After a late breakfast I met Michael L at Mud. He was wearing a DIVINE pair of Prada shoes…an extraordinary wing tip/espadrille hybrid with Nike soles.
I LOVE YOUR SHOES.
I told him that I had seen JP at my AA meeting.
On the spur of the moment we decided to go to Savage Beauty, The Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Met. Sunday afternoon, it was OVER RUN with people. JAMMED.
Jammed with people who may or may not love fashion but certainly not enough to line up for two hours!
Thankfully we were Met members so went directly to the front of the line.
I didn’t give a damn how many people were there. I just loved the show from beginning to end.
This enchanting, inspiring exhibition gave me a great deal to think about.
Firstly, let me tell you that I hadn’t seen McQueen’s work up close like that. Why would I ? I don’t know Daphne Guinness.
Not a single photograph anywhere does his work justice. It really has to be seen to be believed. I was utterly dumfounded by the drama, the workmanship, the unexpected depth of emotion it inspired.
There were a million obvious references: Balenciaga, Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier (fucked him once after the IRA bombed The City of London). Regardless, it was uniquely beautiful. Uniquely Lee. Westwood without the bustle. Balenciaga without the cassock. Gautier without…
I loved the fabric woven for the Plato’s Atlantis collection. Fabric woven to look like the re-imagined skin of mythical serpents.
The Razor Clam dress was exquisite. The dress sprayed by ballet dancing robots…heavenly.
My most favorite costume were from the spring/summer 2005 collection, It’s Only a Game. Using burlap, hessian, raffia, leather, crude mechanical embroidery. I loved, most particularly, an appliqued Japanese inspired, floor length dress. Lilac tulle softly billowing out of the structured bodice around the feet. Sublime.
This entire collection (as curated) left one breathless.
Eshu 2000, a simple shift made of tiny yellow beads and black horsehair. The yellow beads spread like caviar on crisp toast, dripping provocatively onto the horse hair.
McQueen bejewels the constellation of dead couturier that include Christian Dior, Yves St Laurent, Paul Poirot, Madame Gres etc. Twinkling stars inspiring us from above. Isabella Blow is sitting right there beside him laughing with her protégé at how mortals now wait in line to worship at his alter. They were never meant to. The world of high fashion, like the world of high art, is exclusive by design and inclination.
I thought about the very few times we met. Check on Wire Image for the picture of me, he and Lucy Ferry. If you don’t believe me.
I thought about his suicide. How lonely being that much of a genius can make you. How protected he was by the women in his life who never really approved of any of his boyfriends because they felt ‘married’ to him. Lucy, Sam, Naomi, Kate, Isabella, Daphne, Anna etc.
No one was ever good enough for Lee so he became more and more isolated.
Too embarrassed to introduce the kind of boy he wanted to those grand arbiters of taste. How could he spend all day designing beautiful things and bring that home.
Fag hags think they are doing you a big favor by keeping trashy boys out of our lives…in fact…all they did was keep Lee McQueen lonely. I hold all of those women partially responsible for his death. If he had only been allowed to fall in love…but those kind of women are little bit too eager to have an opinion about a gay love life thinking that Lee was just one of the girls.
Straight women really don’t understand gay men as much as they claim they do.
After McQueen we stopped in at the Ben Cohen event at Boxers. Flirted mercilessly with wrestler Hudson Taylor. Will post pics asap.
Ben Cohen is a straight British rugby player who is making a name (and a great deal of money) for himself by championing LGBT causes. Beloved by the gays he has a cherubic face and huge chest.
“I can’t understand a word he’s saying…but he’s gorgeous.” One man cooed.
Ben was making an impassioned speech about bullying and homophobia. The gays just looked on in awe. Objectifying poor Ben and gorgeous Taylor. They didn’t give a fuck. “Take you shirt off!” They screamed as he appealed to them for a more tolerant world.
GLAAD gave him some award. ‘Cute Straight People Who Like Us’ award…or something. Michael (?) the head of GLAAD NY was there last night. “It’s not political.” He reassured me.
Then something rather irritating happened. Zack’s really dull friend arrived. The sort of boy who thinks he’s attractive but hasn’t got two damp sticks to rub together to get any fire started….anywhere. He pissed me off sufficiently to make me shout at him.
Apparently my present anger is quite healthy. I am so…fucking angry. With myself. I have NO ONE else to blame. I used to be angry with The Penguin. Now I am angry with me.
Livid that I let myself be duped. Blinded by love. Blinded by compassion. I don’t blame him. I can’t blame him. There’s nothing to blame. Other than the CON. I don’t blame him for making me fall in love with him…he is just a child, as was evidenced when I saw him with his parents. Bouncing on his mother’s knee.
A sad situation existed in that house. I realised why I found the father so interesting…he reminded me of someone. Rather than concentrate on his son and wife, he was staring at us. Not because he was trying to intimidate…he was just…more interested.
Emotionally absent father, more interested in solving his patients problems than focusing on the needs of his son. The Penguin wanted his father’s love so badly. It’s not his fault. Shame on them! I can imagine that he wasn’t just absent for The Penguin but for the entire family.
Mother and son thrown together in some emotionally incestuous swamp. Hanging onto each other for dear life.
If I can’t have you my husband….I will have him. My darling son.
He looked…like an aspergers boy when he was with them. Which is odd because isn’t that his father’s speciality?
Let me tell you how things have changed since I saw him. I blame myself for being so damned stupid. I blame myself for letting a petty conman/thief run rampant through my life. I blame myself for constantly letting him off the hook. I blame myself for convincing anyone who would listen that I loved him. I blame myself for thinking he was beautiful. I blame myself for not running out the door the moment he took heavy drugs from under his bed and asked if it was ok.
I have been a fucking idiot….and I am really, really pissed off with myself.
Dinner on Friday night with Ian Drew at Essex and Beauty. Large, noisy new restaurant..a bit too blingy for me but the food was excellent and paid for by the restaurant.
Try the steak tartare on the thick, tasty rice cake.
After dinner we went to a miserable East Village gay bar where men sat beside each other trying to snag other men elsewhere on Grindr. Their faces lit up by LED screens causing them all unwittingly, with their ghostly green visage, to look like that Ingres portrait of Napoleon.
Ian finished his drink. We left.
It has been startlingly cold. I love the cold. I get to dress up! Hats, hats, hats. Coats, waistcoats, velvet scarves. I love my burgundy velvet scarf. Last night I wore my Dior cape. It did not pass unnoticed.
Dressed accordingly, the Little Dog and I, walked to Soho House and began to write my film. Then, oddly, I had another really great idea for a film (or novel) inspired by my new, young HIV friend. It gushed onto the page like a waterfall. First, second and third act. Beginning, middle and the end.
Met and flirted with Brendan Fallis who is super cute. Steam room buddy.
Even though I am having a great time, I still irrationally fear bumping into Jake. Consequently there is something utterly ruined about these New York streets. Like after a blitz or something. Strewn with emotional rubble.
There seems to be a Jake clone on every corner and every time I see a man who looks like him I shudder.
I think of the special moments we shared here. Making love in the Jane Hotel. Reaching out and touching him in the street. Kissing him for the first time this time last year in the back of that bar on Third Avenue. Then the sadness comes. The questions, the feeling that I have been punched in the stomach.
If I’m hurt…can you imagine how badly that girl feels that he deceived for 7 years? Poor love. I hope she got herself back on her feet. Found somewhere nice to live…met a nice guy. She’s lucky she escaped. If he was beginning to do meth when I met him he’ll be HIV positive in no time at all. What a fucking cliché.
Hurt people, hurt people.
Yet, I exist in two completely different spheres. The reality of my life outweighs the fantasy.
As if to prove a point I had dinner with Federico, my artist friend from Palermo. We ate at Westville. The food came late but the conversation was very lively so it didn’t seem to matter. Then, my NYU poet friend Anthony joined us and we headed west to meet Hamish Bowles.
Hamish greeted me warmly. We’d met a couple of times many years ago.
Hamish is the real deal. The man Patrick Kinmonth and Issie Blow wished they could have been.
My fantasy about Hamish: that he went to Eton, life served effortlessly to him….couldn’t be further from the truth.
We actually had rather a lot in common. He too lived in Kent during his formative years. Went to a grammar school in Canterbury. We would have been knocking about Canterbury at exactly the same time…probably both very horny gay teenagers wondering where we could get cock.
Like Fenton Bailey he succeeded in spite of everything. In spite of his difference.
Hamish is primarily an academic, but his glamorous day job is the European Editor at Large for Vogue. He is a respected authority on both worlds of fashion and interior design.
In April 2001 he was appointed creative consultant at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with responsibility for organizing and mounting the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed Costume Institute Exhibition, “Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years—Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library Museum”.
Hamish has a huge collection of haute couture that he lends to museums and galleries all over the world. The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and The Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan; the Palais Galliera and The Musee de la Mode, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Museum of London in London among others.
Recently he curated the Cristóbal Balenciaga show at The Spanish Institute. Opened by Queen Sofía of Spain entitled, “Balenciaga: Spanish Master,” the show examines the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga and his Spanish influences. 60 pieces of clothing and accessories including some from Hamish’s own collection and many unseen publicly before.
I am going to see the show on Tuesday.
We discussed Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, he had just seen at a private screening for Anna Wintour. You’ll remember that Jake and I met Cary this summer in Whitstable with Mia. Hamish said that, although a bit slow, he loved the film and cried all the way through. He reported that the costumes were perfect and historically accurate. He said that Mia’s performance was excellent.
Discussed Michael Bessman’s house that once belonged to the Baron de Meyer.
I cried all the way home. I couldn’t help myself.
I should be really happy. Deep down I am. I just need to learn how to consistently mine the joy I know is there.