No, no worries. This tubby, late middle-aged old fart — is there such a thing as a middle fart? — is not going to start handing out anti-beauty tips. One day, maybe one April Fool’s Day, I’ll do a post on Lava soap as the world’s greatest exfoliator or exhort you to throw out all those nasty, germ-laden face creams and go truly natural, let the world see you as the wrinkly old rhino you really are, but not today.
No, today I’m going to write about how I seem to have fallen down the linen-lined rabbit hole.
It started when my friend Jennifer convinced me that what I really needed were some of her cotton-linen towels. Jennifer Gaudet, for those of you that I have not yet bored to tears with all this, is on a mission to revive the handlooms of Turkey. You see, there is a mass migration from the countryside to Istanbul, something to do with the perception that the jobs are in Istanbul. They aren’t really, not in any great quantity anyway. The result is that Istanbul is growing by leaps and bounds. It is filthy in places, has serious pollution problems and folks are living crammed right next to one another, with not so much as a balcony to grow herbs on. It’s a bad situation. So, Jen and her looms are keeping hundreds of people out in the countryside, able to earn a good living and have a kitchen garden, to boot. She then markets the resulting products as the luxury goods they are. Did I mention the organic cotton? Good for the planet, good for society and good for us, too.
So, the towels. They are incredible and, as you can see above, it’s a whole different aesthetic from the Charisma/Frette/Merona usual. To get back to the point, the bath towels are just like bath towels, albeit very nice ones. The linen makes them more absorbant, not wrinkly. The cotton pestamels, though — that’s the blue one — they wrinkle. I for one am not going to spend time ironing my towels, nor do I want to give up the best summer towel ever. So, the creased camel’s nose appears under the tent.
Next came a summer sale at Bon Marché. On sale were these incredible Italian, hand-stamped, heavy linen Bertozzi whatever — sheets, tablecloths, aprons, you name it, there have been enough sales now that I’ve got it. The fabric really is very heavy, so it doesn’t exactly wrinkle, but it doesn’t exactly lay flat, either. I guess you would say that it’s pleasantly rumpled. But oh, those sheets, nothing better when it’s crazy hot outside, even at night. Rumpled or wrinkled, I’m keeping them and I think they are great.
Finally came my personal anti-Louis-Louis campaign. I outgrew damask a long time ago, I guess when I dumped the boyfriend that had a house full of it. Then one day I bought a house that might actually like a little damask, in the right place. But no, thar be bad juju. I kept looking for an alternative. Finally I stumbled down the rue Jacob, land of stunning antiques and designer shops, onto Caravane. The photo above is in the Caravane showroom. They do iron their linen, so their stuff looks a lot better than my stuff will. It’s real linen. It doesn’t rumple, it wrinkles. If you should visit some day, check out the sofa, the coordinating chair and the guest room bedsteads. You’ll see what I mean.
I love the stuff anyway.