narcissists one and all

Instagram to follow:

From the UK, a mother with two beautiful daughters. It’s nature, whimsy, “big knitting,” and bunnies, yet manages not to be too “cutesy.” It’s quite lovely.

Picture of the week


I took this picture at an outdoor market called the Grand Bazaar. The GB takes place here on the Upper Westside, Sundays, during the summer. This picture was on the back of a silky, if not silk, kimono. I was working opposite a wonderful small maker whose work this was. Here’s a picture of Carmen.carmen

Interesting isn’t it, we tend to fall in love with people, and even things that look like us. It seems we are all narcicists to one extent or another. It’s human nature, we like what we see in the mirror whether it’s an actual mirror we’re looking into, a piece of art, a dog, or our partner. It’s when we start picking apart what we see in the mirror, that things fall apart. 

If we can see the beauty in ourselves, are we more apt to see the beauty in others?

Fashion find


I didn’t really pick this dress, it picked me. I found it interesting. First of all, I love the combination of deep blue and black. I also kind of like the length of the dress and the silkiness. It’s the fringe though, that makes it unique. The fringe is so “vintage,” but the buttons, the dress’s collar, and the angle of the fringe make it look “western.” No, I do not like the shoes!

I think these, from an earlier post, might go better?


Or maybe not? Maybe the ruffle doesn’t go with the fringe, and the suede doesn’t go with the satin?

What do you think? The dress is from Need Supply. I chose one of their baskets for an earlier post. Overall, I am attracted to their minimalism, their “simplicity with edge.” But honestly, I can’t explain why I like this dress, I just do.

Longer quote

“Once I began to look for the flâneuse, I spotted her everywhere. I caught her standing on street corners in New York and coming through doorways in Kyoto, sipping coffee at café tables in Paris, at the foot of a bridge in Venice, or riding the ferry in Hong Kong. She is going somewhere or coming from somewhere; she is saturated with in-betweeness. She may be a writer, or she may be an artist, or she may be a secretary or an au pair. She may be unemployed. She may be unemployable. She may be a wife or a mother, or she may be totally free. She may take the bus or the train when she’s tired. But mostly, she goes on foot. She gets to know the city by wandering its streets, investigating its dark corners, peering behind facades, penetrating into secret courtyards. I found her using cities as performance spaces or as hiding places; as places to seek fame and fortune or anonymity; as places to liberate herself from oppression or to help those who are oppressed; as places to declare her independence; as places to change the world or be changed by it.”

—Lauren Elkin

I’m smitten with the book, Flâneuse, by Lauren Elkin. From the first time I became acquainted with the term flaneur, I knew I was one. However, flaneur is the masculine for flâneuse. Let’s put it that way, even though Merriam Webster defines flâneuse thusly: “a woman who is or who behaves like a flâneur. “

As if a woman couldn’t have been the first to go flaneuring about?

It’s no secret though, the flâneuse exists and has existed for awhile. Virginia Wolf, for example, was a famous flâneuse.

For me, the paragraph above is interesting because it appears to mirror the practice of a flâneur or flâneuse. It’s an endless stream, of a kind of repetition, a stream of input. If you dislike the way that paragraph is written, you may not be a flâneuse.

The flâneuse though, never tires of the step after step, she’s never overwhelmed by the input.

Maybe because she knows she is always in the in-betweeness that the author talks about. I would love to meet Ms. Elkin, but we could not go walking together. For me at least, a flâneuse is most often seen alone.

About me

I was at the Grand Bazaar this Sunday, (see above) showing the custom made XSwimwear I wrote about here. The reactions and comments of the women we spoke to were interesting and good feedback for the future. There wasn’t one woman who expressed anything negative about the idea of custom made swimwear. Mostly they loved the idea!

Price however, was another matter. It seems that we still think of some articles of clothing: underwear, socks, swimwear, as disposable. It got me thinking, again, about how we value things. I’m not the first to question the price of a wedding dress that one wears once, then has moth-balled and stored forever. 

Is there one article of clothing you would have custom made, for more money than you would normally pay, if you were guaranteed great fit, feel, and long life?




  • Mary B. says:

    Speaking of custom-made, I still wear and treasure jackets, skirts, and blouses I have had made throughout my life. I’ve never felt better dressed than when wearing clothes made for me—but sadly, the dressmaking skill seems to be a dying one. Not sure about the custom-made swimwear, though—I do aquaerobics three days a week, and the chlorine is pretty damaging to bathing suits, so I get them as inexpensively as I can. If I spent more time at the pool or the shore, your suits would definitely be something to think about.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Yes, how could we feel better than in something that’s specially made for us? I think though, that dressmaking (and all kinds of “making”) are coming back. I’ve been really excited by those “coming up,” the 20, 30 and 40 year olds who understand how satisfying making things really is. They also appreciate that quality over quantity is ultimately a better way to live, not to mention more sustainable! Unfortunately I think a lot of the post war boomer generation got suckered into the super consumerist lifestyle thing. But we too are learning 🙂 xxx

  • Suits. I’d have great suits custom-made. I don’t really wear suits anymore, but I’d love to have a couple in a ‘relaxed’ style that I’d wear with tees and flats – how I used to dress when I managed the PR for a hotel in Australia, I guess. We were expected to be stylish but casual. I had one made in Thailand once and it was the best suit I’ve ever worn. Dressmakers are hard to find in London too, I’m still trying to find someone to turn that material I purchased from Mood Fabrics into a dress! Esther xx

    • Anita Irlen says:


      Yes, suits for sure. I’ve been wanting someone to “knock me off” a Chanel style suit for many years now. Wow, I admitted that. Probably I should just go for very high end vintage… It’s surprises me to learn that dressmakers are hard to find in London! But I suppose it’s tailoring that the British are most known for? xxxx

  • Melanie says:

    I would have a winter coat custom-made, the coat of my dreams. But not until I could wear it without feeling the guilt of its price tag. Yes, I would say I am a flaneuse, almost always alone on my city wanderings, peering, peeking, discovering, freaking myself out even. And I like the cowgirl-does-flapper dress. The fringe! Yes.

    • Anita Irlen says:


      I knew it, you are definitely a flâneuse. Have you read the book? A custom made winter coat would be magnificent, and I’m wondering if it might cost less than you’d think? Really excellent fabric though, that too can be costly. But yes, the coat of your dreams to flaneur about in… xxx

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