30 December 2008

Remembering Eartha

A year ago today, I bought a little trinket.

Dark and gorgeous, she's a little British, a little devilish, and a whole lotta cat.

When I use the paddle shifters and that engine purrs, she is every bit her namesake: Her name is Eartha.

Which leads me to a recent passing that cannot go unmentioned. My dear Eartha Kitt. Every time that engine growls for all the years I own that car, I will think of you, and purr, and laugh. Of all the women who catch the eyes and imaginations of the gays, Eartha was MY diva. I secretly harbored fantasies of meeting her, or even of driving her around in my very own Eartha.

Like Macbeth said: She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.

Here she is as I will remember her:

And one more for the road:

13 December 2008

In Search Of...

...The Perfect Leather Jacket

Sagittarius is the seeking sign. Bow drawn in the heavens, we are a divided lot--half animal, half man--elevated above the beasts but not quite fully human. This time of year, our time, is particularly hard for Sagittarians. Our sign rules us as the days grow shorter, headed into the Winter Solstice, when Capricorn will take over. We become introspective, a little moody, inclined toward reflection, and generally a little less zingy.

Each year my birthday and Christmas result in a lot of people asking me what I might want as a gift. In the last decade, the answer has become increasingly difficult. Mostly, I tell people now to give a gift to the Trevor Project.

The reality of being of a certain age and in a certain place socio-economically is that there isn't much I want. In fact, I would argue that I want for nothing, except perhaps a loving boyfriend,

or maybe a dog.

Even these things aren't really necessary, so I have a hard time putting them in the category of want. They are also notoriously difficult to find.

Which brings me to my new section: In Search Of...

In a capitalist society, we have so much that buying can become an act not of acquisition but of selection. I want a dress, says the Fashionista. But it's not just a dress that the Fashionista wants. It's a Philip Lim, or a Leger. It's color, shape, wearability. Perhaps it's for an occassion, perhaps not. Regardless, the process that begins is what I call "The Luxury of Choice".

In other places (and I don't mean other countries, just other places), choice itself is a luxury. We get to choose. We choose what sites we read, what clothes we wear, with whom we socialize. All of these things are the soul of luxury. To me, luxury is not the quality of the item necessarily, but the ability to have chosen it in the first place from among a constellation of options.

This season, a hole in my wardrobe has made itself known. It's always been there, but the climate of Southern California has allowed me to ignore the lack of a certain fundamental piece of a man's wardrobe: the Leather Jacket.

Now it's time for the Big Fish story. There was once a leather jacket so beautiful that it entranced Sable Crow, who had flown to an event innocently unaware of the creature laying in wait. This jacket was of the finest leather, with a treatment that was unique (it was like a fine-wale courduroy made from leather!) and stylish (motorcycle jacket in shape, but not padded or poofed). It was delicious, and Sable Crow found himself powerless against the power of the ring, er, AmEx. He bought the jacket.

But the power of the ring, er, AmEx, would not be disuaded. The jacket hung on Sable Crow's bedroom door, a reminder of his transgression. The coat had cost as much as--say--an auto bailout, an infrastructure project, or AIG. Sable Crow, in a fit of remorse, returned the jacket and cast it into the fires of Emporio.

You can see the jacket here, styled beneath the furry overcoat:

So what does Sable Crow do, then, as fall approaches? He starts looking for leather jackets elsewhere. But, like Goldilocks, none are "quite right".

So now, I ask for my Reader's help with my new leather fetish: What's the best men's leather jacket?

Is it a bomber?

A car coat?

A motorcycle jacket?

A harness?

Is it casual? Formal?

The choices are mind-boggling. Meanwhile, Sable Crow drifts from Emporio to Barneys to John Varvatos, idly pawing dozens of leather coats that just don't seem right. Should a leather coat be this much of an issue?

I honestly can't think of another purchase that has given me this much pause, with the possible exception of my car.

About the only thing I can settle on is that it must be black. Quelle surprise.

It seems reasonable that if you're going to spend the wardrobe-equivalent of a car, that it should be on something that is flattering, classic, versatile, and in all ways perfect. It is, in short, a Sagittarian finger-trap! The harder I hunt and struggle, the more impossible it becomes to escape. I would love Jean Bean to weigh in on this one. The season may have passed, but a leather jacket has become my perennial sartorial quest. (At Neiman Marcus today, I asked the Duke of Style if leather jackets would come in for spring. "Naturally!" he exclaimed, his Tom Ford suit softly echoing his excitement with its subtle hand stitching. "That's the BEST time to buy a leather coat for LA since the leathers will be thinner and more year-round.")

My thought is to go more luxe, so I'm watching the following designers: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Giorgio Armani (not Emporio! I'm breaking ranks!)

Is this the wrong track in a depression? Sable Crow would love reader feedback. In this case, as in so many, a woman's opinion could be very helpful. What do men desire?

A Leather Jacket is my new In Search Of...

...post script...

Some additional notes. Look at this comparison:

Creepy, no? Maybe Botega Venetta's Thomas Maier is a Trekker?

Speaking of creepy, and trekkers, get a load of this. F+! A sartorial Trek blog! I can't stand it. High brow meets low brow! Runway meets starbase! Sable Crow is undone!

03 December 2008


Dear Reader,

Some of you who read my blog regularly might not be too surprised by the title of today's entry. But I've tricked you! It's not what you think!

It's another Dear Sable Crow!!

I was asked a question by an esteemed Reader, and I love questions.

Dear Sable Crow,
What is the difference between a recession and a depression?
Depressed But Well-Dressed

Dear Depressed,

To quote a quip I heard some months ago:
A recession is when someone else loses their job.
A depression is when it happens to you.

Depression is defined by the “Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms” as: "economic condition characterized by falling prices, reduced purchasing power, an excess of supply over demand, rising unemployment, accumulating inventories, deflation, plant contraction, public fear and caution, and a general decrease in business activity."

The classic definition of recession is much more narrow and is “defined by many economists as at least two consecutive quarters of decline in a country’s GDP.”

This period we’re in, of course, is much more depression-like. But economists, politicians, and financial folks don’t like to use the word because it’s ALWAYS associated with the Great Depression. Unemployemnt at that time peaked in the low 20%s. Ours is probably around 7.5%, higher in CA. We also don't have deflation, mostly becuase our good government has pumped (by some estimates) about $3,000,000,000,000 into the economy in the last few months. A hugely inflationary attempt to hold up the value of goods, services, and those green and black slips of paper you carry around to buy things.

Yes, we get to pay that back. That's about $10,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. F. It also exceeds the amount of tax revenue we collect in a given year, which is approximately $2,500,000,000,000. Double F. Looks a lot worse when you put all those zeroes, doesn't it? That's trillions, folks. Double F Minus.

If you weren't depressed before, you probably are now. With good reason.

Sable Crow