Friday, December 19, 2008
All I Want For Christmas, Italian Edition
My daughter flew to London yesterday to spend the holidays with her Italian boyfriend and his family. While we will miss her terribly and will celebrate Christmas again when she returns, there are compensations (besides Christmas gifts from Italy). She will bring me Italian Sewing Magazines.
European sewistas don't use the printed paper pattern as much as we do here in North America. Instead they have magazines with patterns in them like Burda World of Fashion, Patrones, La Mia Boutique, Modellina and several others. When she was in Italy last spring she brought back an issue of La Mia Boutique,which to my surprise, also contained recipes. Bella Figura obsessed Italians can whip up cool tees with the shoulders cut out and then step in to La Cucina and whip up Bucatini con Le Sarde. I loved slipping into the fantasy that I lived that kind of life. I don't get that from my American magazines; they are much more prosaic. U.S. magazines are Balkanized into Sewing , Cooking, Gardening, etc, and they rarely mix topics.
The European magazines are also culturally revealing. Their visual language is different; you wouldn't mistake an Italian fashion shoot for an American one. And the language! They are breathless in a way that only a fashion magazine can be - that tone of awe about New Spring Looks that transcends cultures. No matter where they are from, the fashion people all seem to drink the same delusionary kool aid when it comes to discussing the importance of new sleeve silhouettes. It just sounds better in Italian.
I'm lucky, my daughter is fluent in Italian, and can translate for me (while I speak Italian at the first grade level, I can read Italian and Spanish with a little help from il dictionario). While I tell Mr Hunting Creek that the magazines are Educational, I can't say that knowing the Italian for gathering, basting and sewing invisible zippers is helpful beyond sewing. As we learned on our last trip to Italy, being able to speak sewing and cooking Italian is only marginally helpful when trying to understand the announcements over the loudspeakers in Termini.
But no matter! When she arrives with my magazines, I can pretend for a while that I am sewing in Italian and that makes even a tshirt pattern just that much more romantic.