Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have an obsession.

The last one was Elvis. It resulted in me buying up every Elvis cd available in the BMG music catalog. And in a pilgrimage to Graceland.

And one to Graceland Too.

I still like The King. I still think the '68 Comeback Special is awesome. But...I've moved on. I'm no longer obsessed.

I've had a nice, normal decade of liking, really liking, and even loving, lots of things. Andy, vintage clothing, Lucy, road trips, perfume, cocktails, food, Howard Dean... Everything was going nice and smoothly.

And then Scotland hit me.

I realize now it was meant to be. For example, some of my favorite bands from my formative years--Aztec Camera, The Waterboys, Jesus and Mary Chain--hail from Scotland. (Just FYI, TJ&MC and Pastels photos below link to cool videos by them, so you may want to turn down your volume if you're at work.)

And I know I'm really late to the party, but I've discovered these guys, and can't stop listening to them.

And of course, there was this. I don't think Trainspotting made me want to go to Scotland at the time. Junkies, filthy toilets--already had that in NYC. But the accents! Great movie, great soundtrack.

So anyway, I've become convinced Scotland and me are meant to be. I'm starting to develop a taste for this stuff.

And I have always loved tartan. This photo is from a gorgeous 2008 British Vogue story called Take the High Road. You can see more of the photos here. In my p-rock days I wore plaid tights just like the models in the shoot have on, and I would love another pair.

Probably the most famous Scottish fashion export next to tartan is Pringle knitwear. Here's Pringle back in the day, a twinset on the cover of Vogue.

And Pringle now, as worn by Tilda Swinton.

I love these looks from Pringle A/W 2010, updates to the traditional fisherman's sweater and Scotsman's kilt, for women.

And of course, there's this man, the lovely Mr. Alan Cumming. All men should dress like this. And he makes the only celeb perfume I would wear. Which is, naturally, called Cumming, and which has notes of leather, peat fire, highland mud, burned rubber and white truffle. You can see his cute ad for it here. (Coincidentally, I would also wear Tilda Swinton's perfume, which is called Like This.)

Seriously. You're just not going to get an anti-kilt argument out of me. Nope.

Maybe this obsession will become suddenly displaced by something else. Like the midterm elections? Um, probably not.

I think this one is going to be a bit more expensive than a trip to Graceland. I'd better start saving.

You can be sure you'll be hearing more from me on this.



  1. Um, WE want to go to Scotland, too. Road trip! And don't forget Glasvegas, another great new-ish Scottish band that I bet you would love:

  2. oh my gosh - go! we traveled from london to edinburgh to aberdeen and then back for a friend's wedding (in a castle!) last year and the whole trip was amazing. scotland was awesome.

  3. My boyfriend is half Scottish, and every summer we go to the Scottish festival here and it's AWESOME. I really would love to travel there some day.

    Never heard the Pastels...thanks for sharing. TJ&MC is one of my 10 ten favorite bands of all time. (I was actually listening to Belle & Sebastian as I was reading this...another band from Scotland!)

  4. J, would you pack me in your largest suitcase and bring me with you? I can't think of two more fun people to see Scotland with. Rob Roy Fridays in Edinburgh! (off to check out Glasvegas...)

    M--!!! It may take awhile, but I plan to get there. I'm worried I'll want to stay.

    A--There's a Scottish festival somewhere in Michigan, too, that I've heard is great. It's weird, I *should* be a Belle & Sebastian fan, but I've never been able to really get into them. I'm not done trying, though. (I think TJ&MC may well be in my top ten, too!)

  5. Oh, wow, what a marvellous post! Beauuuuutiful plaids, and the Pringle sweaters are fab! There is something so appealing about Scotland, there really is.

  6. Oh yes Karen! I can't wait to see how this love develops. I want you to go there! You know, Queen Victoria loved to vacation in Scotland and there is wonderful Scotch agate jewelry from that time. I don't own any, but it is pretty rad.

  7. D--I did know that! I just watched The Young Victoria and there's a lovely scene where Albert and her are on their honeymoon there, and I think Albert says something about Scotland being the "Germany of England." I'm not sure what he meant by it, but since my ancestry is mostly German, I took it as another sign. :D

  8. Pringle, yes! So yes!

    And The Waterboys, so yes!

  9. omg - you have to go!!! i went to the UK back in '85 with a group from school - right out of high school. started in London, ended up in Edinburgh. was sorely disappointed to see Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA all over the place at Virgin - i mean, c'mon!!!!! but when we stayed at a hotel somewhere in Scotland - lots of very cute boys in kilts at a wedding :)
    oh, and you'll have to make sure to ride in on eof those big black taxis. we're planning a family vacation for summer - i hope they still have the taxis ...

  10. Harris Tweed thinks you need to see I Married An Axe Murderer....
    Harriet Michaels: Do you actually like haggis?
    Charlie Mackenzie: No, I think it's repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.

  11. Get yourself a pair of plaid tights!

    One of these days you're going to be sharing your vacation to Scotland photos with us, I just know it! x
    p.s. love Jesus & Mary chain


  12. Oh wow. I have wanted to go to Graceland Too for years and years!

    I can totally see you in Scotland. Start saving up. I don't think you'll get over this one!

  13. We spent a couple of weeks in Ireland years ago and based on that experience, I'm guessing a trip to Scotland would be nothing short of magical, definitely start saving!


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