Monday, September 29, 2008

"You long for a great, blonde, Nordic horse who's going to put her foot in your face."

More from Quentin Crisp:

"If you have gone through life wearing pink glasses, you will naturally think the world is essentially pink, while the world thinks of you only as The Person With The Pink Glasses. You may have always thought of yourself as friendly and outgoing, while the world regards you as strangely nervous and talkative, If you are going to get a true picture of yourself, it is vitally important to take into consideration the perceptions of others.
People will always volunteer what they really think of you. The message may be explicit or implicit, delivered by word or by action, but it is always there. If you listen and watch closely enough, you will soon learn what distinguishes you in the eyes of others.
With this information, plus your own assessment of your most prominent traits, you will be in a position to bring your persona in line with your personality, to codify your behavior in such a way as to emphasize and polish that which is essential to your nature and at the same time to do away with everything that is extraneous or distracting. This means not only tailoring your actions to fit your idea of yourself, but tailoring everything else as well: your clothes, your movements, your diction, your vocabulary, your eating habits, your job. Everything in other words, that goes into that overall statement about yourself which you will offer to the world, and which the world will call by another name.
That name is Style."

The photo above is a still from this video of Crisp, sitting in front of Warhol's Marilyn, pontificating on glamour. Please watch if you'd like to know what on earth the title of this post means. You'll notice that this view of Crisp is more flattering that his author photo. Here you can really see his signature look: the hat, the scarf (ascot?), the brooch. His hair was usually an Easter-egg color like lavender or pink. I just learned that he played Queen Elizabeth I in 1992's film, Orlando, which I've never seen. And that until his death, at ninety, he lived in a one-room walk up in the East Village, with a shared bathroom down the hall. Straight out of the chapter, Being Poor With Style.