Monthly Archives: February 2010

Romance on the runway

I finally managed to catch up with the Spring/Summer 2010 Ready-to-Wear collections, and the one that caught my eye for the season is by the House of Valentino at Paris Fashion Week. Maria Graza Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, who were appointed Creative Directors in 2008 after Valentino Garavani retired, put together a collection that is romantic  — ‘fairytale-like’, as the designers put it — with a lot of chiffon, tulle and ruffles, edgy with black silk and mesh, and intriguing with sheer fabrics and neutral and earth tones. In short, an incredibly sophisticated and elegant collection, and probably one of the few that I want in my closet — and in its entirety.

But the true works of art are the shoes that were created by Philip Treacy for the collection — court shoes and sandals in lots of lace and frills that should never be worn anywhere except at home:

Change of hands


If your heart’s not in it for real
Please don’t try to fake what you don’t feel
If love’s already gone
It’s not fair to lead me on

‘Cause I would give the whole world for you
Anything you ask of me, I’d do
But I won’t ask you to stay
I’d rather walk away
If your heart’s not in it

Westlife, If Your Heart’s Not In It –

Sometimes I wish I had never learned its power. The power to make or break a relationship, the power to control every situation, every circumstance, the power to love, to hurt, to give, and to take away something that means everything to a person.

Brave heart

What is love, anyway?

Ah, best for last. If I were Spock from “Star Trek,” I would explain that human love is a combination of three emotions or impulses: desire, vulnerability and bravery. Desire makes one feel vulnerable, which then requires one to be brave.

Since I’m not Spock, I will tell a story.

Say you decide to adopt a baby girl in China. You receive her photo, put it on your refrigerator and gaze at it as the months pass, until finally you’re halfway around the world, holding her in your arms, tears of joy streaming down your face.

But later in your hotel room, after undressing her, you discover worrisome physical signs, in particular a scar on her spine. You call the doctor, then head to the hospital for examinations and CT scans, where you are told the following: she suffered botched spinal surgery that caused nerve damage. Soon she will lose all bladder and bowel control. Oh, and she will be paralyzed for life. We’re so sorry.

But the adoption agency offers you a choice: keep this damaged baby, or trade her in for a healthier one.

You don’t even know about the trials yet to come, about the alarming diagnoses she’ll receive back home, the terrifying seizures you’ll witness. Nor do you know about the happy ending that is years off, when she comes through it all and is perfectly fine. You have to decide now. This is your test. What do you do?

If you’re Elizabeth Fitzsimons, who told this story here one Mother’s Day, you say: “We don’t want another baby. We want our baby, the one sleeping right over there. She’s our daughter.”

That’s love. Anyone can have it. All it requires is a little bravery. Or a lot.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

– Excerpt from Explaining the Irrational by The New York Times