Here it is Monday again and I never even got around to posting a Bon Weekend for all of you! Isn't it a good thing that I have a fresh P&C Questionnaire for you this morning? Today's question-ee is none other than Patricia Gaye Tapp of the gorgeous, ephemeral, and incredibly inspiring blog, Little Augury. This is the first case of the P&C Questionnaire begatting the P&C Questionnaire - I learned about Little Augury last year when Victoria Thorne mentioned her among her favorites when she did the questionnaire... It's a deep well of inspiring aestheticism here on P&C!
What is your occupation and how did you arrive at it?
I have been an interior designer and decorator since the mid 80's. I don't know if I had a choice really. I started drawing floor plans, rooms and scenes at the age of 8 when my parents started building a house. Their architectural drawings were on the table in the dining room for two years, penciling in changes, and I was sitting right with them taking it all in. Along with this, my first job, I spent hours pouring through the pages of my mother and grandmother's Vogues and House and Garden.
Name three things that inspired you this week.
When I think of inspiration- I think of people rather than things. I had the most wonderful chat with Charlotte Moss about her new book. When you admire a designer and then find that admiration goes far beyond the work it is inspiring. Charlotte is completely -real- in every way. Inspired is hardly the word.
Something my niece sends my way always inspires me - Usually it is just her. She is a graphic designer and has it together-that's all I can say.
Seeing the beautiful images of Elizabeth Taylor, she was inspiring-she was the package. I think it all comes back to seeing the real thing-an original.
What is your personal style "uniform"?
This is quite telling! My uniform is a caftan, meaning, I don't "dress" every day. If I don't have appointments or errands, I wear a caftan. I have found them in various places - J. Peterman always has something to offer. I have several older vintage ones and a couple of ebay finds too. I also collect unusual fabrics and have someone run them up on the sewing machine into caftans. An old J. Peterman caftan serves as the perfect pattern. I dressed *UP* for work every day for 27 years - remember this was in the 80's! Then it was the works: mostly dresses and suits. I opted for a lifestyle change when I bought a house that had an office at home. I now dress more casually - Welcome Home. Now once again, I have simplified. When I have to "dress" my preference is Black - it still does it for me-head to toe. Baudelaire wore all black -long before it was trendy. Black was his “uniform livery of grief”- his bereavement of man's individuality. He was not a trend follower.
Name one type of clothing, shoes, or accessory that always makes you stop and stare, and explain why.
In thinking this one over- I am mentally scanning my own choices and think I must really snap it up a bit! I think this questionnaire may be therapeutic . It has to be the handbag. If the go-to bag is chosen well it will go with everything. It will look expensive, even if it isn't. If you opt to wear an expensive bag (logo bag) you've dumbed down your own style.
Do you buy vintage? If so, what piece in your collection is your favorite?
I do buy vintage- I have a collection of Chinese robes and jackets and Japanese kimono. I do wear them and love them all.
Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong time? If so, what era would you like to have lived in and why?
Always-doesn't everyone? There are times when I might think-any other-however realistically thinking about cumbersome petticoats, painful corsets, streets of mud and worse- gives me pause. Any period in history offers a plethora of hardships for women. If I have to select hardship and all- I think the Belle Epoque- everything was being transformed, women were still on pedestals-but showing a lot more leg there- Hats were In. Women were curvy and Men loved that. The first World War had not decimated humanity. Proust was writing his social manifesto. Picasso and Freud were romping around along with Degas and Baudelaire.
What current trend do you like the most?
Honestly I can't think of one trend I love. It's the label of trend that makes it problematic. It makes people wear clothes that don't flatter. You know exactly what I mean. I like longer skirts-will always prefer them- and never wore anything above the knee always mid-calf. I haven't worn a short skirt since I was 14. It is about proportion, suitability-it's everything. I will add- I do love gloves- would love to see them de rigueur once again along with a parasol for sunscreen and a fan for flirting. All very useful and very Belle Epoque!
What current trend (in your opinion) cannot disappear fast enough?
Yes, You guessed it- all of them. If we could just do beautiful things and make everyone understand to make choices that work for them and not a tall, willowy 15 year old model. I occasionally see something that looks even terrible on them and I think who could possibly be buying that-but someone always will.
What film could you watch over and over and still find something inspiring? Why?
There are actually many- and though it isn't necessarily my favorite movie of them all by any means, that question would never be answered. The Mike Leigh movie Topsy Turvy is always viewing perfection. It has everything. The film's central story is the frustration that grows between librettist W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, composer- as the famous team of Gilbert and Sullivan. A visit to an 1887 Japanese Village in Knightsbridge Humphreys' Hall takes Gilbert to turn to the Orient for grand inspiration, and so begets The Mikado- all in harmony with the Belle Epoque too. Glorious performances by James Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Shirley Henderson fill the screen. It is chock full of dialog laced with humor and innuendo, opera, fashion, costume, culture-social mores &theatre. What more could anyone want?
If blogging didn't exist, how would you fill your extra time?
Whatever I did before - more reading no doubt - right by the book... walk the dog.