Monday, June 27, 2011

Fashion and Crimea, smiling faces from Milan

History does not record whether it were the teal sweatshirt, eliciting the fanny, or the rakish shiny redband at the exposed, pale throat which led critics of our haberdashery to such applause for orange-banded purple socks and periwinkle mittens at Milan's runways of Autumn this year. It was enough for The New York Review of Books to call upon Max Hastings to round up the latest publishing on the Crimean War (1854-56) for the issue of June 9th, to regale us with tales of War by Fops and Fools. One does not find more than one sustained reference to George W. Bush in this whole, heroic example of tongue biting, and we are certainly not going to fail that standard.

One of the sublimest, and by unanimous consent the prettiest of the wars of immaculate futility which captivate students of Tom Brown's School Days, Crimea set a standard for consolations of fashion which we are not amazed to find invoked again.

Hastings' article affords a natural bookend to his own original text on a Crimean jaunt of modern times, the Falklands conflict of previous note in our pages. We wonder where this mightn't end, the joyride of our gender between fellowship and fratricide, except at fashion's door.

Elizabeth, Lady Butler
Calling the Roll

Dsquared, 2011

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