My Latest Snag: The Acupressure Mat.
OK, full disclosure: this was one of Mr. Magpie’s father’s day gifts, along with a small kitchen utensil and a super fancy bottle of Brunello wine for his collection — but I’ve quietly appropriated it as my own, too. I’m hooked. Both he and I take turns laying on it before bed, and it is a miracle. It makes my body feel stretched out, relaxed — almost as if I’ve just had a massage! I think there’s also something to the fact that it’s forced quiet time: you’re just laying there silently, listening to your body. Highly recommend. Possibly the best $20 I’ve spent in a long while….
You’re Sooooo Popular: Maj Dress.
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+Lovely blouse — the print! The dainty straps!
+Darling summer top for white jeans.
#Turbothot: The Met Heavenly Bodies Exhibit.
While my sister was in town earlier this week, we stopped by The Met to take in its Heavenly Bodies exhibit, which purports to “examine fashion’s ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism.” While I found the garments absolutely breathtaking, I found the curation underwhelming and borderline fetishistic. I had already been puzzled by the Met Gala, where celebrities like Rihanna appeared in papal mitres and Cardi B in a headpiece reminiscent of the ones often shown in portraits of Saint Mary. As a practicing Catholic, there was a part of me that tugged with offense — was this blasphemous? appropriative? or just in poor taste? Or was I being hypersensitive? After all, for years and years (and the exhibit does make this point), alternative cultures have borrowed from the regalia of the Church — I’m thinking specifically of Madonna and other musicians in the 80s wearing the crucifix and rosary beads. Those seem mild, inoffensive by now, so engrained in the culture of my childhood that I barely think twice about them. But the pope’s hat? On Rihanna? I sat in discomfort as I clicked through the images, pondering what the celebrities themselves had thought as they donned these garments: was it pure costume? did they see it as art? was it in jest? was it ironic? was it a statement? Some of the celebrities seemed so obviously garish, sacrilegious, in their outfits: a halo alongside a slit up-to-there. (Meanwhile, my mother still insists we cover our shoulders in Church.) A part of me also felt that if another religious faith had been the centerpiece of the exhibit — say, Islam — and celebrities like Cara Delevigne and Sza had arrived in hijab, there would have been more of a politicization, a conversation about appropriation and cultural sensitivity. But then again: fashion has always been influenced by religious traditions, and far be it for me to draw lines around when and how such cultural borrowings take place. It seems like a slippery slope to arbitrarily take offense at and hold people accountable for certain presentations but nod impassively at others. Further, the Vatican had approved the exhibit and even lent many items to the museum, and I’m inclined to follow the pope’s lead on this one.
The exhibit itself bore other problems, though. Even if I looked beyond some of my initial quibbling over the appropriateness of the exhibit writ large, I felt as though the curation notes were loose and unfocused. It was almost as if the curators said: “Catholic church…clothes with a Catholic element to them…you do the math in between. Here’s a cross, there’s a cross…crosses.” There was simply nothing summative or illuminating about the exhibit. I felt, at a certain point, as though the exhibit could have been about ANYTHING — say, the influence of the sea on fashion designers who grew up on the water. “Here’s water. There’s a water reference. Water.”
And then there were the fetishistic notes on some of the pieces that seemed angled at “othering” the Catholic faith, rendering it some sort of bizarre medieval practice rather than the living, modern faith so many of us claim as our own. One such note said something along the lines of a veil “gesturing at the ancient rituals of the cult of Saint Mary.” The wording alone sent shivers down my spine, momentarily making the viewer feel as though praying to a saint was tantamount to worshiping at the shrine of some dark and extremist religious sect. What?
All in, I found the exhibit confusing. The clothing was beautiful, and we lingered for some time over their ornate details, but the tenor was baffling, especially in today’s age of hyper-sensitivity to such things.
Have you been? Have you clicked through the photos? Am I off base? Please share your thoughts!
#Shopaholic: The Rebecca Taylor Sale.
+FINALLY ON SALE!!!
+I don’t normally buy from this bargain bin online retailer, but this top is so darling!
+I need these pjs!!!
+In a dream world, my home office would be organized with lucite accessories by Russell + Hazel.
P.P.P.S. An ode to the em-dash.