Lunch with Judith Thurman

Having shared with the world my nervousness about what to wear to lunch in the same room as Judith Thurman I was reassured to find Ms Thurman, a self confessed ‘inveterate thrifter’, was in fact wearing something she had sourced at the Council of Jewish Women Thrift Store.

It was Saint Laurent however and she was wearing it well. Saint Laurent was something of a theme – in her student days Thurman spent an entire week’s wages on a Saint Laurent skirt she is sure is still out there in Thrift Store land, and she got to go to his farewell show in Paris, front row just down from Catherine Deneuve. Sigh.

Zambesi’s Liz Findlay did the introduction and asked all the questions I wanted to hear the answers to. Rei Kawakubo was not a big talker (two words was her being forthcoming) but they bonded over cats; Thurman has actually seen the Balenciaga archives and the curator turned the clothes inside out – New Zealand curators of shows featuring clothes take note.

Thurman believes that lots of these clothes and the prices that went with them belong to a world we have all just left, and that it will be interesting to see what happens next.

As for the history of fashion, go to the photographers like Penn and Avedon – they were the guys who chose what made it into the magazines.

And the unique institution that is The New Yorker is in good heart – it’s still a place where people stay ’til 2 a.m. moving commas around and while print magazines can still be moulded to the reader but screens demand the reader adapt to them it will be for a while yet.

2 thoughts on “Lunch with Judith Thurman

  1. mj 15 May 2009 / 1:40 pm

    Turning clothes inside out … what a great idea!

    Makes me think of artworks, like tapestries or tukutuku panels, where you can see the level of skill of the artist by how the parts that aren’t on display are look – try turning over a tapestry and see how the ends are tucked in, or arranged, or just left in a tatty mess.

    Judith Thurman sounds great btw!

  2. Angela 15 May 2009 / 5:02 pm

    And yesterday when JT was part of a panel with other “New Yorkers” for the schools’ programme they commented on how much of their readership is moving to the online version and how much the writers still prefer it in print. Made me realize that I too could receive it, whoopee. A dedicated lot , buzzy but not over the top as you’d expect from New Yorkers but then they’d been here a few days/weeks.

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