Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Six Degrees of Fashion

Six Degrees of Fashion
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Six Degrees of Fashion

Let them eat cake!
- Attributed to the scandalous Marie Antoinette, who purportedly uttered this infamous phrase in response to the report that the peasantry had no bread to eat—and who was ultimately led to the guillotine as punishment for her part in the royal excesses that resulted in the French Revolution.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006, (NYC) USA:

The US Census Bureau has just reported that the burgeoning population in the US hit 300 million this morning at about 7:46 AM.

Admittedly, I am guilty of abetting the alarming growth by shamelessly feeding the baby in my belly with a few-too-many chocolate-strewed French pastry cream puffs and about five glasses of Dom Pérignon last night at the book launch for Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution by Caroline Weber, with my friend and editor Stephanie Staal of Cyan Books. Caroline happens to be an Associate Professor of French at Barnard College, where Stephanie went to school.

The party was held at Christies, apparently in conjunction with the movie launch of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and the auction house's own sale of French furniture, objets d'art and Old Master Paintings from the Parisian gallery and private collection of Maurice Segoura, “one of the most respected dealers in French furniture.”

Strangely enough, all these 18th century pieces were simply out in the open while all the guests sipped champagne, and many of them sat nonchalantly on these antiquities, which were tagged at anything from $30,000 a chair to $300,000 for an auction lot.

Amazed at how risky it all seemed, I asked an employee of the house that I met that evening “How or why they were willing to put all these antiquities in peril?” She smiled and answered, without any touch of irony, "We take out a lot of insurance."

Yikes, I'd hate to be the insurer.

Anyway, the launch party was rather extravagant, lots of girls dressed in bee-hive wigs, long corseted gowns, and silk stockings. There were even a number of effete men dressed likewise in costume.

At the reception, Stephanie introduced me to a former schoolmate of hers, Damien Dave who works for The New York Times in the Metropolitan News section.

Oddly enough one of my best friends is also a graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia, and I know half a dozen other alumni or people affiliated with the school.

The stepfather of one of my own classmates, Alec McCabe, from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) also happens to be a former dean of the J-School. And his family also happens to be the original source of the play that became a movie, and now is a new television series—Six Degrees of Separation.

I wrote about them the last time I saw Alec and his wife Kirsti, also a SIPA alum, at a soiree at the Waldorf~Astoria. Click HERE to read the story, click HERE to see the photos from that evening.

As often as these run-ins occur, I still find it quite uncanny how small and intricately interconnected the world really is.

I also find it quite strange how, despite the obvious consequences of my own excesses, somehow I still find it all-too-easy to eat cake.

Sagittarius, October 24, 2002

As you enter a more unpredictable phase, your fantasy life may become rather, uh, experimental.

This'll be good -- you're sure to dream up inventive solutions to problems -- but you'll also have to guard against getting carried away.

To curb excesses, I'm providing you with help from Sagittarian cartoon character Bart Simpson.

If you start edging towards loopy intemperance in the coming weeks, repeat the following affirmations, which he has at one time or another written on his classroom's blackboard:
"I will not eat things for money. I do not have diplomatic immunity. I will not teach others to fly. Organ transplants are best left to the professionals. Underwear should be worn on the inside. I will not sell miracle cures. I will not spank others. I will not do anything bad ever again."

- Rob Brezsny, Free Will Astrology -

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