Saturday, December 31, 2011

ho hO HO!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and Happy Thanksgiving for that matter. It's been a slow month (or 6) for fashion and I've busied myself doing almost nothing more than passing the days reading, eating and sleeping with a bit of a jog tossed into the mix. The spate of holidays this time around has been very different. The shopping and partying experience was decidedly tame. It was so hard to get rolling and then when I did it seemed so forced. Not much seemed worth paying the big bucks for and the crowds that jammed the sidewalks took even more of the thrill out of the hunt. My mother announced that she wasn't feeling it and was just sending cards with money to my sisters and would pass on the tree. My father's absence was so profoundly felt that none of us could quite rise to the occasion. I went home to Massachusetts to play Santa, a complete role reversal as my mother was the best and busiest Santa since I could remember. I put up the tree, decorated it, went to the mall and shopped for her. I'm not handy or clever with anything technological but found my way setting up new TV's for her with HD cable boxes and DVD players in her bedroom and den. The best idea of all was to buy tons of frames and put pictures of the family and my parents throughout the house. I realized the best gift I could give was the gift of all of our images for her to look upon wherever and whenever she wanted. It was hard to go through the drawers and boxes to find them and decide which ones to mount. So many memories came rushing back. The family we used to have and the traditions we used to celebrate have become memories. I kept busy and kept it together just long enough to complete my mission before returning to the city on Christmas day. The next day I came here to Berlin to meet Anton and relax. Sin city is not exactly relaxing but it sure has been interesting. Culture, history and self indulgent pleasures have filled our days and nights. Fashion has been the one thing that's not particularly apparent or important. This is a city of practical people. There's a confidence that seems to transcend the need to preen. Good food, surprisingly good manners and warmth are the order of the day and night no matter how seedy the venue....People actually appear to still be engaged with one another and not entranced by their smartphones. How last century, but so charming. Hitting every museum in town is a great way to spend a vacation. Stopping for a coffee 2 or 3 times a day and just watching people in cafes is my kind of fun. I took a tour of Berlin's underground world of air raid shelters. That was a huge wake up call. When I compare the gravity of what and how people suffered I feel less broken up over Carine Roitfeld and Emmanuelle Alt's broken friendship. Anna Wintour's lonely reign and the questions of who will carry the torch at Dior or who if anyone will succeed the Kaiser at Chanel all pale in comparison. Don't get me wrong. I still care I just don't care that much. Ralph Rucci's new Autobiography, a most sumptuous coffee table book is a delicious treasure worth the small fortune to take home. I'll be back in a few days and will try harder to pick up where I left off. Have a great New Year and if it feels good, don't wait. Do it!