Had he lived beyond his mere twenty-eight years, what would Egon Schiele have produced? Would his art have continued to rumble and throw scorn at Victorian morality, or would he have settled down, become progressively more bourgeois?
A contemporary of Sigmund Freud, Schiele’s art, dominated by nudes, is preoccupied with the erotic, psychologically and emotionally rich; and deemed to border on the pornographic by some.
His portraits and self portraits disturb. The fiery eyes, angular contorted bodies, electrifying presences, demand something from the viewer. They strip us, reduce us to the bedrock of our own real, raw desires, pressing us to look again, think again, feel anew.
When my eyes were averted, you slunk around me Spinning a tender lattice of awareness Willfully piercing my consciousness, forcing me to awaken When my eyes were averted, you wanted me.
Irresistibly I turned and looked back at you Smiled, said something, let my eyes laugh into yours You drew back surprised, disoriented, your radiant face darkened When I looked back at you, you closed up on me.
Stunned, confused, awash in shame, I collapsed in a heap, grew small What had I done, I called out to the night, what had I done?
Effulgent comprehension arrived slowly, and in its wake, Indignation, purple anger, rage bubbled and frothed until Raucous laughter burst forth, my blood ran warm And I grew large, enormous, and full.
No one looks the same in a trench coat. Each person gets to stamp their own signature on the look, whilst borrowing its crisp, classic form. Originally a military uniform worn by army officers, designed with details to aid soldiers through the travails of wind, rain and the conditions of trench warfare, the trench coat found its way into the realms of high style, and persists today as a garment of elegance and functionality for both men and women.
“Embodying a certain cool, effortless, sexy feel with hints of masculinity…. A piece that will never date and a piece that will epitomise chic elegance no matter how you choose to wear it. Simply put, it is a classic to suit every woman.”
Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy, Paris, 1982, photographed by
“The Trench Coat was once a uniform, now it is a badge of Individuality.” — Aquascutum
The drive to develop fabrics for the manufacture of outerwear that protected one against the elements, began in the 1800’s. As early as 1823, Scotsman Charles Macintosh invented a “rubberized cotton” and made outer garments called “macks,” that were worn by the military and civilians.
In 1853, British clothier John Emary, developed a better fabric, still weatherproof but more breathable, and appropriately renamed his company Aquascutum: “aqua” meaning “water” and “scutum” meaning “shield” in Latin.
It was in 1879, that Thomas Burberry, English gentlemen’s outfitter, invented “gabardine,” a “weatherproofed twill” that began the design development of the iconic Burberry trench coat.
Some people feel more solid, clear, steady, thoughtful, sure-footed. They inspire our trust, our willingness to be in relationship with them, personal or professional. We can rely on them. There’s consistency between what they say and do. We can open our selves and our ideas to them. They will not unnecessarily hurt us, we feel.
Other people feel wishy-washy, not really clear about what they stand for. Erratically say this today and something wholly different tomorrow. Their words feel sometimes hollow, shady, even dishonest. They appear lost, then rushing in some arbitrary direction. Their behaviour, not all the time, but often enough is bewildering.
Character is what distinguishes the one from the other.
When I was growing up, I watched western movies incessantly. When playing together – my siblings, cousins and I – if I wasn’t allowed to be John Wayne, I refused to play. I was always John Wayne.
Now that I’m grown up, I wonder about my connection to the cowboy? Not the real ones, you understand, not those real cowboys in Colorado or Texas, or the Pampas of Argentina, not those actually herding cattle on a ranch; for me it’s about the mythic cowboy figure in my own inner world.
It’s curious, in Westerns, it’s not the women characters that I pay attention to. Sure there’ve been some interesting women, but they’re always eclipsed by the man on the horse, the romantic figure who roams outdoors, whilst the women remain within.
A strong, silent man is how I think of a cowboy. Strong character, who walks tall and proud. A plain talking man of few words, who when he does speak, speaks with directness, says what he means. Honour is his internalised code. He inspires trust. Courage flows in his veins, you can rely on him.
The traits of my mythic cowboy are seductive. Come to think of it, they’re qualities that make for both a fine man and a fine woman.
In the movies they roam the desert, thunder the earth on the backs of horses, write history, love, live, and die.
Styled in a suede or leather jacket, a white voile or crisp cotton shirt, khaki jodhpurs; a voluptuous coloured silk pussy-bow blouse here, an elegant printed silk neck scarf there.
Theirs is the glamour of the pioneering spirit that stirs the imagination with romance, and the restlessness to adventure.
“The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue.”
― Karen Blixen Out of Africa
Structure and form with layered softness. Ensembles of earthy browns, strong rusts, hints of black, moss green, petrol blue, natural khaki, golden cream and crisp white. A melange of hues that reflect the landscape as it blends into the sky.
Kristin Scott Thomas in ‘The English Patient’(1996)