Happenings IRL

A few weeks it has been since ‘Fusion’ and in that week I have acquired things, but you will have to wait a little longer for that, and experiences I hope to cherish for a long time. Half – term holidays rewarded me with a trip of to the Bay of Naples in Italy, where the city itself isn’t as nice as you would expect but further south are contenders for the most beautiful coastline and natural formations I have ever witnessed.



A happier Hiroshi Sugimoto-esque photo

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The Amalfi coast, where I gawked at people living on sheer rock faces and gawked as we drove beside them. The coastal town seemed like the preserve of tourists, but in exploring, I chanced on a open traditional, decades old front door, and saw the most modern interior that I have seen IRL, and even higher up some steps, saw what must have been the most casual, stylish and rich retired Italian couple admiring the view they see every morning and night. I did gather some evidence that people actually live there.

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Long but surprisingly interesting activities included walking around the ruins of the city of Pompeii with the best/weirdest/most extravagant tour guide, who attracted Japanese travellers with his animated descriptions of life before 79AD and said ‘sex’ instead of ‘cheese’ to make our group smile. Up Mount Vesuvius which was good for the view, and for exercise too with a constant 30 degree-plus incline with a few shops/rest-stops on the way and through a stinky sulphur field, for the smell and not much else.

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My stomach churned at the thought of how these people must have felt in the face of imminent death

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Capri was rich: e.g. a designer shop on every corner, Giorgio Armani owns a beautiful white villa there and everything was at exorbitant prices e.g. €4.50 for a Coke. The island, with its two main touristy areas, Capritown and Anacapri, were bursting with dumbfounded visitors like me and the smug and wealthy, 10,000 or so permanent inhabitants. An interesting view was from the ‘Mamma Mia’ highway, where only a little one metre (if so much) high barrier separates the speeding coaches from a 500 foot-plus drop into the aquamarine waters below. And it was beautiful, of course.

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The Bay of Naples has the highest concentration of gelato (Gelato NOT ice-cream, which usually has digusting ice paticles in it (ugh)) shops in the world, over 100,000 I was told, where most achieve the right balance between creaminess and lightness. I went gelato mad, getting two on most days, being the self-proclaimed gelato fanatic/ice-cream snob. Oh, and the buffalo mozzarella and basil pizza was delizioso.

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I tried to taste, see, absorb as much as I could but not too much. I always want something to come back to, somewhere I know I will return to with great anticipation of what I missed out out on last time. Repeat visits are only know becoming relevant to me, as reading a book twice or revisiting Prada’s/Raf Simons’ collections ten times in succession as produced fruitful intellectual results. There was granite that I drank joyously. I will have it once more.

On Saturday I wandered around Soho, to have look around the stores to actually shop! To spend actual pounds and pence. Wardour News is the best newsagents in the entire universe, well for now it is for me as they have all the fashion titles KNOWN TO MAN, but I have to say only a few low – circulation zines. May I note that I have not been to Magma Books or Artwords, yet. After about 20 minutes contemplating the breadth of their offering, I settled on CR Fashion Book, of which felt gratifying when the owner of the shop complimented the magazine. It’s a proper book, thick with editorials, interviews, campaigns, more editorials. Kiara Kabukuru’s story is mind blowing.
Then after going to Supreme, on which I have lots more to say, and the Hideout; I returned in a mad dash to get the first issue of System, the fabled publication of exclusive interviews galore. The Nicolas Ghesquière interview is astoundingly expansive, 28 pages of it in all including pensive portraits by Juergen Teller, and an editorial of various models and close friends, young and old, wearing his designs for Balenciaga. I have to congratulate the art director on doing something new with a fashion magazine in its abundance of colourful text and continuous typographical themes. The full-bleed pages are sumptuous.

UPDATE (16/06/13): Susanna Lau of Style Bubble has kindly posted some of the most important quotes from the two Nicolas Ghesquière exposés in System and 032c.

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May I also add my discontent at President Obama agreeing to give weapons to Syrian weapons earlier today. The situation in Syria, as the UN have vehemently said in their latest report needs diplomatic intervention and not a militaristic one. A recent New Yorker article detailed the different options that he had, with the advantages and disadvantages of all. The main quote “All options are horrible” is truthful. I don’t think America has learnt their lesson since the last time they gave weapons a power in the Middle-East. Saddam Hussein used their weapons against them. In this situation, I gather that Russia is the party that is fucking everything up. They supply weapons to the Syrian regime and veto any attempt by the U.N. Security Council to stage an intervention. As Halla Diyab, a guest on tonight’s Channel 4 discussion (please skip to the video on, ‘Will America’s move to arm Syrian rebels succeed?’ as there is some polarising reportage on the page) of a conflict which threatens to engulf the whole region, said “Obama’s actions shatters all possibility of regaining stability and peace in Syria… and others will engage in the conflict,”and that “there should be more pressure from the international community to try and force Russia to stop giving more arms to Syria and to stop sources of arming the rebels… to force more negotiations.”
I agree with her wholeheartedly as I could see this war going on for years and years, engulfing the whole Middle East.

That was the last few weeks.



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