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Old Flames, Florence, 70s Biba in High Street Kensington, Bach and de Clario’s Whimsy.

May 14, 2012

Dominic de Clario and Alison in Vintage Courture

Thursday evening we went to the opening of artist Dominic de Clario’s exhibition at John Buckley Gallery. My husband has been intrigued by his whimsical works from his first introduction to Dominic’s drawings in the 60s. The present exhibition duet for one voice seems like a retrospective of his work.- entering the gallery was like entering the paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux in south western France.

Dominic de Clario’s ExhibitionI was interested in some of the eloquent texts swimming amidst the drawings. De Clerio quotes from leading Italian poets as well as poetry from the profound Persian Sufi poet Rumi. Dominic de Clerio is an artist that believes that there is art in the process of creation as much as in the finished result.

Alison Waters 1972 Florence

Later in the week I had a delightful lunch at The Italian restaurant with an old flame from Auckland University days with whom I travelled to Europe in the early seventies. We had both fallen in love with Italy on our first visit to Europe. – the warmth of the people, the architecture, food, especially the regional cheeses, the wine, the language, the history, the colourful markets and the fabulous gardens.

Alison 1972 Florence wearing Biba

After earning some more money in London we returned to Europe for a two and a half month visit. We fell in love with Italy all over again. I especially loved Florence and the Uffizi Gallery one of the world’s outstanding galleries where we could reflect on paintings by Cimabue, Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and the remarkable Titian’s. I adored the outdoor classical concerts, especially by the Italian composer Jules Massenet, the enchanting historical villas and gardens and the delicious coffee. The summer weather was sublime. This being our student days I travelled with three pairs of jeans, eight skimpy designer tops in rich muted colours from the iconic Biba fashion house in London, a raincoat , a black 30s inspired Biba cocktail dress and two hats.

Alison - RetroAfter our European sojourn we lived in a beautiful house in swinging Chelsea where my companion suggested I apply for a PR Biba job in the new “Big Biba” store, the old grand Derry &Toms Art deco department store, in High Street Kensington. After passing through an interview with the Human Resources Manager I was interviewed by the designer Barbara Hulanicki the creator of Biba . I had to model Biba’s fabulous 30s inspired evening gowns. I am not tall only 5ft. 3and half inches but with the help of six inch platform shoes that were all the rage at the time, Barbara announced that she liked me – and that I had the dream job. That job changed my life ( see Biba Post )

Pianist Caroline AlmonteEarlier this week in Melbourne I attended a truly enchanting concert of Bach’s Goldberg Variations at Melba Hall, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne. Pianist Caroline Almonte gave a flawless performance. As a Gemini I found the 30 variations of the one aria suited my mindset perfectly. Hence my Glen Gould CD of the Goldberg variations has been a constant enjoyable companion over many years. I have always found the music evocative and uplifting.

Lucian Giol, AW, Viv

Next blog will be on the Nuffnang Fashionopolis blogging conference in Melbourne – a beautifully presented conference by Phoebe Montague of Lady Melbourne Blog.

Dominic de Clario and Lucian Giol Pictures by

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