Monthly Archives: July 2011

Taking on the World

The smell of the airport.

Leather suitcases, fresh brewed coffee, cleaning solutions,

I’m almost there.

Stand online, check for passports, board the plane and take a seat.

Here we go.

 

The Eternal City.

Feel the warm sun shining down on a bustling city as

it radiates throughout the Coliseum.

Smell the aroma of the sidewalk cafés and

taste a creamy, vanilla canoli.

I can see myself living here.

The City of Lights.

Every firefly in the world comes here

and illuminates the tower.

Like an elevator, my eyes ride up several stories,

 then down and then back up again.

Bonjour!

A language so beautiful and smooth that it sails through my ears,

 like something out of a dream.

The most romantic city in the world.

I can see myself living here.

 

 The Square Mile.

I’m willing to walk each and every inch of it.

There’s the iconic red phone booth where

Big Ben interrupts my call.

Time to go.

Singing the cheerful song, I pass the London Bridge,

heading down into the Tube.

I can see myself living here.

 

Back to the airport.

Check the schedule, wait in the terminal, board the plane,

I’m ready for take off.

Replay the scenes, relive the moments, remember the feelings.

I’ll take everything with me,

back home to the city that never sleeps.

 

Cheers,

The Duchess of New York

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A Midsummer Nightmare

    I haven’t been reading and writing as much as I have wanted to. I look at plane tickets to the UK and Europe everyday with the hopes of having the guts to click “Purchase.” I am beyond sick of applying for jobs. Even the title of my Facebook album is, “The Summer I Shouldn’t Be Having.”

    I wasn’t supposed to have a summer. I was supposed to have a real job and be miserable, longing for the chance to get to the beach and sleep late. But no. Sure I freelance, which is great, but enough is enough with the job already. I am a fuming five seconds away from writing a strongly worded email telling whoever the “Godsend” of the publishing world is that gets to say “You got the job,” to just humor me. Give me the job and I’ll prove to you I can do it. If not kick me out. But just give me one week. Or you know what, I’ll even make an appearance. I would love to march through Manhattan (in my fabulous LK Bennett nude patent sledge pumps, just like the Duchess of Cambridge has and which I am currently on the waitlist for), and demand an audience with whoever posts those damn jobs.

    But back to my summer. I’m sick of it. Yes, I am a lovely caramel color and actually look alive compared to the pale, dead-looking human that walked before you in the winter. Two weeks of summer, that’s all I need. I’m sick of the heat, the sun, the barbecues and the bugs. But more importantly, I’m sick of being unemployed. The last thing I want is to get comfortable again being stuck at home.

    Every day in the back of my mind I have this teacher complex; thinking I’ll always have summer’s off and that I’ll just be a teacher if I can’t hack it in publishing after a few years. Then I remember that I’d rather be dead than deal with the brainless, hormonally charged little imps they call teenagers these days. After that thought, I tell myself over and over again that I just need one good book. One of my books will eventually get picked up and will be sold in stores and I’ll be set from there. Yup that’s my morning.

    Speaking of books, I just finished Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. It took me forever to read, mostly because I couldn’t get in the mood and the fact that it read a little dry in the beginning. Not to mention all of the characters’ names that started with “H.” After finally closing the back cover, I felt powerfully haunted. It was an amazing book. Lengthy, because Bronte included a whole other dark and twisted love story about the next generation, but nonetheless brilliant. Possibly one of the darkest romantic novels I have ever read. Not light summer reading, I know. But as I’ve told you before, I’m not normal. I don’t read normal things.

    Completely contradicting that last statement, I am starting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. I read the first book when it originally came out and never got into it. Some of my friends are die-hard fans who know every inch of every page. Others simply enjoy it for the story. It’s British and from what I can tell, J.K. Rowling is the Shakespeare of our time. When I say Shakespeare, I mean to use the paralleled term loosely. So yes, the Harry Potter books are next on my list. No, I will not just watch the movies. Books turned into movies can be very interesting and entertaining. But the people who watch only the movies, well, they are the lazy, unimaginative idiots too dumb to play the story back in their own heads. I don’t care what any of you say, books will always win. Those who disagree and fight with me, get lumped into that lazy, unimaginative dope category I was talking about earlier.

    After re-reading this post, I realize that I am chock full of more snark and negativity than I proudly display. Big deal. If you don’t like it, don’t read. If you disagree, I don’t care. In fact, I hope those of you reading this are from the major publishing houses that refuse to give me a job. I think you’ll find I make for an interesting interview. Until then, my summer, and the rest of my time off, will continue with as much reading and writing as I can pack into it. If you find my bleak yet comical outlook on life amusing, stay tuned. If not, cheers!

– The Duchess of New York

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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

– Alexander McQueen

    On Tuesday, I returned to the MET to experience what may be the most profound exhibit that New York City’s historic museum has to offer. “Romantically astounding” are the two words that best describe the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty costume collection.

    I won’t go too into detail about the exhibit because it is truly something that must be experienced in person. Although they are my forte, words do not, and cannot do McQueen justice.

    The collection is raw, ethereal, romantic gothic, and breath-taking. Compiled of McQueen’s earliest pieces from his postgraduate MA collection up until his more recent designs before his death, visitors walk through an enlarged concrete closet of wool coats, blazers, tailored pants, full and fitted skirts, over the top dresses and other outlandish creations. Exaggerated silhouettes of the late 1800s scream what the world has come to know as “A McQueen.”

    The environment itself reads McQueen as well. Dimly lit rooms, old-fashioned mirrors tainted with smoke and dust and various earthly elements such as wind and water add the perfect finishing touch. The rooms are very linear, so when visiting, take caution to follow the designs as best you can so you don’t miss a single one.

    As a designer, McQueen epitomizes the romantic era. His dark, daring and ingenious approach to fashion instantly made McQueen a fashion icon to be reckoned with. Known as a designer with no filter; especially when it came to verbally expressing his views and his clothes, he dared to walk where other designers feared to tread.  McQueen had the power to enter your subconscious through fashion. His designs were hauntingly beautiful and reflected themes of Life/Death, Predator/Prey, Good/Evil etc. Some were very classic and wearable and could easily be seen at the Oscars. Others, not so much. Unthinkable, yet awe-inspiring creations constructed of large, dyed ostrich feathers, razorback clam shells, and full-length horsehair also filled the rooms.

    The exhibit also featured shoes, elaborate headpieces (some courtesy of British hat designer Philip Treacy), and unrealistic looking accessories that made you do a double take. Various rooms projected McQueen’s runway shows on large plasma screen televisions, echoed by screams and macabre music in the background. The “hoof” shoes as seen on avid McQueen lover Lady Gaga, were also in the collection. They actually look easier to walk in than originally anticipated. Think, ballet toe shoes taken to the extreme. Other shoes and boots were very well crafted; inlaid with gold filigree at the heels and toe.

    Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. The name of the exhibit could not better suit what waits for visitors behind the velvet rope. I don’t think McQueen was as drastically different as people make him out to be. He just did what other designers were too afraid to do; be unconventional and say “to hell with everyone.” Based on the names of his collections and his personality, described in quotes throughout the rooms, I believe I could have been best friends with him. A revival of the dark and gothic era of Romanticism is what melts my heart, especially where literature, art and fashion is concerned.

    I have said it before and I’ll say it again. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is without a doubt the most creative, liberating, and effective collection of costumes the MET has showcased in a while. You have until August 7th before you burden yourself with what may possibly be, your biggest regret of the summer.

 

Cheers,

The Duchess of New York

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