Saturday, December 15, 2012

Quaker Grey... and Silver!

I just learned that the "knock off" Art Deco flatware set I bought for $80, is the real deal, silver-plate, from 1940.

"The Presence in the Midst": a well-known image of Quaker worship
Having spent a great deal of my life in the Pacific Northwest (henceforth known as the Pacific Southwest because I’m Canadian), I’ve come to really appreciate grey. It rains a lot here in the autumn, winter, and spring. When it’s not raining, it’s overcast. A good day is when the clouds lift enough to become bright grey, almost white. A bad day is when it’s hard to differentiate between night and day. In Jack Hodgins’ novel The Invention of the World, someone says that the Pacific Southwest in the winter has only three colours: grey, green, and blue. Really, these are all variations on grey. (Except for emerald. The ground is also always emerald but I’ll save that for another post.)

So I’ve come to appreciate grey: pearly grey, silver grey, dark slate grey, smudgy dark blue grey… You get the idea.

I was also raised as a Quaker, a Christian sect that traditionally mandated a very simple dress code, not unlike the Amish, in which all colour was banned and Quaker Grey was a must.
So, here, an ode to winter in my beloved part of the world: Quaker Grey… and silver.

I got this cloche hat at the Barefoot Contessa, and I'm actually posing in the shop's window, which reads "Love of Beauty". I love this cloche because it makes me feel like I'm a sophisticate from the 1920s; I put a vintage Art Deco dress clip on it to add authenticity. The Deco diamond solitaire was my grandmother's. Beau wears a ring I bought for him that has little dragons on it, like protector dragons.

The raincoat is London Fog.

I'd been admiring the silver-haired woman from across a cafe and asked if I could take her photo. Her much younger partner told her she should let her hair down and she proudly did so, giving it a shake and revealing the most splendid silver hair I think I've ever seen. It goes perfectly with her grey sweater and the silvery handbag she had on her chair. Do also note her black manicure.

I think this dress looks kind of 1960s Mod via the early 1990s. Thus, I wear the swirly, brooch with it. I actually found this dress in the alley outside my building. I live in a poor part of town where it is simply polite to place one's good "trash" beside the dumpster so people can come and pick through it. It would simply be rude to put good garbage in the dumpster. I got the bracelet from a trans-woman who was selling jewelry on the street but gave this to me free because she decided I must have it.

The beauty of the woman in the black hat needs no explanation. What you can't see is her partner gazing at her with complete admiration while I take the photo. He was not surprised when I asked to take her picture. It was not the first time this had happened to her.

Earrings: Reitmans (!). Cat: Houdini, my lazy neighbour cat.
This pose makes me feel all 1915 Gibson Girl.

Here you see a rare sunny day, with the cool slanting sun of winter in the north. I'm wearing a Birks ring, and a little coloured ring that I bought myself as a present when I'd had my college teaching job for a year. I've yet to wear the vintage orchid brooch, which I think looks incredibly and unabashedly erotic.

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