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Friday, February 22, 2013

What the Google? Happy Birthday Edward Gorey

The funny thing about fashion and being a writer on the topic of fashion is how intertwined all of this is with the arts, especially illustration. Afterall, no dress makes it on a runway without an initial sketch and if you write like me, quite often an article springs from an a-ha idea dashed off on a cocktail napkin, business card or the back of your hand. 

I bring all this up to justify this one man sonnet on one of my favorite illustrators, Edward Gorey, who would have been 88 today and is the honoree of the Google logo today. 

Gorey's work quite often lived up to his name with gothic but cheeky illustrations of fowl beasts and even fowler play, but all done in a neo-Victorian romance of ink and negative space. 

His work contradicted the old cliche of book cover judgement as his illustrations wined and dined my young eyes into picking up Bram Stoker's Dracula and other tomes scrawled with his rich single images that quite often told the tale in foreshadow. 

But I really fell in love with Gorey through the same filter I did a lot of things in my youth: my grandmother. Not a weekend passed that we didn't sit down together (complete with Constant Comment tea and Chex mix) for PBS' "Mystery"


Dang if I had any idea what was going on after the credits but I suffered the next 56 minutes just for the kick of that opening b+w cartoon murder montage. I especially loved that dingbat lady crying to be "released" from the kerchief lightly tied at her ankles, waving her free hands about for help. Oh man, I can still picture it. 

For that indelible image and memory I thank Mr. Gorey and raise a toast in his name today. Cheers! 

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I'm a fashion writer who writes for Bluefly, EDGE Media, VIRAL Fashion, etc. I use "It Can't All Be Dior" as a safe release for my love of coats, cats and cake. Phew!