After the Runway
Occupy Wall Street
It’s all over. Fashion Week is back in the closet until spring. As this year’s cast of models kicked off their heels and moved on with a shrug of their padded shoulders, there was at least one place where the flame of fashion still flickered: The Museum at FIT. Ivy Style, their latest exhibition, presents an entertaining panorama of college clothing, from rakish raccoon coat to basic Brooks Brothers blazer.
Every preppy should know the classic Fitzgerald line about Gatsby’s “gorgeous pink rag of a suit”; visitors to the FIT exhibit will see emblazoned on the wall a quote from his first novel, This Side of Paradise, less well known but equally unforgettable: “Is your underwear purple too?” Literature can provide the fashion addict with her fashion fix: As New York Review of Books contributor, and fervent fashion writer, Anne Hollander put it, “literature has always been the handmaiden of fashion.”
With our plaid in check, The Observer checked in with a cross-section of the city’s fashion writers and novelists to talk about the ways in which literature—that quintessentially private pursuit—collaborates, clashes and collides with the very public spectacle of fashion.
Last week we reported on the launch of Occupy Writers, a web site where hundreds of writers, including Salman Rushdie, Ann Patchett, Neil Gaiman and Alice Walker, have declared their public support for Occupy Wall Street. The site has expanded into literary content, having issued a call for participating writers to visit their local occupation and write about it: “a paragraph, a poem, a comic, a story, a vignette, anything goes.”
Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, Harper publisher Jonathan Burnham, artist Maira Kalman, author James Frey, Vogue editor Sally Singer and others gathered at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio beneath the High Line on Monday, Oct. 26, for a spelling bee to support the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and independent publishing.
“I’m so damn, Read More
The American Museum of Natural History was occupied by writers, editors, and agents on Tuesday night, April 28, for the PEN Foundation’s annual black-tie gala.
During the pre-dinner cocktail hour in the museum’s spacious rotunda, Norton editor Bob Weil said softly that he hoped the big dinosaur skeleton mounted in the middle of the room Read More
"I hope you brought tissues," said Brooke Geahan, whose Accompanied Literary Society hosted a screening of Stephen Daldry‘s The Reader at the Tribeca Grand on Monday, Nov. 24. "It’s a crier!"
Mr. Daldry’s film is an adaptation of German writer Bernhard Schlink‘s bestselling novel starring Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and 18-year-old David Kross. The Read More
Paula Spencer has already been out a while in Britain, where Roddy Doyle is a bigger deal than in America, and I’ve been reading the reviews. I got interested because the first one I saw cleverly quoted a phrase from the novel and called it “sentimental shite.” This irked me. In my view, Mr. Doyle Read More
About a year ago, in a diner on eastern Long Island, I experienced one of those moments—to which writers seem especially prone—of rapt, unseemly over-interest in the people at the next table. Beautifully dressed for leisure, sleek and thin as whippets, the young, medicated-seeming mother and her slightly older husband were the sort of parents Read More
It’s more than the weather, the August doldrums: A dark mood seems to have descended on the city. You can actually see a sort of robotic anomie on the faces of people on the streets and in the subways, where New Yorkers have learned to take the psychic temperature of their neighbors. A guy in Read More
A Changed Man, by Francine Prose. HarperCollins, 421 pages, $24.95.
“What did the blind man say the first time he touched a matzoh?”
“Who wrote this shit?”
Ba-da-bing! It’s never a bad sign when a novelist feels expansive enough to toss a couple of irreverent jokes into the mix. In the case Read More
“I keep getting e-mails from people saying, ‘I’m putting together an anthology about early menopause,’ or ‘I’m doing an anthology about miscarriage,’ or another one about interfaith relationships,” said the writer Lynn Harris, whose essay “Someone Old, Someone Blue” pops up in the recently published Sex and Sensibility: 28 True Romances from the Lives of Read More