Technical Climbing

A robust cohort of The Directorate — representing two continents and four countries — met on Zoom last Saturday. It was an event. Life-changing advice was dispensed (and not just by me)+ and many appreciations were offered (from me to readers, from readers to The Photographer and me, from readers to one another), so I’d say it was a great success. I had a wonderful time and was so delighted to match faces to names, including those belonging to some long-time readers.

One topic that we did not delve into was pandemic-related eccentricity. Perhaps that’s a topic best saved for a post-pandemic meeting . . . when we’ll know whether the eccentricities have hardened into personality, lifestyle, or habit.
For me, wrinkled khakis have become the norm. I apologize, but it’s just the way I live now.
The Way We Live Now

I asked The Photographer if he could iron my pants in Lightroom; he was dubious, but said he’d try
Well done! It’s not perfect, but so much easier than setting up the ironing board; if only that could work IRL

I look a little sneaky in this photo, but the daffodils are charming
We did discuss the “Zoom frame” and what looks best on camera for work meetings and presentations.
Brooches, as you know, have carried me through the last year . . . and I am counting on today’s brooch to obliterate my wrinkled pants from your mind. If I may say so, this one is pretty fantastic.
Meet Climbing Man.

Is Climbing Man delighting you? Because he’s been delighting me for weeks.
Would I wear this court? No. Absolutely not.
Would I wear it to meet with a client? No. Well, maybe one client. There is one who would get it.
Would I wear it to any other meeting? Oh yes. Have already done so.
There is something funny and winsome about this little figure. I love the little graphic punch of his stripes. I love that he is climbing up my vest. He could be part of the Internet, hand-delivering a few thousand bytes of information.
I love m’ little climbing man

Come closer for some beholding.
This piece was made by an artist, David Chatt, who makes jewelery and small objets with glass beads. He takes small toys and trinkets and covers them with glass beads, which are sewed together and into place by hand.
You may not be close enough for the kind of beholding I have in mind

I’ll pause in my discussion of the brooch to note that WFHing prevented me from rushing this vest to Fatima for alteration* — and I think that’s a good thing. My initial impulse was to trim and reshape these cap sleeves into shoulder straps. But now I think they are perfect as they are.
Don’t be shy! I’ll be vaccinated soon, I’m sure; I am pre-registered for vaccination with (1) D.C. Health, (2) a FEMA/National Guard drive-through hosted by the Greenbelt Metro Station parking lot, and (3) at Potomac Valley Church in Virginia

I feel like Climbing Man could become my confidante. Possibly my alter-ego.
And then eccentricity will have hardened into delusion

Blouse: JCrew Ruffleneck Tuxedo Shirt in Lightweight Cotton Poplin (Note: This shirt is one of my few new clothes purchases of the last year and it’s terrific. Also, it’s on sale.); Vest: Paul Smith; Super-sad Pants: Banana Republic X LightRoom; Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff; Brooch: Climbing Man by David Chatt represented by Sienna Patti
+ Good luck at your job interview, Marie! Let us know if orange carries the day.
* Fatima and I had a splendid Zoom tete-a-tete last week. I mailed her a box of clothes — pinned by me and accompanied with primitive diagrams — and everything came back today, perfectly altered.
You heard it here first: Black Watch is a neutral

13 thoughts on “Technical Climbing”

  1. I’m so sorry to havet missed the zoom-meeting, har internet-troubles… How nice to hear that the meeting was a success! Climbing Man certainly looks interesting and one can wonder what he will do when he reaches the top…

  2. Thank you again for taking the time to assemble the Directorate on Zoom. I unfortunately missed your “origin story” due to technical issues, but greatly enjoyed the call, especially your fashion journey over the years. Long live Esprit!
    I’m glad you kept the sleeves on your vest, I think they balance the cut of the piece quite well. And Climbing Man captures the zeitgeist perfectly for those of us climbing the walls to get out of our homes and back into a post-pandemic world.

  3. From Marie, form France.
    Thanks again for this moment on zoom where we were all gathered to celebrate The Directrice!!
    Joke apart, it was really great to meet you and all the women who are following your blog.
    As for the vest, Paul Smith is very often quite right with its tailoring, it is good this way with the cap sleeves.
    And I like the climbing man, helping to elevate(…) the outfit and the spirit!
    I wanted to add that I really like your lipstick and I admire the way you dress, not at all provocateur for me (whatever it means).
    Have a good day.
    Oh, by the way, my orange jumper and scarf helped me to hide…my pyjamas as I was ready to jump to bed after the zoom call (which I did with gusto).
    I plan to wear black ankle trousers and… an orange velvet jacket for my interview: as we will all be wearing a mask (so no real make up, only the eyes), this will be my lucky charm.

  4. I am so happy I was able to join the Zoom meeting on Saturday. I am a long time reader and long time lurker now converted to a commenter. Thank you for organising it.

    Firstly, no need to apologise for wrinkly pants..some day soon, it will be the thing and people will pay a premium for perpetually wrinkled chinos.

    I prefer to think of the brooch as a symbolic human striving to make it through each pandemic day and through life in general. Proceeding with head up and determination combined with a sense of self in full body stripes.

  5. I didn’t even know about the meeting. But here are some thoughts on the outfit —
    No, those Khakis are not wrinkled — not by a long shot. On the other hand, I don’t live in Washington and don’t have to appear in court (even on Zoom).
    Love the cap sleeves and think that straps would not have been as nice.
    The little figure made me laugh. There are so many levels to the humor. No, I don’t suppose that you should wear him to court.

    • Well…they’re not wrinkled because I actually did digitally iron them in Lightroom! But such trickery is very much the exception on The Directrice, since the board of Directrice Global Industries Ltd. frowns on such practices. Normally all I do with our pix is a bit of tweaking for brightness and color.

  6. Great post! LOVE the brooch — it would be greatly appreciated by the engineers I work with — and the crisscross mix of whimsy on conservative pinstripe is perfection.

    Thank you again for the meeting of the Directorate on Zoom. As a side note, I spent lunchtime today looking for more fashionable eyeglass frames — there were so many good ones on display on Saturday, your own included!

  7. I was sad to miss the convened Directorate, and now, hearing of the excellent advice and origin story and fashion history that I missed, I’m downright despondent. I hope you’ll hold another one soon! I agree with Ericka that the climbing man has a Keith Haring feel, though KH figures always seemed to be suffering somehow and this endearing little orange-and-yellow fella seems to be manifesting “I think I can”. And the cap sleeves are wonderful; being geeky for ’40s fashion, I might even tuck in just a wee bit of padding.

  8. Thanks for hosting the Zoom on Saturday night. I really enjoyed it. I agree with the rest- the cap sleeves are good as is, and the climbing man is very fun. Off to pick out a brooch for my meeting tomorrow!

  9. Echoing the sentiments expressed, I am delighted to have attended the meeting of the Directorate. I feel better informed and better connected as a result.

    As a person who rarely irons, I admit my shame. Maybe that is why I didn’t return to DC after college: too wrinkled and too lazy to iron. Maybe, also, that is why I rarely wear khakis.

    I love the vest with cap sleeves and it looks great with the blouse (and pants).

    I hope Marie’s interview goes great!

  10. Thank you for hosting the Zoom party! It was fun to put names to faces. I like climbing man’s lemony stripes. If I were to wear a bedazzled man, I’d like a thinking man (along the lines of Rodin) in green, or maybe blue.


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