Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Poem for Wednesday, Poison Ivy, Paper Fashions

Night Blooming Jasmine
By Giovanni Pascoli
Translated by Geoffrey Brock

And in the hour when blooms unfurl
thoughts of my loved ones come to me.
      The moths of evening whirl
      around the snowball tree.

Nothing now shouts or sings;
one house only whispers, then hushes.
      Nestlings sleep beneath wings,
      like eyes beneath their lashes.

From open calyces there flows
a ripe strawberry scent, in waves.
      A lamp in the house glows.
      Grasses are born on graves.

A late bee sighs, back from its tours
and no cell vacant any more.
      The hen and her cheeping stars
      cross their threshing floor.

All through the night the flowers flare,
scent flowing and catching the wind.
      The lamp now climbs the stair,
      shines from above, is dimmed...

It's dawn: the petals, slightly worn,
close up again—each bud to brood,
      in its soft, secret urn,
      on some yet-nameless good.


I now have a prescription for my poison ivy rash -- this after a phone call from CVS to tell me that my doctor had not called them back with an alternate prescription, an angry message left by me on my doctor's machine since the office was closed fifteen minutes early for lunch, a call back to tell me that it would be better if I came to the office to pick up a discount coupon for a different new prescription because apparently every rash remedy created before three years ago is an utter failure (even though people have somehow been surviving poison ivy unscarred for, you know, thousands of years), and a wait for CVS to fill the new prescription which had to be dropped off rather than faxed in order for the discount coupon to work. I realize that I am a sucky patient for a dermatologist -- mine has an office completely focused on the beauty industry and it must be obvious to him that I am never going to pay for longer eyelashes, smoother skin, permanent armpit hair removal, etc. -- so he needs to get every cent he can from those prescriptions, but what can you do.

When I finally got home after visiting the toy store and two gift stores while waiting for CVS to fill the new prescription, Adam's girlfriend and his two friends who were here the other evening had come over. Since none of them had eaten lunch, I took them all plus Daniel to the mall, where I got frozen yogurt, they all got various sandwiches, sushi, etc., and we all met up an hour later after wandering to separate stores. I peeked at the new items in the mall's new Vera Bradley store, but I discovered that the Hallmark store was having a huge sale on retired Vera Bradley and came home with two $65-each purses for under $45 total (once I was buying the one, it only cost about $7 to get the second). So that was nice. I dropped off the friends, Adam's girlfriend stayed for dinner, and afterward we watched most of the rather boring baseball all-star game, interrupted for a couple of innings by the Roman orgy episode of Relic Hunter. Now here are three more dresses from Prêt-à-Papier at Hillwood:

Isabelle de Borchgrave's Marie Antoinette dress, based on a 1777 engraving by Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune... well as the highly stylized matching shoes...

...are made from painted pink shiny paper with colored paper embellishments to mimic the iridescent silks and decorative artifice of the era.

The Polonaise dress, created for the Prêt-à-Papier exhibition, features Chinese-style asymmetrical flowers...

...with very detailed embellishments on the sleeves and skirt tacked into side pockets.

Three Delphos dresses from the Fortuny collection show de Borchgrave's fascination with Fortuny's hand-painted fabrics and pleats.

1920s paper dresses based on originals by Poiret, Lanvin, and Redfern of London reflect de Borchgrave's sense of the optimism and independence for women encouraged by their liberation from corsets and petticoats.

In these fashions the emphasis is on oriental styles, lacquers, and embellishments rather than volumes of fabric.

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