Alexander, Nonfiction Short Stories
Source – Emma Corrin in a video for the short story Wife, Witch, Poisoner, Whore, read by Helena Bonham Carter on Alexander app
This week I discovered the Alexander app. Emma Corrin stars in a video for one of their short nonfiction stories read by Helena Bonham Carter. I had to see what it was all about and it turned out to be a lovely listen, just under one hour long, about the tumultuous life of Frances Howard, a great beauty at the court of King James I.
The app aims to provide a seamless experience for users while they freely switch from reading to listening. I think that is a great idea but perhaps more useful for longer pieces. I have listened now to five of the two dozen short stories on Alexander, all brilliant, but I haven’t had the chance to test this feature yet.
There is a 14-days free trial period and I am confident all available stories can easily be enjoyed within that time frame, which I think I will probably do. The creators said a new story will be added every two weeks, but given that these are about one hour long, I would find it difficult to justify the subscription for only two hours of content per month, albeit read by brilliant actors.
In any case, it is absolutely worth signing up for the free trial and enjoying some or all of their beautiful stories! I simply loved all I’ve listened to so far. I will have to keep an eye out for future releases!
Style Documentaries – Franca: Chaos and Creation
Last weekend I watched Franca: Chaos and Creation. I honestly didn’t know much about her, just that she was an iconic figure in fashion. I found the documentary very candid (it is produced by her son) and revealing. She truly was an inspiring and fiercely independent person, both in her personal life and in her extensive career at Vogue Italy, as editor-in-chief for almost 30 years.
She had a unique relationship with some brilliant photographers and it was probably what drove the distinctive creative direction she gave to the magazine. She was also very bold, revolutionary really, with her themed issues on anything from plastic surgery to the massive oil spill in 2010, black representation and so much more.
I recommend this documentary (available on Netflix) if you want an insight into what editing a fashion magazine means, but more importantly, an insight into an inspiring human and mom – Franca Sozzani. Read more about her in her obituary.
Franca Sozzani and her son
Fall 2021 Couture
In other fashion news, this week the Fall 2021 Couture collections were revealed. I wrote in my very first letter, exactly one year ago, about Semaine de la Haute Couture 2020 and I explained that I think (some) haute couture pieces are works of art, being fully handmade, from special or sometimes even unique materials and embellishments, using high craftsmanship that might otherwise be lost. The price tags fully explain why the client base is estimated at only about 4,000 people around the world.
Still, I always check the collections not because I am soon or ever going to buy an haute couture gown (I wish!), but because this is an art form and a massive source of inspiration. You can see its reverberations in the pret-a-porter collections and then even in the mass market brands’ offering.
Without further ado, you can see all the collections here. I am in awe of all the Elie Saab dresses and I think the gifs definitely help, truly bringing these to life. Schiaparelli is in a class of its own, always distinctive and new, but still always instantly recognisable. I particularly loved their shoes! Dior does wearable couture like no other maison and it gives the clothes that extra dimension feeling that you could also wear that suit or that dress or even that parka! I also really loved the collections from Ashi Studio and Alexander Vauthier.
The Histories of the Letter X and the Asterix
By way of serendipity, this week I read two very entertaining articles, one about why X is the Best Letter in the Alphabet and the other about A Star is Born – The History of the Asterix. I found both reads very insightful and I love to know tidbits like how the letter X came to be used to signify an unknown variable in algebra, which an equation will ultimately solve or that the string of typographical symbols (such as %@$&*!) used in place of an obscenity is called grawlix.
What’s more, I came out of reading these with two very promising book recommendations that went straight to my wish list: Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet From A to Z and Hyphens & Hashtags*: *The Stories Behind the Symbols on Our Keyboard.
Do these sound as exciting to you as they do to me?
Betsey Johnson House Tour
This quick house tour for T Magazine is full of colour and inspiration, making me pause every other second to take in all the details, from the beautiful wallpaper to the vintage paintings and pictures, the iconic furniture and the exquisite china and glassware. It’s a house to my taste, chic, happy and filled with priceless treasures, regardless of their price! I’d love to be a kid visiting this house, it looks like a curiosity shop.
Mountain Rose Succulents
I am not a huge fan of roses, even though, like everyone else, I do love their smell. I am also not a huge fan of succulents, maybe because they seem to be very trendy. Now give me a succulent that looks like a rose (in green or lovely powder pink) and I am in love. I know, I know, I also have trouble following my own logic on this one, but bear with me as it is for love of plants!
Succulents are notoriously easy to keep alive, which makes them even more attractive. Perhaps I can start a collection with the many variants of these mock-roses. My mom had some when I was growing up and I remember they were one of the few plants that I really admired. I found them again via this article about unusual succulent plants, some of which are really odd, and not necessarily in an attractive way!
For more exquisite examples I recommend you to follow the Rare Succulent Instagram account!
Quote of the Week – Zelda Fitzgerald
This week is a special one, as it marks the first anniversary of Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds! Looking back, I am most proud of the habit I’ve built to spend my evenings and any free time really discovering and enjoying topics and things that enrich me, that bring me pleasure, that keeps me on the path to lifelong learning. It is an amazing feeling!
I had a few different quotes in mind that have, over the years, given me the prompts I needed to eventually do this, to become this. I chose to go with Zelda’s because truly this is a manifesto.
We have the choice of never allowing a circumstance or a person to bore us, we don’t have to consume garbage content just because it’s there or because it’s easy, we should be intentional about how we spend our leisure hours because they should fill and nurture us, rather than make us feel empty and unmotivated.
364 exquisite finds await you on www.MissOnion.ro – books, art and culture, movies and documentaries, style and fashion inspiration, decor and DIY projects, flowers and nature art, rare words and beautiful quotes and much more.
I hope my letters inspire you to keep boredom away!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.