Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marcela, Marcela’s dress and Fabrico Infinito

A Marcela, o vestido da Marcela e o Fabrico Infinito

I had gone through the place thousands of times, but I only just looked. No doubt it was nice and sophisticated but it had never raised enough curiosity for me to get in. You see, in my opinion, the best and most unusual is back there in the garden. It doesn’t even feel like Lisbon!! The air is different there. When I arrived in the garden I looked at the swing and the slide (both pieces worth being in a museum) and I realized that no matter the city in the world where you are, I would always be amazed by finding such a place. And when I tried to find an adjective for all that was before my eyes, someone finished my sentence and said “it’s magical”. I felt slightly bothered for showing my astonishment with the place so openly, so I reluctantly shrugged my shoulders and said:
- Yeah…it’s indeed magical…
And it really is. My luck that Marcela, the owner of Fabrico Infinito, rhymes with the place. As for me... well, I just got another beautiful vision on my blog

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Sports Jacket

O casaco desportivo
O casaco desportivo
O casaco desportivo

It’s not only concepts that are mutable and dynamic. So is our vision of them. My perspective of the sports jacket is quite different today from what it was half a dozen of years ago. There was a time when I considered it a superfluous extravagance of those who wore it. Like the guy that started using part of his work suit on Sunday afternoon or, even worse, that anticipated it’s use on Friday and Saturday nights. But what we wear isn’t simply a free exercise on how to cover the skin. Our attire carries with it a set of symbols and signs, that whether we like it or not, serves as a communication platform with those we meet everyday. According to Durkheim this is what is called "social facts". Something external that is imposed on the individual. Like a collective standard that is applied regardless of his will. When a brand conceives a piece of clothing it’s not only providing a beautiful vision to a potential customer. It's also selling an image, a concept and, sometimes, a dream. And from the moment we buy that piece, we're also consuming the concept, the image, the dream and whatever that piece transmits. This works for the clothing, dermocosmetic, auto or food industries. Because what’s at stake here is not merely the rag with which we cover our body or the service that we receive, but also where those items take us to. The platinum credit card matching an afternoon shopping on 5th Avenue or a restaurant at Mayfair, a beauty cream of a premium brand who could only be located in Paris, a convertible running those very same Corniches where Grace Kelly filmed and died or a cotton coat recalling Portofino's marina.

One of these weekends, I went out at night with two more friends. We took my car and as we stopped by some traffic lights next to a car filled with girls one of them said “girls never look at us when we go out in Zé’s car”. My other friend replied that the sports car of another friend that wasn’t with us that night was the best decoy for attracting girls, but the same friend that had depleted my old Fiat from any aphrodisiac ability wisely said:
- No, the best car for girls our age is my station-wagon. It transmits the image of the guy who wants to settle down and raise a family.
I could write whole paragraphs, wasting your time, and still I wouldn’t be able to express the idea as well as Manel. The concepts and the vision we have of them change as much as the years change the body that we show in front of a mirror. Yesterday a blazer would make me feel tacky and I considered (well, I still do...) a low-cut t-shirt the best thing ever after the invention of the wheel. Today, the informal tone with which I treat the piece of clothing that names this post, makes me feel even more elegant and sleek. For a more rural look I can add it some tire boots, or folded hems for a younger look, or even a beard too long to be considered acceptable by some male magazine, but here’s the truth: in the presence of a woman the jacket makes me feel, not necessarily older (let’s face it, we all politely refuse that adjective), but possibly wiser, interesting and charming or any other attribute socially valued and usually associated with older men. And we all have the right to dream. I don’t pay much attention to the type of press that tries to impose life styles and consumer trends directed to those people with significantly higher bank accounts than mine. On the other hand, why the hell can't I wear something that will make me feel like a million dollars? Will that make me a frivolous person? Like Jorge Palma’s music: “In the land of dreams you can be who you are and no one will hold it against you. In the land of dreams everybody is treated equally by everybody.” From an esthetically point of view, in this precise moment, my enchanted vision of life includes a table in front of the water, be it a river or the sea, naked ankles and an evening breeze that is only bearable wearing the sports jacket. That casual but sleek image (where do you think that the expression “casual chic” comes from??”) reminds me of a good looking Argentinean guy that gave me shelter one night in the 7.ème arrondissement and that told me “Pues mira (R)osé!”. And there he was, in front of the mirror preparing for his night hunt, wearing a beautiful linen jacket and repeating this mantra:
- Joder tío… ahora sí, estás listo para ligar. Joder tío…ahora sí

Monday, July 5, 2010