PROSE. From the Journals of a Muse by Jeremiah Matthews Part IV

Once Shel’s words had time to fall upon my head and soak into my brain, the hunt for Flo was on. I assumed she would be at her desk preparing for this all-important meeting, but her empty chair readjusted my compass. She wasn’t making rounds with new Assignments or throwing her flirt at the new intern (but I did notice that dimple and a half on his face that she’d be talking about for weeks).

I found her down at the Punching Bag, our piano bar and mess hall that sat one floor above ours. I admit sometimes we toot away on those Muse horns of ours, but I must toot about the Punching Bag—building a soundproof room in the back of the bar in which a punching bag dangled from the ceiling was truly, well, inspired. The Bag was open to all, regardless of motivation. Yes, even Muses need to punch and scream and kick…as long as our frustrations remain silent.

Flo was sitting at the piano, swaying as Davis played and sang “Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home.” The Bag was empty aside from the two of them and Rose, who was reading behind the bar. As I slid onto the second piano stool, Flo shifted a little and looked over at the wall in the opposite direction. “She told me there was nothing to prep,” she sighed, sensing my curiosity and confusion as to why she was there. I glanced at Davis with the hope of a comforting second or two, but all he could do was sing:

“There’s a voice in the lonesome wind that keeps whispering ‘roam.’ I’m goin’ where the welcome mat is, no matter where that is.”

I stared at the back of Flo’s head and muttered, “So if I asked you what was going on, would you tell me, or do I need to fill that tray with drinks first?” She glanced at me sideways and handed me the tray that was sitting on the piano top. I went to the bar where Rose had already put her book down and started to fix three Honey Mints, a Muse favorite of peppermint tea and honey. A mug filled with half of each tickled us beyond the lightest shade of pink.

“Give that third to Davis, would ya, hon,” Rose asked me, putting the mugs onto the tray.  “He’s been on this Garland kick for awhile, and his throat’s gotta be close to raw by now.” I smiled at her and nodded as I headed back towards the piano. “He’s, he’s gonna sing ‘em all, and we’ll stay all night,” Rose’s voice winked at me as I walked away.  Either she was complaining or looking forward to it; probably both, knowing her.

“I pick up too when the spirit moves me,” sang Davis as I got back to piano. I put the mugs on their coasters and sat down.  Flo took two sips as she sang the next line along with Davis, “Sweetin’ water, cherry wine. Thank you kindly suits me fine,” and exhaled slowly, nodding her head for no apparent reason. “Okay, I don’t know too much, but it seems like that problem in the Artist world that you all’ve been trying to ignore is getting bigger.”

The bulb that had been swinging in my mind all day started to flicker.  I’d seen this coming for awhile, but yes I had aimed for the “ignore it and it will go away” philosophy that, over the years, I had encouraged so many to avoid.

As my career in this Business slowly began to blossom, the Boss would call me to her office to go over upcoming Assignments. That evolved into my staying late and sitting with her on the office floor, designing and outlining potential Assignments for the Narrative Department. As Taffy purred on the Boss’s lap and Fanny on mine, we’d talk about reorganizing the Motif Index or combining chapters of the Tale Type Index to create a new type, that sort of thing. Decisions in this Business weren’t made in meetings, at least not for Narrative; they were made on the floor of that office with two cats purring, stacks of papers threatening to fall over, and empty bottles of Yoo Hoo and Dr. Pepper swirling between us.

If that hamburger phone of hers ever rang, the Boss would just ignore it…if she even heard it at all. Flo would pop in every now and then to yank us out of a dry brainstorm, usually with a one-liner of perfection that was far too obvious for us to see. One night, I was on the couch with Fanny sitting above my shoulder and my own growing stack of papers. Flo came in and grabbed the burger off the Boss’s desk, all but throwing it to her on the floor where she was sitting.

“It’s upstairs,” Flo said, one eye in my direction. Something both in her voice and eye told me to stand up leisurely and pretend to fetch something that I absolutely could not be without at that moment. It was pure instinct at the time, and I really didn’t give it a second or third thought. I had little, if anything, to do with “Upstairs,” and that two-way street remained motionless on both sides. As the number of late phone calls to the Boss increased as our late night sessions become fewer, I stuck blazingly to slaying the inevitable dragon by ignoring it.

Until now.

“Bottom line, if you want it,” Flo said, returning to the piano with another tray of Honey Mints, “the demand in the Artist world has been pulling a downwards gopher for too long. If the days of the Muse are numbered, they’re numbered in single digits.”

There it was. Unfortunate and Unamusing Truth. Just how un-Musing it was going to be, neither of us knew.

“Any place I hang my hat…”

I ran out before Davis could finish.

Jeremiah Matthews’ Past Works:
From the Journals of a Muse Part III
From the Journals of a Muse Part II
From the Journals of a Muse Part I

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MUSICAL CHAIRS. Lovely Lady Punks. Playlist for 17 February 2010

Today’s playlist entitled, Lovely Lady Punks, is a tribute to the early ladies of punk rock, and includes a selection of songs with themes characteristic of the punk rock movement: mischief, angst, sexism, ostracism, and assimilation.

FEATURED PLAYLIST: Lovely Lady Punks. Playlist for 17 Feb. 2010

1.   *Typical Girls – The Slits

2.   *X Offender – Blondie

3.   *Helter Skelter – Siouxsie & The Banshees

4.   *48 Crash – Suzi Quatro

5.     New York New York – Nina Hagen

6.   *Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

7.   *Wax – 45 Grave

8.   *We’re Desperate – X

9.   *Babelogue – Patti Smith

10. *Identity – X-Ray Spex

*Available on iTunes

Musical Chairs’ Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Music Page
Musical Chairs’ Video Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Video Page
Musical Chairs’ Downloads: DJ Ts’ A Disco Gift to You. Playlist for 8 December 2009, DJ Gobi’s Best of 2009 Mixtape. Playlist for 28 December 2009

Enjoy!

Musical Chairs is a collection of weekly playlists created by selected artists, DJs, and musicians for LITTLE MAGAZINE. For guest DJ inquires, please send M.LittleMagazine@gmail.com a description of yourself, including a bio and musical tastes.

MODUS OPERANDI. Alexander McQueen

This Modus Operandi post is dedicated to Lee Alexander McQueen, who tragically took his own life yesterday. The designer, discovered by his close friend, the late iconic stylist, Isabella Blow, and better known professionally as Alexander McQueen, has always been one of the most fascinating talents in fashion. I still remember the French press referring to McQueen as the “enfant terrible” after being named head designer of Givenchy Haute Couture back in 1996, when I was still a teen.

Quintessentially gothic, what I admire most about McQueen is his ability to channel his dark genius into absolutely beautiful and stunning art that is neither contrived nor cliche. However sadly, it was this macabre energy that consumed him in the end. The following are a few of my favorite Alexander McQueen designs of all time, accompanied by some of his more candid quotes.

“I kind of like it the way it is right now…I believe in that one-on-one sell. I don’t really believe in flooding the market with loads of goods that don’t mean much, and (you) lose your identity.”


Alexander McQueen Fall 2009 RTW

“The pink sheep of the family.” (on himself)


Alexander McQueen Spring 2009 RTW

“If you ask any lady they want to be taller, they want to be slimmer, you know, and they want a waist. I’m not here to make people look like a sack of potatoes.”


Alexander McQueen Shoes Spring 2010 RTW

“Fashion is sacrificial. I’ll give my body over to the general public whether they want it or not! I don’t care!” (When asked about his Samsonite Black Label collaboration)


Samsonite Black Label “Hero” by Alexander McQueen 2007

“British fashion is self confident and fearless. It refuses to bow to commerce, thus generating a constant flow of new ideas whilst drawing in British heritage.”


Alexander McQueen Fall 2006 RTW


Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Couture Spring/Summer 2000

In 2008, Elle magazine asked McQueen, “If you could come back as a dress, which one would it be?” His reply, “My kimono dress from fall ’03.”


Alexander McQueen’s Kimono Dress Fall 2003 RTW

My favorite Alexander McQueen piece, which I was fortunate enough to see at FIT’s Gothic Dark Glamour Exhibition, is absolutely mind-blowing in person.


Alexander McQueen Voss Collection Spring 2001 RTW

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss


Agreed. Thank you Alexander McQueen for having existed, for your wondrous creative genius, and for your magnificent contribution to fashion. You are forever an inspiration. May you rest in peace.

Net-a-Porter’s Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Related LITTLE MAGAZINE posts:
MODUS OPERANDI. Isabella Blow

MUSICAL CHAIRS. lovelovelove. Sandy Kwan’s Valentine’s Day Mix. Playlist for 11 February 2010

Today’s MUSICAL CHAIR is Sandy Kwan, food stylist, photographer and blogger from FancyFoodFancy. Her Valentine’s Day playlist entitled, lovelovelove, is inspired by—what else?—l’amour.


Photography by Sandy Kwan

FEATURED PLAYLIST: lovelovelove. Sandy Kwan’s Valentine’s Day Mix. Playlist for 11 February 2010

1.   *Baby, I Love You – The Ramones

2.   *Girl/Boy – Aphex Twin

3.   *Oh Yoko – John Lennon

4.   *The Caterpillar – The Cure

5.   *Us – Regina Spektor

6.   *I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl – Nina Simone

7.   *Gobbledigook – Sigur Ros

8.   *Lover’s Spit – Broken Social Scene

9.   *Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing – Marvin Gaye

10. *Lover’s Day – TV on the Radio

*Available on iTunes

Sandy Kwan’s Blog: www.FancyFoodFancy

Musical Chairs’ Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Music Page
Musical Chairs’ Video Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Video Page
Musical Chairs’ Downloads: DJ Ts’ A Disco Gift to You. Playlist for 8 December 2009, DJ Gobi’s Best of 2009 Mixtape. Playlist for 28 December 2009

Enjoy!

Musical Chairs is a collection of weekly playlists created by selected artists, DJs, and musicians for LITTLE MAGAZINE. For guest DJ inquires, please send M.LittleMagazine@gmail.com a description of yourself, including a bio and musical tastes.

MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 Couture Part II

A relaxed, expressive elegance seemed to be the prevalent theme for the 2010 Spring/Summer Paris Couture collections. The plethora of hard embellishments, frills, and dayglo brights of past seasons were nowhere in sight, and as a whole, the collections seemed to take on a softer, dreamier feel with many allusions the late 1960s. The following is Part II of my MAOs of the collections, and includes more of my favorite looks from the shows.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection featured an abundance of 1960s shapes in soft candy pastels that translated into: lady like shorts suits, whimsical cocktail dresses, and sweeping satin gowns, all finding themselves adorned with metallic sequins embroidery.


Prim and Proper Pastel Buttons at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture


Late 60s Shapes Dominate at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture


Tiered Glamour at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture


Always a Black Tie Event at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Givenchy showed variations on tuxedo dressing and something fabulous I would have to call disco tribal gothic that included un-frou-frou feather accoutrements, vampy chiffons, and sophisticated sequins.


Tuxedo Luxe at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture


Sheer Vamp at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture


Disco Tribal Revival at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Gaultier’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection donned many hats figuratively, and quite literally. His corseted bodices were worked into a variety of inspired looks, ranging from Spanish Flamenco to ancient Greece, ending at Tahiti.


Decked Out Denim at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture


Bigger, Bolder, Shoulders at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture


Decorated Décolleté at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture


Crinolines Go Green at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture

Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The showing of Dior’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection was a colorful event filled with high drama gowns and ensembles taken right out of history. Pop culture darlings such as Anne Margaret and Dita Von Teese were referenced in the collection, alongside the iconic designers Charles James and Jacques Griffe, whose two-tone color blocked inspired gowns were offset sublimely by white opera gloves.


Channeling Ann Margaret circa 1967 and Dita Von Teese at Christian Dior S/S 2010 Couture


Taffeta Charm at Christian Dior S/S 2010 Couture


Debutante Proper at Dior S/S 2010 Couture

Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The dreamy pale hues and graceful, fluid textures in Elie Saab’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection elicited the kind of awesome calm found only in the purity of water. Everything about the collection was exquisite—down to the beading, the embroidery, the lace work; all the things that couture dreams are made of.


Mermaid Fancy at Elie Saab S/S 2010 Couture


Visions in Taupe at Elie Saab S/S 2010 Couture

M.

MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 Couture Part I

A relaxed, expressive elegance seemed to be the prevalent theme for the 2010 Spring/Summer Paris Couture collections. The plethora of hard embellishments, frills, and dayglo brights of past seasons were nowhere in sight, and as a whole, the collections seemed to take on a softer, dreamier feel with many allusions the late 1960s. The following includes some of my favorite looks from the shows and my MAOs of the collections.

Josephus Thimister Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The militant severity of World War I Russia echoed loudly throughout Thimister’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection, which embodied a type of violence similar to that of a Delacroix painting, as bloodied tops and trousers completed the effect.


Russian Military Rules at Josephus Thimister S/S 2010 Couture


Red Runs Redrums at Josephus Thimister S/S 2010 Couture

Alexis Mabille Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Mabille definitely had Cruella de Vil and 90s body-con in mind when designing her latest couture collection for Spring 2010, as it included and abundance of two-tone color blocking and tonal, texturally contrasting trims.


Split Personalities at Alexis Mabille S/S 2010 Couture


The LBD Gets Body-Conned at Alexis Mabille S/S 2010 Couture


Films Noirs at Alexis Mabille S/S 2010 Couture

Anne Valérie Hash Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Fun and easy Vaudeville silhouettes comprised of rave worthy fabrics made up Anne Valérie Hash’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture Collection.


Putting on a Show at Anne Valérie Hash S/S 2010 Couture


Raving On at Anne Valérie Hash S/S 2010 Couture

Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The lunar inspiration was interpreted quite literally at Armani Privé as moon details were represented EVERYWHERE—in and on garments as closures, buttons, necklaces, shapes and textures.


Moon Suits at Armani Privé S/S 2010 Couture


Waxing and Waning at Armani Privé S/S 2010 Couture

Valentino Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Fantasy at ease is the kind of glamorous aesthetic in Valentino’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection.

MAO-110
It’s a Soft Wrap at Valentino S/S 2010 Couture


Statement Jackets at Valentino S/S 2010 Couture


Sheer Love for Nature at Valentino S/S 2010 Couture

Maison Martin Margiela Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Since it’s brazenly laden with throwbacks to the late 1960s, Margiela’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection might as well have been called, Party Clothes for Modern Factory Girls.


60s Cutouts and Baubles at Maison Martin Margiela S/S 2010 Couture


Wearable Art at Maison Martin Margiela S/S 2010 Couture


I Know Why the Caged Parts Sing at Maison Martin Margiela S/S 2010 Couture

M.

MUSICAL CHAIRS. Muses for the Masses. Playlist for 27 January 2010

“Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.” —Saint Bartholomew

Today’s playlist entitled, Muses for the Masses, is inspired by the true and fabled femme fatales and heroines that are the very special, and timeless muses referenced in the following songs.

FEATURED PLAYLIST: Muses for the Masses. Playlist for 27 January 2010

1.   *Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

2.   *Louise – Clan of Xymox

3.   *Electra Descending – Christian Death

4.   *Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

5.   *Heroine – Suede

6.   *Joan of Arc – O.M.D.

7.   *Woman – John Lennon

8.   *Lorelei – Cocteau Twins

9.   *Candle in the Wind – Elton John

10. *Sparks – Faith And the Muse

*Available on iTunes

Musical Chairs’ Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Music Page
Musical Chairs’ Video Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Video Page
Musical Chairs’ Downloads: DJ Ts’ A Disco Gift to You. Playlist for 8 December 2009, DJ Gobi’s Best of 2009 Mixtape. Playlist for 28 December 2009

Enjoy!

Musical Chairs is a collection of weekly playlists created by selected artists, DJs, and musicians for LITTLE MAGAZINE. For guest DJ inquires, please send M.LittleMagazine@gmail.com a description of yourself, including a bio and musical tastes.

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