Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recycling....and a Troublesome Camera

Today I spied not one, not two, but three vivid blue shirts. I was all set to photograph the third one--worn by a dashing young man driving a saucy BMW two-seater, no less--when my camera simply refused to cooperate.

Later, while tooling about in my somewhat less saucy sedan, I heard a radio advertisement for Runaway Runway, the fashion show that recycles ordinary trash into extraordinary ensembles. As the woman on the advertisement described a dress made of Crown Royal bags, I recalled that I had a photograph of that precise outfit.

And so, here it is...and here's hoping my camera doesn't wind up in the recycling bin.

Friday, March 26, 2010

May....in Memphis

The outlook at the Memphis airport was not particularly hopeful, but it was my great delight to discover May at the gate. What had brought my lovely friend from Camden, South Carolina, to Memphis, Tennessee? I'm still not entirely sure...something about needing her carpets steam cleaned and heading to Beale Street while her husband stayed home and managed those muggy details. Despite the torrents of rain outside, she'd arrived looking quite spiffy. Her skirt, she told me, was made for her by the clever Frenchie Bunch of Frenchie Skirts.
As you might have noticed, I frequently despair about the state of travel wardrobes. There seemed this once, however, to be no shortage of well-dressed, jovial people waiting out the storm. This gentleman told me he got his topcoat in New York.
And look at this handsome fellow. I interrupted his feverish typing to praise his tortoise shell glasses. "Modern" eyeglass frames were invented in 1727 by a British optician named Edward Scarlett, a bit of history I was happy to share with this man. I do believe he was grateful to be so enlightened. (Alas, not everyone welcomes an old anthropologist's ready supply of fascinating facts.)

Indeed, the entire evening might have been perfect save two things: the delay of my flight and the 25% tax the Memphis airport places on spirits. I may at last understand the American revolutionary's cry: "No taxation upon my libations!" (I do have your history correct, yes?)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Delta Lyn....Olive Branch

Dear reader, I had set out for Olive Branch, Mississippi. But when I saw this gentleman, I feared I'd made a wrong turn. Was this, in fact, Olive, Texas? Ms. Delta Lyn, a friendly local, set me straight. "This is a Texas steakhouse, hon, but you are dang sure in Olive Branch, em-ess," she said, or something to that effect. Fearing that I was disappointed by this news, she then offered to strike a "Texas" pose for me....
What brings me to Olive Branch, you may not be wondering. I shall tell you nevertheless. I am here to address the local gentlemen's club. My lecture is entitled From fig leaf to olive branch: modesty and mayhem à la mode. I was just explaining this to my new acquaintance outside this popular restaurant when the hostess beckoned me to my table. A lucky break, I suspect. Otherwise I fear Ms. D.L. might have spun up a bit more immodest mayhem than my poor old ticker could endure!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lorie....Saluda

Lorie: What ARE you doing?
LM: Why taking your photograph, dear, so that I might update my blog.
Lorie: Oh no, I look much too conservative today.
LM: I beg to differ. I rather like the jaunty spectator pumps. And that flyaway ribbon, quite suggestive, no?
Lorie: No!
LM (musing to himself): Perhaps she still bears a grudge over this post....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Harriet....Camden

Despite my attempts at witty banter, Harriet was much more interested in the sporty convertible parked nearby. She suggested we take a closer look.
I went along, intent upon photographing her jacket. I rather like it when women's clothing borrows patterns from scarves. Perhaps that's because I have an excessive fondness for scarves themselves--simple squares of fabric, yes, but with patterns mesmerizing as any fine painting. And their infinite adaptability somehow makes me think a woman sporting a scarf is ready for any adventure: "Shall I convert this into a stylish turban/mask/bikini/cocktail dress, Lord Maxwell, commandeer a ragtop, and save the day?" Indeed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reid....Springdale Hall

I'm accustomed to seeing my chum Reid in breeks and socks, but this was a new combination. I don't know how well you can make it out: the wide wale corduroy trousers are short like his knickers but not gathered and banded at the knee. He paired these with jaunty boots, not quite western cowboy boots but with more of an Argentine flair. I failed to ask him about their origins--but will.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Barbara....Green and Silver

Is it me? Or does green appear to be the colour of the moment? I like the easy way Barbara pairs a simple, soft green t-shirt with this brown cardigan--very un-leprechauny, to use the scientific fashion anthropology term. But my favourite element was this terrific belt.
I like the ornate buckle and metal details. Did she find this, perchance, in Texas? No, Barbara told me she found it at Anne's on King Street in Charleston.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kudzu Queens....Old Shandon

I was strolling along Maple Street when I heard the sweetest "yoo hoo." I looked about, spied these lovely ladies, and made a beeline to investigate. "Surely you aren't dressed this way to do your gardening," I ventured.
"No, silly man. We're kudzu queens," this fetching creature retorted. I squinted and blinked. Could it be? Why yes, it was none other than my chic friend Harriett Green. She explained that this band of free spirited women was headed to appear in the neighborhood St. Patrick's parade.
Some were already warming up for the performance, waving to passersby. I know from experience (perhaps a story for another time) that there's nothing like a big wig and feather boa to loosen one's inhibitions. Cheers to the kudzu queen on the right (in the photo above) who wouldn't let a few broken bones slow her down.
They gathered for a group shot before dashing off. And now I should dash if I hope to catch the start of this parade.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rob....Out West

I met this gentleman on my recent journey West (and I don't mean West Columbia). When I exclaimed over his ensemble, Rob told me that this is his everyday attire. He's a quite serious member of the South Dakota Buckaroos. His hat is in the traditional South Dakota cowboy mode, the boots custom made for him by Olathe.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Iditarod....A Day at the Races

I rather know what to expect, style-wise, from the Carolina Cup or the Kentucky Derby. I wondered how people might dress for the Iditarod in chilly Alaska. Would they, as I had, wear everything they owned in order to keep warm?
No, it seems that cold-weather race days can be as stylish as spring horse events. And hats were very big (and popular) here too....
Thinking this man was being attacked by a rabid three-tailed lynx, I tried to wrestle his hat from his head. I fear he did not appreciate my Good Samaritan efforts. Fur was popular and not just for hats....
I saw a number of traditional Eskimo parkas....so much lovelier, I think, than puffy plastic coats. This one, in the photograph below, had elaborate pleats over a fur underskirt and a collar that looked like bear paws....
My new acquaintance, native Alaskan Louise Crow, tells me that Eskimos know better than nearly anyone how to stay warm in extreme cold and that the rest of us can learn from Inuit clothing.
As for the younger set, it seemed mittens and snowsuits were the order of the day....
These little mushers in training were adorable tykes. Look at them go.

I later heard that Alaska's mavericky ex-governor was among the race fans. Though I did not see her, I now have a newfound respect for her ability to look attractive in this harsh environment. How does she avoid hat-head? A permanent red nose? Why does she look trim in her coat while I cut a figure that resembles the Michelin Man's? I'd very much like to know.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Man in the Red Suit....Alaska

Perhaps one should expect to encounter gentlemen such as this when one travels nearer to the North Pole. I am in Alaska for a project and missing out, I understand, on some lovely weather in South Carolina. As soon as my old fingers thaw a bit more, I'll post some photographs from my expedition to the starting line of the Iditarod--which I must say, is quite the fashion frontier!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

D.R.....Frame of Mind

I ventured over to the eyeglass boutique, Frame of Mind, to see a bit of art on exhibit and discovered that one of the artists, handsome David Ross Granger, was quite the picture of style. I suppose one should expect it, since fashion is his family business. Of course, I was delighted by this outfit--but the young man's gentle good manners impressed me even more. At first, I wondered if the pinstripes were enhancing the illusion of height....but as I backed up nearly to Sumter in order to capture him head to toe, I realized....that height was no illusion at all.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

An Expressive Jacket....On the Bridge

From a distance, it appeared that this young person's jacket was winking at me. Winking at me? Impossible! Time to lay off the old-fashioneds, old bean.

But as I approached, I realized that this rather amusing design gave just that impression. With every move of the wearer, the giant cartoon face--an M&M candy, I'm told--changed expression.

Why he almost seems apologetic here, as if he knew he'd been mocking me. Fascinating!