Edie

By Christopher Zoukis Oak Hill Cemetery is in Ballard, California, which is near Santa Barbara, which boasts ‘perfect weather’ all year round.  With their addresses carved in granite, three thousand plus permanent residents abide in Oak Hill, surrounded by verdant greenery, cool ocean breezes skimming over cerulean blue water.  A permanent address should make one […]

Read More


CHANEL – Part 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy hypebeast.com

Four years later, Coco Chanel introduced her line of clothing, which was masculine in style, sporty and displayed clean, functional lines.  Her ability to foresee this ‘trend’ made her clothing an instant success.  In 1923, she launched the Chanel Suit, composed of a skirt and a short, masculine-looking jacket.  It has never gone out of style and is worn by millions of professional women throughout the world today.  So, too, is Chanel’s little black dress, a starkly simple, close-fitting one-piece garment.  This dress defined and illustrated haute couture.

Coco’s visionary designs changed not only the way women dressed, and the way they looked, but also the way they behaved.  The tight, binding chains of prim prudishness dissolved, to be replaced by flamboyant minimalism.  This change in female behavior, in turn, changed the attitudes of men.

Chanel No. 5, Chanel’s eponymous perfume, was devised by Ernie Beaux and built upon the scent of aldhehydes.  Its ingredients were all artificial, made in a laboratory.  A total break from the natural model of perfumes which prevailed up until this point.  The success of Chanel No. 5 is difficult to quantify.  The best way to put it into perspective is this:  one bottle of Chanel No. 5 perfume is sold every thirty seconds.

Yet Coco Chanel

Read More


Chanel – Part 1

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy vb.com

In numerology, which is an occult system based on numbers, numbers are not merely quantitative, but also depict symbolic qualities.  The number 5 symbolizes the whole, for example, as in marriage, where the hieros gamos (the number of marriage, 5) is the combination of the feminine number 2, and the masculine number 3. 

The lion is another traditional symbol, which carries many varied meanings.  Macrobius said that lions were representative of the earth, “Mother of the Gods.”  Pairs of lions are the “master of double strength,” the guardians of doors, gates and treasure. Lions even guard the Tree of Life. 

According to one tradition lions were supposed to sleep with their eyes open, demonstrating vigilance, spiritual watchfulness and endurance.

Lions watch over graves, too.

Five lions of stone are carved into a tombstone in Bois-de-Vaux Cemetery.  Guardians of the grave.  The tombstone itself is white stone. I’m not sure what kind.  It is flat and smooth, with a lintel around the top – very Classical, very Greek.  The initial impression is one of Napoleonic splendor.  The five golden

Read More


Poppy von Frohlich

By Christopher Zoukis / BlogCritics.org

Haute couture is big business in San Francisco, the City by the Bay, a hip and with-it kind of place. Lots of money, lots of well-paid high-tech drones working for start-ups. Still, since haute couture’s business model revolves around super-expensive exclusivity that then trickles down to the masses by way of knock-offs and prêt-à-porter lines, even well-paid techies can’t afford the good stuff. The reigning business model either cuts them out of the running or relegates them to looking just like everyone else. Bummer!

Branding is essential to haute couture’s business model. The more exclusive the brand the more the lumpenproletariat lust for it. Everyone wants to feel special and be perceived as one of the elite. The appeal is emotional, which, as most marketing experts are quick to point out, is why people buy things. It’s what keeps businesses in business. Luxury car makers operate on the same principle – BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Ferrari, Tesla, ad nauseam. People want what they can’t afford or can’t have. It’s human nature.
Image courtesy blogcritics.org
This means most people are doomed to unrequited lust. Unless they marry well or happened to invest in Google when it was less than $100 a share, it’s not happening. They should just resign themselves to shopping at Walmart, Target or Forever 21.

Maybe not.

Enter the mistress of mechanical advantage, whose name is Trudy Hodges. Ms. Hodges in not only a sorceress with needle and thread, she also has a happy knack for business. She created a unique business model for her own line of clothing, one that maintains exclusivity but doesn’t require customers to hock their first-born child or make a deal with the Devil or sell their body parts on eBay.

The company is called Poppy von Frohlich. And even though the name sounds like a cross between Pippy Longstocking and the Austrian army, the designs are anything but Teutonic. PvF’s clothing spans the spectrum from avant-garde to retro, including Italian wool coats with cotton flannel or thick satin linings and cotton crochet dresses. But no matter what, it’s just about fashion, always. And it’s green: no muss, no fuss, no waste; it isn’t a line in which half the garments are destined for the dump.

Read More