Sunday, September 26, 2010

NYTimes Book Review

My book just got reviewed in the NYTimes online. Although it's only in a few bookstores (mostly at museums), you can find it on amazon. I really enjoyed seeing which quotes the Times reviewer chose to surface. Somehow the review makes it all feel more real. Thanks to everyone for your support during the creation of the book.


Friday, August 13, 2010

From Blog to Book

After four years of writing this blog, it is now a book. You can find it on Amazon by following the link below:

All Fashion is Fiction: The Collected Writings of Serg Riva

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me along the way. The adventure continues on twitter and facebook, so join me there to follow along.

Special thanks to the Berkeley Museum of Art/Pacific Film Archive who supported the production of the book.

Ciao for now,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hit me on twitter

Why not follow me on twitter?

All Fashion is Fiction

Did I mention I wrote a book?

The paperback version of All Fashion is Fiction is nearing the final stages of completion. Just a few details left (lawyers to call, etc).

Expect it to hit the shelves of Amazon right about the time you are bored with summer.

Check back here for more updates...

Monday, June 07, 2010

The Mathematics of Doubt

The Mathematics of Doubt from Serg Riva on Vimeo.

All Fashion is Fiction; some people just tell more interesting stories. Learn more about aquatic couturier Serg Riva as he reveals insights into his creative process, intellectual struggles, and deep devotion to the art of bespoke swimwear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Celebrity Corner

I’m creating more celebrity suits than I’d like. There is something not quite couture about a celebrity assignment; it feels more like an exercise in publicity than a true expression of the sartorial arts. Not that I mind celebrities. They have fascinating stories, unique personalities, and are great for getting reservations at popular restaurants—it just that they tend to be more insecure about their own physical armature than a traditional couture client.

Also, in general, they seem more interested in how a piece will photograph than how it looks to the naked eye. The details of couture are hard to see in a tiny digital photo posted on someone’s best dressed for the beach list. Sometimes a celebrity client (or their publicist) will push for something that will show up in a photograph, rather than what makes the most sense for the piece itself. This is why logos have grown larger in the camera phone/internet era.

In person, my suits are remarkable for the fact that you can’t actually see any stitches, unless of course I specifically foreground them as visual details. Hidden pick-stitches and locked under-tucks are never going to show up on a camera phone. In the flesh, however, there is something arresting about that fact that with a Serg Riva suit, the fabric just stops. No hem or seam is visible. The result is both seductive and unsettling. It is like seeing a person with perfect skin in full sunlight or a ski run with completely virgin snow; the plentitude is astounding.

All couture is like this. I just happen to do it for swimwear.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thought Music

I found a Walkman, not an ipod, or iphone, but an old-fashioned Walkman from the late 80s. It was a yellow “sports” Walkman, with waterproof seals and dark grey plugs for all of the holes. Inside there was a cassette. Contained on the tape was a composition labeled THOUGHT-MUSIC. No mention of the composer.

It caught me by surprise; what was the Walkman doing on my little section of beach, at the head of the trail right near my back door?

It was wrapped in banana leaves and resting on a little pedestal made from carved coconuts. It was as if some impish cat had caught a mouse and proudly offered it to her owner by leaving the carcass on the doormat—but instead this was some gift for me (I suppose?) possibly to be inspiration for one of my shows for a new mood or a new direction. I normally listen to the most difficult, unpleasant styles of classical music: the kind of music that feels like mathematics rendered through a rainstorm that occasionally breaks into a melodic phrase of clarity that feels so refreshing that the entire struggle seems worth it. I had studied composition in my youth, and ever since listening to difficult music has remained an indulgence.

This cassette was indeed classical music, but of a different kind. It was a special type of intellectual statement—less about the bombastic tinkering of a shouting poet and more about the clarity of thought that comes from having something to say. Parts of it were dark, but other parts were lighthearted and even funny—when the music seemed to drop away all concerns and pretense and began to display a sense of humor—not silly humor, but more like the droll humor of a great wit—before turning its attention to shapes and thoughts of intense beauty.

The line was melodic, but also structural, without being too pedantic or literal. Sometimes several phrases would play at once—like a thoroughly entertaining cocktail party, where you overhear conversations that lay atop of one another— the resulting tonal lines (sometimes even simultaneously in different keys!) were complimentary and unique, as if to say although we are all having different conversations, we are all at the same party. It reminded me of the type of music I would have like to have written had I gone on with composition instead of switching to fashion when I found the musical world too remote.

I showed the Walkman to Tako, and she just smiled and said Happy Anniversary. I asked her who the composer was, and she told me to go look in the mirror. The music, she claimed, came from a pile of scores she had found in a box at my mother’s house. She had sent the score to some friends of hers at Julliard, who had cleaned it up a bit (but not too much she promised), recorded it and sent it back as a CD. She had dubbed it to cassette and left it for me to find.

Tako gives the best gifts. She gave me a piece of my old self. Do you see now why I love this woman so?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

finestra aperta

I can see a single palm tree from my window. I cannot estimate its age, but it seems old enough to know better.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Quick Change

Running along the beach I was not wearing shorts, but instead was wearing rolled up seersucker trousers and an untucked Charvet shirt. The shirt was trim enough that I did not look like a clown, but instead gave the impression of an athletic, roguish croquet player running to meet for a secret tryst on the other side of the sea cliff.

Or so I thought. We can only see ourselves through our own imagination, even when there is a mirror. How else can you explain the outfits some people wear? I am no exception. Sometimes I will attach a fantasy to an outfit I am wearing that doesn’t match the imagination of others. The mismatch can be frightening. In this case, my reality check came in the form of a dog; a gorgeous blue heeler mistook me for either cattle or sheep.

I did not see the dog approach, but I did feel it bite. Keeping perfect pace with my stride, the dog placed its mouth around my ankle and closed its jaw just enough for me to feel pressure but not enough for its teeth to break the skin. I veered into the waves and the dog circled back, but stayed close.

The dog's owner whistled from farther up the beach and the animal turned and ran away.

Soaked from the splashing, and knee-deep in the surf, my outfit no longer felt impossibly light and optimistic, but instead felt like I was wearing yesterday’s wet blanket. It had transformed from an inspiration into a costume. I started to walk towards the shore and after just a few steps I stopped. My shadow was hunched over with the rolled shoulders of a defeated lump. I am not so easily beaten. I am not such a coward or a push over. If my outfit is no longer working, that doesn’t mean I’m out of luck.

I stripped to my underwear, tossed my clothes into the surf, adjusted my posture, and walked back up the beach—proud, confident, and completely at peace. Sometimes no clothes are better than the wrong ones.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interview teaser

Serg Riva: The Urge to Serg Interview from Serg Riva on Vimeo.

All Fashion is Fiction; some people just tell more interesting stories. Learn more about aquatic couturier Serg Riva as he reveals insights into his creative process, intellectual struggles, and deep devotion to the art of bespoke swimwear.

If you've been following along, then you know that I am at work on a reality TV series called Serg Riva: The Urge to Serg. Tako and I sat down together and cut a new teaser reel for the show. Watch it here.

If you are new to the blog, then this video gives you a quick sense of what it's all about. If you can't play the video, or are at work and don't have headphones, then here's a short overview of the last four years on this blog:

My name is Serg, I create bespoke swimwear. My best friend is a DJ and producer named J.J. and the love of my life goes by the nickname Tako. We are shooting a reality TV series about my life as an aquatic couturier. Currently, my workshop is on land while my boat is getting repaired, but usually, we are all working from my floating atelier. We have lots of parties, yes, but design is serious business. It is a lot harder than it looks to consistently nail the trends year after year when your metier is four triangles of fabric held together by string.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Conversation Starters

Asked by a famous magazine to write an article on trends for the coming year in swimwear, I instead took my allotted column inches and wrote this...

The Urge to Serg: Advice from the World's Most Famous Aquatic Couturier
by Serg Riva

Swimwear is not worn on the body, but born inside the mind. Confidence is your greatest accessory, and wit is your credit card that never expires.

Cut the corners off of a folded sheet and it becomes a dress. Tie it with a belt and it becomes fashion. Cut it in half, and it becomes a masterpiece.

A compliment, like colored hair, is best when only the right people notice.

The best insults sound like compliments to the uninitiated.

If caught in a battle of words, to be truly devastating, at just the right moment, simply say nothing.

Reading a book is the most intimate form of discourse; you are no longer required to be you, but instead are a newly formed we; great swimwear does the same thing.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Artisanal Lace

This much I do remember: Jebez Jr. and I had gone shopping for costumes for an afternoon tea party where we wanted to dress like people other than ourselves. We were having a great time not taking life too seriously. At one point he grabbed a piece of cardboard off the street and held it to his face like a mask; three people leaned out of a window and waved to us from a party until they were pulled back to the dance floor. I felt a bit like I used to feel in college—like I knew a little something secretive and special about the world and given a chance I would find a way to share it. The shopping proved futile, but we were in such a fine mood that we didn’t want the afternoon to end. We ended up drinking cà phê sữa đá by the bucket in a stuffy shop that sold used books. The iced coffee was strong and invigorating, but also I think tainted with some other toxin, because what happened next was not at all expected.

I got up from my seat and pulled J.J. with me by the front of his jacket. My hearing wrapped around itself and my vision degraded in long blue smears until it turned into the after burn of flash bulbs popping like rain drops in a puddle. My consciousness failed as I passed out. What happened next remains a mystery to me.


I woke up asleep inside of a boat. Not my yacht, but a fishing boat no bigger than a floating coffin, nothing more than a skiff. I tried to piece together what had happened, but found my memory frozen with the shock of self-disapprobation; I do not like to be out of control, even if it is not my fault. My face was against the floor of the boat. My nose was flattened by my own weight. I did not want to get up, but as always, inaction was no recourse; I rolled over and sat up. The boat was floating aimlessly down a river. No one else was in the skiff. I was wearing four thousand dollar shoes, dirty denim trousers and a black fisherman’s sweater. These were not the clothes I remember last wearing. There was a brass key taped to the inside of the boat’s hull but no label attached to the key and no other item in the boat. I did not know if it was dawn or dusk. Floating like Moses in his basket, I knew nothing about my journey. I put the key in my pocket and unlatched the one remaining oar and set the boat towards the bank of the river. I chose the port side bank, if for no other reason than I thought it made for a more cinematic landing, with the low cross light of the sun just hitting my cheek, filling all dimpled hollows and time-worn valleys of my face; etched in golden light, I rowed to the port side shore.

Running aground, I had to hop out of the boat to keep it from turning downstream. The maneuver soaked my shoes and pant legs up to the knee. I pulled the skiff ashore, as I felt some need to secure it for future use if my more or less fortuitous landing spot proved an unfortunate draw. All rivers occupy low ground, so I had to hike upwards a bit to get a sense of where I was.

Waiting for me at the top of the embankment was the vast, thrilling, chasm of nothingness: no idea, no plan, no guide, no reference, only the openness of opportunity. The bank gave way to land, which gave way to a road, which lead to a wood, which I followed like a detective musicologist chasing the sound of a clarinet’s melody in the middle of a rising jazz cacophony. My feet slapped forward with my curiosity alternating between wonder and disorientation like the clapping hands of an enthusiastic listener who can't quite follow the beat.

The road lead to a grand country estate. I felt an uncanny certainty that the key in my pocket would open the front door, and of course, it did.

Inside, the estate was lit only with candles and large fireplaces burning what smelled like a combination of Cedar and Scots Pine. I had seen neither of these trees on my walk to the estate, and wondered if the wood had been brought in just for the wonderful smell. There was a long table set with marzipan and cut fruit that had clearly been arranged within the last few hours. Down the hall I heard music and I followed it not knowing what I would find.

The hall gave way to a grand ballroom. Inside people were dancing and drinking and swinging in each other’s arms. A man ran up to me and clasped me on either shoulder and exclaimed how happy he was that I had made it back. Women were wearing gowns cut across their bodies to both conceal and reveal their inner architecture. Several were wearing pieces that included artisanal lace and embroidery—hallmarks of truly expensive couture. The music was courtly and drifted through the bodies of people dancing, so that it was louder in the gaps and muffled across the shifting masses of people turning and whirling through the open room.

Enlivened by the presence of other people, my senses domed around me forming the fuzz of a personal ecosphere. I was moving through the crowd while still completely in my own world. Glimpsing from across the heads of dancers, I spied Tako turning and leaving the room. My heart leaped and I followed quickly to find her. Did she see me? Where was she going?

The Deluge

Each hallway ended in another room, which lead to another hall or chamber. Although large from the outside, the estate proved enormous when you were in the thick of it. When I caught up to Tako, she was moving quickly, but not running. She took my hand and led me first through the library and then abruptly through a steaming copper kitchen. Out the other side, we crossed a music room, replete with a harpsichord, celesta, and piano (was it only keyboard instruments?) until we arrived at a side entrance to the estate. J.J. pulled around in a matte grey 1962 Jaguar convertible with a right-hand drive. Tako and I climbed in and J.J. wheeled the car around the driveway, nearly clipping a stone statue of Venus. We were about to leave the estate behind when I realized the car wasn’t made of metal, but instead was carved from a single block of ice. It started to crumble and fall apart and the road itself began to loosen and suddenly the three of us were neck deep in a river mud. The river cleansed itself as more water rushed forward and the whole party from the estate was now floating around us with chairs, serving platters, masked patrons, chefs, band members, women in cocktail dresses still swilling their drinks, men in tuxedos playing cards while floating on their backs, dogs with diamond collars and eager young lovers kissing on couches, which were floating half-submerged and collecting frogs and sticks and debris from the river in the cushions; lampshades floated past tables floating past silver trays of salmon canapés; river animals crawled up on chairs and ate straight from the plates; Tako held me close as we watched the deluge churn; J.J. picked up a violin and started playing the birdsongs one would expect in these woods; I saw items from my youth tucked inside little gift bags floating past and treasured designs I had created but forgotten amid the muck and the mud; a photographer from my first collection sailed by on a Louis XVI chair and snapped our picture with a Polaroid, he reached over to give it to me but then took it back at the last second, saying it was a keepsake; snakes slithered past with jewels in their mouths; a woman in courtly dress found a salamander lodged in her décolletage; Tako held onto my side as we floated on, she leaned her mouth close to my ear and whispered in a way that made all other sound disappear, “Après nous?”

Friday, January 29, 2010

Begin Again

Like a dirty joke with no punch line, or a rhyme with no matching pair, a bikini cannot be separated into a top and bottom and then mixed and rematched with any other separate.

A bikini is a bonded duality: it is always top plus bottom, it is never just a top or just a bottom.

However, it gives me great pleasure to imagine unexpected combinations of top and bottom. The fabric, pattern, texture and style could be varied to create a new thought—a Frankenstein’s monster or admixture that is as clever and shocking as seeing the beginning of one word attached to the end of another.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Never Odd or Even

I have a trained crow, which somehow learned to talk. Most people know that parrots can speak, and that mockingbirds can emulate the sounds cascading from almost anything, but few people know that a crow can learn words as easily as a bleach-bottle blonde can ignore his or her own dark eyebrows.

There are birds at sea, of course, but they tend to be only a certain type of bird, interested in surviving the vastness of the ocean, and less concerned with discourse or the arts.

On land (as I have been since dry-docking the floating atelier and holing up in my studio), the birds are different. They are no longer just trying to survive, but instead are busy cultivating their own lives. Social, musical, and industrious, birds of the land are ever active.

I first found my trained pet while trying to sketch a set of five looks for a countess from somewhere old fashioned who wanted to look new without appearing as if she was trying too hard. In her world, no one appreciates a striver; when you lack for nothing, you start to find other ways to come up short. Ambition, for her, went out the window the second she stopped needing to check the price before purchasing.

She was a great client—calm, patient, and willing to sit through the number of fittings required to nail the difficulties of micro pleated textured silk without yawning or complaining. She had typical bones, a slightly short torso, and marginally irregular shoulders (one just a touch wider than the other). She had taught herself to turn when facing someone so that her shoulder line always appeared straight and symmetrical through the subtle foreshortening. I encouraged her instead to exploit the irregularity as a calling card and trust the long shoulder forward, magnifying its elongation and embracing the louche overtones of its extension.

Grateful to find a way to enjoy her own form rather than try to hide it, she immediately adopted the change. Now, whenever someone takes a photo of her, she always appears in motion: at once alight and at rest. She mastered the new stance instantly, and I admired her willingness to go all the way for a look, right down to calculating her appearance from the point of view of others while still maintaining her individuality as a unique body and original form.

She also had a dreamy, drifting personality that often allowed her to say utterly banal pleasantries one moment and then irrevocably strange conspicuities the next. Odd comments came from nowhere with no warning or warm-up, and then disappeared again within the murmur of polite conversation. So I did not even flinch when she explained to me that on her way in she had seen a crow that could speak.

After fitting her all afternoon, chalking and re-pinning muslin, and sketching out how the whole look would come together, we took a break and went to the open-air esplanade that runs off of the back of the studio. Instead of strolling, she sat. I sat near her and was busy looking across her shoulder line, not to see down her blouse, but to calculate the radian of the circle I would use to cut a particularly tricky single-piece folding wrap jacket (like Cristobal Balenciaga’s no seam shoulder folds) as a way for her to layer her total look. In my preoccupation, I missed seeing the bird walk up. It waddled over and started squawking.

At first I could not make out what it was saying, but then the words were clearly present. He could say individual words, such as “level” “racecar” and “bob” and then would also say longer phrases such as “Never odd or even” and “No lemon, no melon.”

My client looked up at me and said, “How sad - he only speaks in palindromes.”

When I asked her why it was sad, because I thought it was rather remarkable, she explained that after every sentence, no matter how far he goes, he was back to where he had started. She gave a small smile, and then drifted away again to the vagaries of the event she was attending that evening.

The bird followed us back to the edge of the studio and stayed at the window while we worked. Hours later it was still there. Long after the countess left, the bird remained perched near the window.

The next morning, there was no ceremony to it; I simply opened the door and the bird walked into my atelier. It was as if he had been my pet all along, and I had simply not realized it until now.

How luxurious are the feathers of a crow—black and iridescent with the oil stained float of bubbles and shine. I found I could stare at him for hours, his twitching, robotic wildness easing into domesticity only to jump back to the lightening state with the crack of a door or the ring of the phone.

I started to wonder who had taught him to speak only certain phrases and not others. It would either mean only speaking in palindromes yourself, or that the bird had the option to say other words, but chose palindromes for his own personal reasons.

Conversations with him were both lunacy and genius:

Mr. Owl ate my metal worm.
I prefer pi.
No lemon, no melon.
Rise to vote, sir.
So many dynamos!
Never odd or even.
A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!

and then, at some point it became madness and I had no choice but to try to communicate rather than to merely listen. I was exasperated by the time I finally asked him why a crow would speak only in palindromes. He responded:

Do geese see God?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t book my own clients. My second assistant used to do it, but he’s proven too valuable as a cutter to pull him off patterns, so instead the new intern books the calls.

She is certainly smart enough and seemingly well qualified – Princeton English major, previous internship at Carolina Herrera, father was an Olympic hurdler, mother was an opera singer, sister works at the UN, brother is in some famous downtown band—but she is a little too kind. The clients tend to push her around a bit and cause her endless headaches with scheduling conflicts and special requests.

We never refuse a client request. We are clearly in the service of our clients, but there is a gentle way to guide a client that can actually make the experience feel even more exclusive; no one respects a pushover, and everyone loves a velvet rope – just as long as they are standing on the correct side. So the trick is to be just firm enough to illustrate the presence of the velvet rope, but then to yield at the right moment to ensure the client feels an undeniable rush of inclusion and select status. If all of this sounds calculated, it is. I am certain my clients wouldn’t want it any other way. My clients are buying swimwear fastened together with diamonds nearly the size of coconuts, with hand-carved clasps that are mini-Michelangelos, and straps that do not adjust because the suits were cut for only them and have no need to fit to any other body. My clients expect a certain amount of ritual to be performed during the preparation of a new commissioned piece. Much like a tea ceremony, the actual final act of consumption is only part of the experience.

This is all to say that I never know who is coming in each morning. Sometimes the client is an old friend and I’ll get a phone call in advance, but usually it is a surprise.

Today the client was new, unexpected and started off as a total disaster.

She wanted a way to let everyone know that she’d arrived in society and had the means to afford a bespoke Serg Riva suit. Most of my clients do not care to advertise that they work with me – those in the know simply already know. To the trained eye, my suits are identifiable across the room. Not even Kamali can match it. (She is wonderful, but like most designers today she no longer runs a couture shop. Instead, she does a high-low mix, sometimes Browns, sometimes Walmart).

I wasn’t sure how to respond to the client’s request that my suit advertise its own making in any way other than through the quality of its design. The client insisted that some type of signature print, or logo, or label would make the whole thing much better. I was in a pickle. Logo blasting is not really my style. So I began to think – how could I take this idea and go all the way? A logo is déclassé, but if something is knowingly brazen enough, it becomes genius.

I had my goldsmith forge the letters to my name one at a time into thin, perfect block letters. I then constructed a rather plain looking white bikini, made of solar-translucent fabric (the kind that the sun can pass through to avoid any tan lines). I then stitched the letters into place behind the fabric, so that they were unseen from the outside, but served as a solar block against the skin.

At first she was disappointed. All she could see was a rather basic, but beautifully made plain white bikini. Then I explained that after wearing the suit all day, her body would be tan, but the letters of my name would be written across her posterior as a type of suntan tattoo (tanttoo?). She jumped with happiness – she loved the idea! It gave her great satisfaction to imagine showing the tanttoo to friends to prove her naughtiness while demonstrating her wealth. Did I give the client what she wanted? I think so. Every day is different at a couture atelier.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Menswear Consequent

Shaking the shadows out of my hair, I stepped into the atelier early this morning and didn’t come out until nine at night. My first action was to sweep my desk clean. It had become a barnacled humpback of mementos, bad ideas, half-drawn sketches, wistful clippings, half-crossed out to-do lists, empty promises, last year’s ideas, coffee ringed notepads, and every other type of misguided thought heavy with the microscopic dust of the old. Now is not the time for mildew and yearning, now is the time for the new.

It was thrilling to see my bare desk again - a blank piece of ancient driftwood - waxed, sanded and planed flat enough for detailed drawing, but warped enough to always set you on edge. Never too comfortable with a completely even surface, I can rest easy on this desk; its hollows and hillsides hold my pencil and cradle my forearms as I stretch across it to draw.

I draw two ways. The first is on paper like everyone else, except that I don’t technically use a pencil. Instead I use a Caran d’Ache “lead holder” which looks like a mechanical pencil, but doesn’t click in the same way, and holds a thick fat tube of graphite. The second way I draw is on the body: pinning, cutting, and whip-stitching fabric on a dress-form (or even on the client herself) composing a new shape or new secret volume right there in the moment. It takes a nimble hand to stitch while the garment is still being worn - careful fingers and fast thinking won't make up for a pricked client if I miss. Like a surgeon, every stitch counts when working this way. It is my favorite way to compose a cover-up or beach-wrap that could double as a dress. I think it is thrilling for the client too, as they can see the volume take shape in front of their eyes, on their own body, rather than through the abstraction of a pattern or a fit model.

I spent the day carving up paper with new ideas and pinning muslin to the sounds of my own spinning thoughts. When I was done, I was soaking with sweat. I had forgotten to turn down the heat and the atelier climbed in temperature as the day turned to night. I took off my shirt to cool off and just stood there for a minute looking at the shirt in my hand, turning it over and thinking about its simple, yet iconic architecture - then I got an idea. I pinned my shirt inside out on the dress form, and studied the yoke and shoulders and collar. I could construct a woman's garment from the pieces of my shirt that would be retain the vocabulary of menswear, without any of the utility. Does this make sense? I could capture the utterance, but eliminate the language. I grabbed my shears and picked out the stitching, pinning and whip-stitching the pieces that held the most clearly designed "nouns" of menswear: the cuffs, the collar, the yoke, and the placket.

Three hours later I had a new design. It was a skeleton, a ghost. It was the burnt rubber left on the road after a drag race, it was the tracks in the snow left by a rabbit, hunted by a fox. It was the echo of a consequent, without the antecedent.

I'll post a photo of the finished design soon, I want to see it on an actual body before I share it with the world. Until then, here is a shot of me in the heat of the moment.

Friday, January 08, 2010


In my dreams I am returning to the same swimsuit, unable to fix certain problems of drape and contour. The body changes as I stitch, the shape morphs into another form, and my ability to be precise becomes as elusive as the Elysian Fields. My fingers turn to butter and I cannot hold my needle and thread. The model grows enormous and then shrinks beneath my touch only to return again to normal size. I am searching for the solution and attempting to see an answer, but the shape and structure drift. When I grip the fabric it turns to sand.

Anxiety dreams come every night. The only cure is to get back in the Atelier and get to work. My mind clearly wants to work, and invents problems where there are none.

The dream returns. In the distant sand I can see a figure. It is feminine, walking with each foot exactly in line with the last so that the hips swing like the rolling waves of the sea. The figure is carrying something. It is a long rope. She drags the rope this way and that, making some sort of arrangement in the sand. She comes closer but gets more blurry and indistinct. I cannot see her clearly, but I am sure she is a messenger.

I take off my glasses to get a better view. I cannot see at all. Blowing sand is everywhere.

Alone now in the desert, looking down on myself, there's a message in the sand. The rope carried by the figure spells out something poetic, short, but certain. I can barely read it. I start tracing the letters one at a time.


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

New Year's Eve

What started out as a simple New Year’s Eve party ended up out of control, on the streets, and in the gossip columns. My second assistant was jailed, the new interns were asked to do truly unthinkable tasks on their first day in the atelier, and Tako ended up running down the avenue in a vintage Dior gown originally worn in Godard’s À bout de souffle, temporarily on loan (but now clearly missing) from the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I would go on and on about what happened. But New Year's Eve is so last year, non?

If I ever write a book, I'll include the whole story. Until then, let's get back to business...