"Life is always either a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope." -- Edith Wharton (Happy 151st Birthday!)

 (via Powell's Books)


RIP Andrée Putman, 1925-2013

andrée putman
Interior designer and "Ambassador of Style" Andrée Putman passed away yesterday at her home in Paris. From the Daily Beast's obit:
Putman would rise to become an icon of French chic. She was an "Ambassador of Style," the title of a 2010 retrospective on her work at Paris's City Hall. She cultivated close associations with the fashion world in the 1970s as artistic director of Créateurs & Industriels, a design bureau and breeding ground for talent famed for launching the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Thierry Mugler.
 From France24:
Seen by many as the Grande Dame of French design, the chic Parisienne was the subject of a retrospective at Paris city hall in 2010.
Her daughter Olivia, who now runs the Putman design studio and who curated the show, said Andree Putman "became a style ambassador in spite of herself -- she just did her own thing, she would never have claimed such a role."
 More about Putman, her life and work, at Studio Putman.


"Let everything happen to you.
Beauty and terror.
Just keep going.
No feeling is final."

~ Rainier Maria Rilke
via Lost in the Moment...


Cambridge Satchel Co.

I first heard about Cambridge Satchel Company maybe in early 2009. I saw a little blurb about them on NotCouture. I was looking for a school satchel for my daughter (who loves all things British) and thought it was perfect. I emailed the company directly to ask about the leather and how they were made, and corresponded directly with Julie Deane. She was lovely! And when she heard we were coming to London that summer, she invited us to stop at Cambridge and see the shop. (I still regret that we didn't have time.) Anyway, the bag arrived and my daughter, now a junior in college, still carries it every day. She says she's gotten a million compliments on it over the years. And the bag has held up fantastically well.

Here's a great interview with Julie at Refinery 29. She's an inspiration to me.
How would you sum up the working environment here? What kind of mood do you try to create?
"I want it to be friendly. I want the factory and office to be somewhere where people feel proud to work. We employ 84 people now, and I know them all and I know their families. That’s really important to me. At Christmas when we’re super-busy, if someone’s child is in a school play, then we make sure that they go and watch it. I created this business because I wanted things better for my own children, and I’m not going to do that at the expense of other people’s families."
My daughter's bag: the Classic Satchel in vintage brown. No embossing.
pic from cambridge satchel co.


I'll be glad

From the great Elvin Bishop.

And from Lowering the Bar (via Boingboing): One-Armed Man Arrested for Clapping. (In Belarus.)
Anyway, once it became clear that clapping was dissent, clappers were rounded up. And like all thuggish regimes this one was not too particular about who it arrested. That included Konstantin Kaplin, who said he was convicted of "applauding in public" despite fairly conclusive evidence of innocence: he's only got one arm. "The judge read out the charges [and] the police affirmed that I was applauding," said the one-armed man. "The judge looked ashamed of herself," he said, but she imposed the fine anyway.
A journalist was also quoted as saying that a mute woman had been charged with "shouting antigovernment slogans," but there was no independent confirmation of that.


Market Research

(For an upcoming possible project, I swear.)

Loeffler Randall Felix boots (pretty much perfect, and less expensive than my previously designated perfect pair)

From Makié, a wool coat and indigo top (on sale!).

...and I'm thinking one of these may be needed. My desktop doesn't travel well (don't own a laptop) and I loathe "smart" phones: