Wednesday, December 20, 2017

High Fashion Beneath the Disco Balls

This was my Christmas shopping destination on Monday -- Selfridge's, on Oxford Street. I am not really a shopping person, but I love this store. It's full of swanky designer clothing of the type that I don't often see, and it's always fun to browse through the Gucci denim with embroidered appliqu├ęs and the bright, floral-print Paul Smith and Ted Baker shirts.

I expected the outing to be dreadful, but instead, I found myself having fun. Yes, okay, it's consumerist and crowded and a little insane, but so what?

For one thing, the main escalators are bedecked with giant disco balls and there's a DJ on a balcony spinning Christmas tunes. Who doesn't love a disco ball? They make everything better. I even made a video to help you to simulate the full experience.

I did find a few things for Dave, though he's not really a floral-print kind of guy.

This is not for Dave. It's for me! Isn't it an amazing jacket -- not only the blue print but the way the light gives the fabric a purple sheen? And the lining is a silky green and brown botanical print. It probably costs a month's rent -- I didn't even look, because although I truly do love it, I know I couldn't afford it and besides, where would I wear it?

Anyway, feeling incredibly self-indulgent at the end of my store-wandering, I even took Dave's purchases to the gift-wrapping counter. But there was an hour-long wait for the finished packages, so instead I got a gift box, which does the job nicely.

And now it's nice to know that there are a few things under the tree for Dave. (There should be a few more arriving in the mail, insha'allah.)

As I mentioned, I also had a dentist's appointment Monday. He looked around my mouth and prodded my gums with that little hook thing and took two X-rays, one on each side, and pronounced me in excellent oral health. Then he cleaned and polished and the entire exam seemed, frankly, a bit perfunctory -- but at least there's nothing glaringly, obviously wrong. I was concerned about my sensitive back tooth, the one that gives me an unpleasant zing every time I drink cold water, but he said it seems fine. So, on we go!

And finally, on Monday night, we met some friends for a visit to the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, near Smithfield market, to hear a small choral group perform music by Benjamin Britten with harp and organ accompaniment. We've done this a few times before (most recently in 2013, I think) and I always enjoy it. Something about hearing those high, crystalline vocal notes in that setting, amid all that medieval stone and stained glass, is truly special.


  1. I love the jacket and wish you could buy it.

  2. Your frugality won out: I hope you don't regret not buying it. Aren't there sales in January? I ask this because you almost never splurge and you are such a good husband to have all of Dave's presents done...I'm glad you had a good time!

  3. I always feel uncomfortable when I see a pair of balls hanging from the ceiling. The jacket would have been great... for Liberace!

  4. Whoa! That IS a beautiful shopping experience! Even I would love that! I do wish you could buy the jacket, Steve. Dang it- you deserve it! Your body takes you so many miles and is good to you and it would love a little jacket-love.
    Even your teeth and gums agree!

  5. I can definitely see you wearing that jacket.

  6. That does look like a fun shopping experience, if there is such a thing!

  7. Oh my gosh, you've named two places that I LOVE in London. On my last trip, I spent a couple of hours browsing around Selfridges. I had a wonderful lunch there then I browsed the shoe department (I didn't buy anything) and I ended up in the lower level where I bought a couple of small things and then treated myself to a glass of champagne at Harry Gordon's Bar. It really is an amazing store and now that I know the history of the place, I can appreciate it even more. Thanks for the video, it was like being there again. The second place you mentioned is the Priory Church of St. Bartholomew the Great. I last visited there in 2013 and thought it was an incredible find. I took a photo inside of a man who was working on a sketch and that picture is one of my all time favorites. I had it made into a 16 x 20 canvas print and it resides in my living room. I would love to hear a musical performance there. I can just imagine how magical that must have sounded.

  8. OK, now I know why you left Florida.

    I hope you at least tried that jacket on? It is beautiful, so mod, and so decadent too. I love a coat that has a secret lining. You could wear it the next time you went shopping at Selfridge's, or every time you ever left the house.

    I've never been to that store (in 40 years of London trips) so now it's on my list. I like Sharon's idea of having a glass of champagne at Harry Gordon's bar, too, but honestly I'd have champagne anywhere.

  9. I loved those big old multi-story stores. Just a better experience than the one-level shopping malls that now seem to be going out of business in favor of on-line shopping. Great video and a great jacket, Steve. Selfridge's should give that to you for the promotion of their store!

  10. I love Selfridge's (did you watch Mr Selfridge on tv. A tad too convoluted for me.)
    But my dream store is Liberty. I could live there.

  11. Don't tell anyone this, but there are some times that I actually enjoy holiday shopping :)

    That is an awesome blazer. I was curious about prices so I googled Selfridges mens clothing and nearly fainted at what they want for a pair of boxer shorts or socks. I really don't want to know about the price of outerwear!