Wednesday, December 12, 2007


On one hand, Mr. Henry's post about style ideology summarizes some of my own feelings, ones that express here in various, fairly incoherent, ways. Style ideology is very real and it is clearly at the root of this philosophical thing I try to figure out by blogging (and is at least partially responsible for all of my pseudo-food posts that end with "and this is how I'm going to make this about food"). Mr. Henry's affinity for Art Deco and minimalist, super-functional design could explain my distinct aversion to all things Rococo, as well as my obsession with the luxurious functionality of the Eames family.

But. And there is a "but" here. Something about the absoluteness of Mr. Henry's decree on decoration doesn't sit well with me. I mean, what about Gaudi? Does Mr. Henry dislike the look of Barcelona just because some of the walls look a bit anthropomorphic? And I wouldn't be my sister's, well, sister if I failed to mention how much Guimard's metro entrances dress up the romance of Paris. Yes (as Erin quite ably demonstrated in her senior thesis), those entrances, and Art Nouveau as a movement, do harken back to a more natural time when, as Mr. Henry might say, Luddites ruled the Continent. But does everything have to be a purely functional reference? When I see that architectural sculpture, I'm captured by the emotions it invokes. I don't see a shout out to the good ol' days; I see fluidity and drama. Relationships.

So I have some issues Mr. Henry's particular style ideology, I guess (plus, after a couple of years of reading his blog, I don't believe that he'd buy his own hype on the subject).

At the same time, I would take Mr. H's entire thesis a step further. Style isn't just about your taste in chairs and toasters; it's also about your attitude about food. How you cook, shop, travel and, most importantly, eat. It's about experimentation and all five senses and, again, relationships.

Of course, exactly how it's about all those things is still under consideration in my mind. I've only been writing here for two years, after all. Not nearly long enough to solidify my own ideology...

UPDATE: I'm overcome with relief! In his comments, Mr. Henry let me know that he does, in fact, appreciate the finer iterations of Art Nouveau - that he was making some blanket statements to "watch the feathers fly", as it were...

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