Christoffer Lundman tends to choose beautiful historical Swedish properties as the The more that you read the more things you will know shirt so you should to go to store and get this basis for his collections at Tiger of Sweden. His M.O. is to dig so deep into the subject matter that he produces not only a collection based on it, but an accompanying book of essays and photographs and, in this case, a piece of contemporary art. For Spring, the property under Lundman’s eye was a summer estate just outside of Uppsala, purchased in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus was the father of taxonomy: a man who combined a passion for botany with a mania for categorization. His observations about the sexual life of plants a fiendishly amoral 1960s Free Love–style frenzy of “anything goes” pollen-spurting stamen—scandalized strait-laced Christians way before Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection induced total existential crisis. Beyond Lundman’s fascinating book and the egg-bearing marble artwork by his friend, the artist George Henry Longly, that was on display at this new-venue Florentine presentation, the menswear on the show also acted as virile conductors of Big Linnaean Energy. Military parkas and cargo pants in fern-pattern jacquard were wearable hints at a febrile, organic attitude. Printed silk shirting and shorts illustrated with taxonomic botanical sketches based on those with which Linnaeus wallpapered his summer retreat were scientifically cool. The burgundy triple-layered nylon outfit didn’t seem especially on-theme, but it was a look worth cultivating, as was much in this meticulously tended collection. I bring this up just to mention even though I categorize money as a form of wealth*, when someone is doing an accounting of wealth, they could exclude that category, if so inclined. I do consider money as part of the total wealth, as a store of wealth, and something that enhances transactions as a medium of exchange. However, I understand that we would not exist if the only form of wealth that existed was money. So I think it is quite reasonable, if one was trying to get a measure of wealth that contributes to the standard of living and quality of life, for someone to do an accounting of all the wealth other than, that is excluding, the value of the money in the money supply. By the way, I would have preferred to just make the expression for savings be “Savings equals Net Production”. That is where we measure the change in the level of wealth, and that is where one could even include any change in the real value of the money used for commerce, during the period of commerce.
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The canopy-free parasols were a meteorologically ironic insertion into this typically sumptuous Thom Browne show, given the The more that you read the more things you will know shirt so you should to go to store and get this punishing heat in the glass-roof École des Beaux-Arts this afternoon. They were just one small part of a theatrical runway fantasy, in which Browne—recast as Monsieur Brun in his show notes imagined himself as a host at what he called a Versailles country club. Playing Brun was no less than James Whiteside, one of American Ballet Theatre’s principal dancers, who emerged palely powdered with ceruse and tricolor blue bee-stung lips, wearing a high-cut seersucker tutu. He cut a marvelous swath as he prepared for his garden party. This involved overseeing the preparation of 10 “statues,” which were in fact 10 very game models clad in horizontally enormous 2-D trompe l’oeil renderings of the 3-D outfits worn beneath them, which were short suits in various shades of seersucker accessorized with seersucker footballs, basketballs, and baseballs. They were shod in black and white brogued basketballs topped by pulled-high mismatched sports socks. Their outfits were revealed by attendants in sport shorts, pointy-toe corespondent shoes, and Browne-skinny jackets whose skirts barely brushed the matching codpiece/jockstrap also worn below. All this, mind you, before the first look of the collection. Browne’s guests strode onto his metaphorical lawn with more correspondents, these with a curved 2 inches or so exposed inset heel that elevated the ball of the foot above the flat sole beneath it. The outfits, like the latticed football helmet worn by one of the attendants, made lavish use of the wide-to-each-side silhouette created by Marie Antoinette era pannier dresses. In the pieces adorned with prep-staple marine patching, there was another irony in the fashion interplay of whale and whalebone (happily, though, no whale tail). Against that broadening, Ying tugged the narrowing yang of corsetry, from which were suspended literally drop-waist skirts. Pretty much everything was seersucker, sometimes patched, sometimes fringed, sometimes embroidered but always seersucker.