Monday, April 3, 2017

Poète assassiné

Honoré Daumier
Advantages of the crinoline for deceiving toll inspectors
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

"This year," said Tristouse, "fashions are bizarre and common, simple and full of fantasy. Any material from nature's domain may now be introduced into the composition of women's clothes. I saw a charming dress made of corks. . . . A major designer is thinking about launching tailor-made outfits made of old bookbindings done in calf. . . . Fish bones are being worn a lot on hats. One often sees delicious young girls dressed like pilgrims of Saint James of Compostella; their outfits, as is fitting, are studded with coquilles Saint-Jacques. Steel, wood, sandstone, and files have suddenly entered the vestimentary arts. . . . Feathers now decorate not only hats but shoes and gloves; and next year they'll be on umbrellas. They're doing shoes in Venetian glass and hats in Baccarat crystal. . . . I forgot to tell you that last Wednesday, I saw on the boulevards an old dowager dressed in mirrors stuck to fabric. The effect was sumptuous in the sunlight. You'd have thought it was a gold mine out for a walk. Later it started raining and the lady looked like a silver mine. . . . Fashion is becoming practical and no longer looks down on anything. It ennobles everything. It does for materials what the Romantics did for words."

 Guillaume Apollinaire, from Le poète assassiné  (1916), translated as The Poet Assassinated and Other Stories by Ron Padgett (1984)