I promised myself when the summer began that I would get back into fighting form after a 2 year hiatus from life or the life I used to lead. It started with signing on with a trainer at the gym, yes that gym. I'd been a member for a while but never really went. So as of May 1st I started going 3 days a week, first thing in the morning, to workout with Brad. On the weekend I joined Anton on what used to be his run. Each weekend we'd go out on Saturday and/or Sunday and run through the woods and along a couple of roads before returning to the woods finding our way back home. It began, like the standing date with Brad, as a chore. I dreaded it and would approach it the same way I did anything I hated: first anger, then procrastination then grudging acceptance. What I found was that though my mind abhorred every single step, lunge or squat, my body actually liked it. I came to understand that I wouldn't really feel good or feel like me without the exercise. So I gave myself up to it.
This weekend I'm home alone. Anton's in Germany for his mother's 90th birthday celebration and I'm here doing solitary things. The one given each day has been the run. Without him to push me I thought I'd just sit it out and say I did it if anyone asked. Its so interesting because I see it all so differently on my own. I took some pictures along the route to share with you. I wish we all could do it together. Imagine the conversation? Anton keeps suggesting that I arrange a dinner and invite any of you who might be around and interested to meet. It feels like we've been having one these last 3 years and I'm frankly very curious to meet some of you. No one is more surprised than me that there are so many others out there who share similar views on this world. Perhaps, I'll screw up my courage and plan dinner. I'm not clear on my fear of it, perhaps only that no one would show up or just some people I've pissed off would come and berate me. Oh well, they're invited, too.
Running gives me a clear and open mind. My thoughts reel from what to eat when I get back to the coming collections and my curiosity is mixed with ambivalence. Reading the paper this morning (in Paul Smith signature multi-color striped boxers and matching terry cloth bathrobe) I was non-plussed with the article on the destruction of the Halston brand. Its like a game of 3 card Monty with a pack of overpaid, under appreciated and unqualified shills. It has had so little to do with design since Bradley Bayou, Piyawat Pattanapuckdee and Craig Natiello diddled it to death. (There were some high points with a shred of hope but management took swift measures to kill even those.) I'm not going to bore you with more discussion on this dead horse of a topic but the tenures of Harvey Weinstein, SJParker, the Choo shoe lady, Rachel Zoe with her 50 vintage Halston pieces and deluded mind are all way past the 15 minute limit. Since when did personal style or a stylist's badge constitute design ability? Not even Jacqueline de Ribes could pull off an original idea without copying something in her closet. It's over. Put the gun down and walk away.
Coming through a thicket that's a camp ground for the deer I was thinking about what the press considers news. I can never be sure if what they're not saying is more important than the pith they do write. Personally, I could care less what the menu is at Chado Ralph Rucci for his team. I would hazard to guess that many of you are equally uninterested. What I do want to know is what he has up his articulated sleeve for this coming Spring. I'm curious as to why he's moved his show from his loft in Soho to the tents at Lincoln Center. I also want to know what astral plane he's surfing that will certainly exceed the RED fever dream of his collection of last season. A white jacket is mentioned with trapunto swirls. Could this be his color for Spring?
This run is like a cross country course for horse and rider minus the big jumps. Since Irene blew through here last week there are lots of fallen trees creating natural obstacles along the route. Its exciting and gives me a thrill. I have to climb under, tear through and jump over things that weren't there before. It reminds me of Three Day eventing competitions I watched as a kid in my hometown in Massachusetts. Horses and riders went over the most grueling courses. I'd tuck myself into the woods by the most forbidding fences to listen as they thundered their way through the forest. The jump judge would yell,"Horse on course" and we'd all have to stay still and quiet so as not to disturb or distract the pair. Then up and over fence they'd bound. These obstacles were huge and solid. The legs of many of the horses were coated in Crisco so they'd slide over the barriers in the event they rubbed them. These men and women played for keeps. They either made it or they didn't. My route through the woods is similar only I run it without a horse. Just my thoughts.
Proenza Schouler has come a long way since their days nursing at the tit of Mother Vogue. The clothes are interesting and beautifully made. Their voice is becoming clearer and starts to have its own particular ring. Still, when I come upon them in a story sharing space with Ralph Rucci I can't help but notice the disparity between the two. Their recent news with regards their partnership with Andrew Rosen and their visit to Congress to plead the case of the counterfeit laws is all just so much filler. Why not just work? Why say things that give people the impression that you're immature, irresponsible and self serving? Why draw attention to yourself with wildly inflated numbers? Spending "$3million per season on development" for a company of their size is pure fantasy. Perhaps, mother's milk was tainted as I've long believed. Their discussion with The Times regarding late fabric deliveries and the dispatch of an Intern to fetch it in Italy brought to mind the fate of the Intern in today's world. They have become the equivalent of the crack whore trainee; the lowest position in fashion. I'm sure they learn lots but I wonder how much of these lessons help keep the flame of ambition alive. Sending an Intern to fetch a package in Italy sounds glamorous until you factor in that they fly coach, get little food or rest, never leave the airport on the other end and turn around with the parcel only to repeat the process. Where's the glamour in that? How about ordering your fabric in a timely manner and put the money to some better use? The smug tone of their exchange was telling. It's a "let them eat cake" attitude that is poisoning the well. Interns are the new slaves. If Interns got together and struck today, most of the over bloated schedule for this coming week of shows would disappear like a bad dream.
The final leg of my run is through a path with vegetation that grows like an arch over head. The sun barely breaks through and deer and turkeys rustle through the undergrowth on either side. Its been about 45 minutes and I've covered about 4 1/2 miles. The way is so deceptive with its changing landscape and hills mixed with flat stretches. The constant change keeps me interested and engaged. Taking a walk break is as satisfying as running along with so many beautiful things to look at. The approach back towards the house is like a gift. I can come up the back way and through a large gate to the back acre and the pool. Nothing is sweeter than taking off my shorts, t-shirt, shoes and hat to dive into a cool quiet pool. What felt like a chore is now an accomplishment. If I choose to do nothing else today, I've done the most important thing. My blood is pumping, my mind is active and I feel light and alive. I don't even feel lonely like I did when I woke up. The day is mine.
On the Street…Via San Paolo, Milan
7 hours ago