, MC Kinky and N.R.G. Be sure to listen from the top to hear Ricki Lee Jones and Levar Burton's poetic discussion of what the skies were like when she was young.
New York: Club Kids is published by Damiani.
Pbk, 8.75 x 11.5 in. / 398 pgs / 406 color / 63 b&w.
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