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Baileys to like

13 Jul

Baileys to like

Sometimes for work I get to go to events. Today I was looking forward to interviewing Christopher Bailey, the creative director of Burberry. I like how the English say it: Buhr-burr-y. And I like the classic simplicity of their trenchcoats, though I will probably never own one because A) they’re too expensive for my budget; and B) without fail, if I am wearing something remotely expensive, I will spill food on it.

So anyway, Christopher Bailey. Some fashion designers are just as awful as the stereotypical caricature of a fashion designer; they are mean, snobby, exclusionary. Christopher was the opposite: warm, charming, genuine, looks people in the eye and listens. Smart, thoughtful, humble. I liked him immediately. (more…)

Five (very) random musings

10 Jul

Five (very) random musings

1. There’s a lot to love about San Francisco, but its summer is not one of them. “This is bullshit,” I keep thinking as the gray sky weighs the city down. It’s JULY. I should sweat when I go outside! I live in the warmer part of the city, and still I wore a hooded sweatshirt while running errands today. In all fairness, my body is perpetually cold, but still. I miss Midwest and East Coast summers and the feeling of limitless possibility within them. (more…)

In a minute

22 Jun

In a minute

The other night, I was waiting for the cable car at Powell. About 15 tourists were ahead of me in line. The wait wasn’t bad, mostly because a man sang Otis Redding songs for change while we waited. The woman in front of me was watching a squirming toddler; she might have been a neighbor or nanny, but she definitely wasn’t the boy’s mother. (OK, maybe she could have been, but very few sixty-something Asian women are adopting Nordic-looking babies these days.)

The rascal was whipping around in joyful little circles, darting in and out of line. If I’d pulled that sort of rowdy behavior at his age, Betty would have doled out a warning, and I would have stopped. This is not what happened. The woman seemed only vaguely engaged in watching him, and when she asked the boy to stop, he ignored her. See, this is why you don’t plead with toddlers to do something; they need to understand that there’s a right way to behave, and part of that involves being a loving dictatorial type when it comes to teaching social norms. It rankles me when I hear adults defer to someone who’s yet to master the art of using a toilet. I’m all for respecting children as individuals, but there’s a reason toddlers need caretakers, you know? (more…)

We’re your arch-nemesises-ses

9 May

We’re your arch-nemesises-ses

So I have an enemy, and he is often at the coffee shop. He’s insufferable, but I’m glad he exists because it’s fun to pretend that we have an ongoing rivalry. This dude, who is cleverly referred to as “my nemesis,” is the Mr. Corduroy of 2010.

Here is why he is my nemesis. Maybe a year ago, we were seated next to each other. I was writing something while he was holding a book in a way that suggested he wanted everyone to see the title. He struck up conversation and was leering a little bit, but he was intelligent and I’m trying to not be a harpy to strangers. So we talked. (more…)

Morning Doonan night

5 May

Morning Doonan night

Whenever you see a dapper man on the train, there’s a 50/50 chance that he works at Barneys. San Francisco lads generally dress casually, so when I saw two stylish men board the train at Powell, I assumed they got the Barneys employee discount.

I kept my eye on the one in the suit, mostly because he was standing in front of me and his belt was eye level. (Awkward.) The suit wasn’t by Hedi Slimane*, but it was clearly influenced by him: slim trousers and a matching jacket done up in a subtle gray-on-gray pattern, with a crisp white button-front shirt and a black bow tie. Mr. Suit had rowdy freckles swirled around his face, and a studied scruffy beard. He and his colleague were talking about work, and it took only a minute or two for my employment assumption to be proven correct. (The colleague had been written up for some sort of retailing faux pas.)

Mr. Suit was talking about his style icons, and he was playing it cool at first. Then he started gushing about Sean Young, and it was all over. “I mean, she’s the ultimate nerdy gay boy fantasy,” he said gleefully before rushing into a detailed filmography replete with trivia. His friend smiled politely, but one suspected that he had never seen Dune, much less the sci-fi dork rambling on about cyborg this and Blade Runner that. He couldn’t have been more enthusiastically geeky. For a moment, I glimpsed the little boy hiding inside a $1500 suit, and he made me happy.

*(Did you know that The Jam is one of Hedi Slimane’s favorite bands? It’s true.)