A sign in the window of the Miraloma Cleaners at 667 Portola Drive in San Francisco:
“If you are
& need an outfit
clean for an
Today, I went into the shop and said to the proprietor, “What a lovely idea. How long have you offered this?” ”We just started last week,” she answered. ”How many takers?” ”None yet,” she said, shaking her head, “but times are bad, and we have to do something for each other.”
“One day, some years back, Jean Paul Gaultier was at home, feeding his cat. As he emptied a can of cat food, he was struck by how attractive the can was, and surmised that if he cut off both the bottom and the top of it, what remained would bear an intriguing resemblance to a traditional African cuff bracelet. Not many people would have this sort of thought while feeding their pets. Even fewer would actually cut up the can, dip it in a silver bath, and use it as an accessory in a fashion collection, along with a few other previously uncelebrated kitchen items, such as mesh tea balls and steel-wool pads.”
From “Fantasyland” by Susan Orlean in the September 26, 2011 issue of The New Yorker (profiling Mr. Gaultier, “one of fashion’s most influential and inventive designers”).
“Most good designers tell us exactly who they are in their first collections, and then they stick with it. Some … prefer to refine their ideas, while others like to leave something unpolished … But, anyway, that’s what good designers — and artists and musicians — have in common. They lay it down and make sure it stays down. (Insert name) hasn’t been able to get much to stick. My guess is, he didn’t have a burning idea to start with.”
From a Cathy Horyn “Fashion Review” column in The New York Times on September 16, 2011 (giving context for her praise and criticisms of certain designers’ new collections).
Might it help increase literacy?
That’s the idea behind a student project at Florida State University called “Children’s Furniture in Support of Literacy,” overseen by two professors of interior design at that school. The project was written up in the National Catholic Reporter’s August 5, 2011 story on art and social justice initiatives at Florida State, “Beauty Brought to Life” by Judy Gross. Noting that children “love to play in cardboard boxes … students used donated refrigerator boxes to construct reading nooks for preschool children enrolled in (a program) concerned with school and reading readinesss for children from low-income families.” The children used their book-havens — which they could paint and decorate as they wanted — all year long.
“She has lost the ability to tell where other people’s ideas end and her own begin.”
From Janet Maslin’s August 3, 2011 review of Kevin Wilson’s book “The Family Fang” in The New York Times (describing how one character has become “a pawn to whoever gives her orders”).