thoughts on charm…

we Adore Monocle.

not just for its wit and wary askance look at things that deviate from its glamorous and chic world view, but also for its well-thought out arguments on how commerce and the rest could Be Better.

like Stephen Bayley’s essay on charm.

Noel had charm.

Noel Coward, performer, singer, librettist and playwright, got by primarily on charm from his birth in 1899 until his death in 1973 with what Time Magazine called, “a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise.”

from the lovely blog “arts ravels”

we own several collections of Noel’s work.

(this was our entry for #photoofthedaychallenge on instagram – today was #somethingold)

and Marlene said:

“Mystery is a woman’s greatest charm,”

Marlene Dietrich: Photo by Milton Greene, 1952

one cannot understand charm – or mystery, for that matter, darlings.

we hope we Have Both.

how was your day? *concerned_look_at_those_in_wintry_climes*


full of charm – or not?

to Bowery (with, not on) a bicycle: an art gallery, a Lorca reading and the fresh issue of Monocle.

JFS (not his real initials, but a conglomeration of how we think of him with regard to a sartorial-ness that must remain subtle and unexplained) said:

would you walk with me to a gallery closing on Bowery?

like a closing night at the theatre?




Ah. Not exactly. But we loved it. It was very fresh and young and vibrant (we Were Somewhat Mystified by the Art, tis true)

we don’t quite understand anything post Fragonard in paint or Norman Parkinson in print

JFS had to lean down (he is Exceedingly Tall) to catch that last remark. He blanched a little, beneath his manly rugged beard, but was kind.

And the best bit was we walked together as he leaned on the handlebars of his old-fashioned blue bicycle (basket and all). And we were Charmed (reminded us of walking through the Quad all those lifetimes ago, talking earnestly about Plutarch.)

Talking of things ancient and modern, the conference we went to yesterday was in a beautiful space with quite Lovely light fixtures.



And we were so culturally inspired by the Bowery “happening” that we found ourselves taking the long way home and stopping into McNally Jackson for a fresh copy of Monocle and a few moments in admiration at the delicious voices reading Lorca and others (in the Original) at the Spanish literature group downstairs. Transporting.


And then – quelle joy! We arrived, chez nous, and found a bulky and Most Promising envelope from England.


Darling W sent a mix tape of mr. M. Almond (shades of twisted torch songs and trying to scam a Gauloise outside a seedy dive in vauxhall at two AM).

We awoke late this morning. Most Refreshed after a long week in the salt mines of Corporate America and made coffee and lay gently back to enjoy Monocle magazine before encasing ourselves in a chic leather jacket, a spritz of Chanel No. 5 and strolling to therapy.



Now we know the idea is to Grow and Deepen and Change (in therapy) but we have to admit that Some of the revelations (post Tobias and surgery and so on) are not Entirely Pleasant.


Of course, tis the first time we’ve actually been Honest with a professional (and we have definitely encountered a few in our Time).

a fashion moment in CHINA reminiscent of Monocle.

so the good news is that team gloria has had 6 hours of sleep in the past 24 hours.

the bad news is that those 6 hours were spread out in 3 blocks of 2 hours each.

scratchy eyes. a bit grumpy and yet zingy from the morning walk, swim, sauna, steam and a few minutes in the light box room (we’re not sure what it does but it makes us giggle being inside it before we shower and get dressed)…..

…………..yet in the pool this morning there was another human.

we were a little perplexed by this as we are generally alone at 7. 25AM while doing lengths.

the other human was STRAIGHT OUT OF A MONOCLE FASHION SPREAD – it was too utterly amazing (you haven’t seen one? – oh – ok – think about a slim, professional Japanese man wearing the sort of elegantly cut swim shorts one buys between flight changes in Zurich).

here’s Monocle’s site – we couldn’t find a fashion spread (we thoroughly recommend buying a copy of the magazine anyway – we’re a HUGE fan) but we did find their “guide to summer” here ……yeah, it’s an old guide to summer, but who cares? for a brand that is so definitely inspired by northern europe circa 1948 mixed with japan circa 1982 and a dash of monaco (pre-Grace) we’re not sure it matters….

ok – one more espresso in the hotel room on the 76th floor and we’re off for a day and evening of (day job) meetings.

time to put the interested-frown-and-slight-head-tilt-at-curious-information-before-speaking-look.

works every time.