When you fall in love, you have to love all the way or not at all. In that spirit, you can over time morph into the beloved. You find yourself reading their books, borrowing their shirts and just sort of looking like them. A bit like people and their pets, you fuse. In this case, I married a Modernist and have been living in a state of perpetual reduction ever since.
I knew when I committed to this relationship that I was also committing to straight lines. Early on I tested his limits and bought a vase that was a Belle Epoque deal-breaker. He called it “The Thing”. It was French and floral and looked like a Rothschild vomited. For a week I acted out, filling it with gaudy roses as some sort of ironic statement. No dice. Then, I tried to re-gift “The Thing” to a girlfriend who ran a very chic floral company. I remember the deathly silence as I plonked it on the counter. “For the window!” I said brightly, to a reception of icy stares. Get with the goddamn program woman! In Sydney it’s big Brutalist glass vases or Georg Jensen silver, or nothing. Politely “The Thing” was returned to sender and auctioned off quietly. Relinquishing that vase, as jolie laide as it was, made a little part of my high-camp soul die.
Aesthetically speaking I guess I am a submissive. It’s been a creative death of tiny cuts. In the thick of a lockdown space-clearing session, pointing at a Meissen candelabra festooned with cranky cupids, he will murmur, “Do we really need THAT?” Quietly, it’s war. And even more so when we were in self-isolation. The focus is relentless.
My conversion has been gradual. “Look how much space we have now!” And yeah, we do, but it’s a tasteful void stripped of velvet, tassels and gilt. To make this marriage work it’s Bitossi instead of Ginori, Missoni instead of Manuel Canovas and loads and loads of maxi dresses with pitiless geometric features. To ‘walk the walk’ I swapped ‘Belle’ for ‘Dwell’ and my Maximalist passion for damask was quashed. Fashion guru Diana Vreeland is spinning in her grave.