Monday, 25 February 2013

Formal wear



Formal wear (US, Canada) and formal dress (UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other Commonwealth Realms) and eveningwear are general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, débutante cotillion, dance, or race. The Western style of formal evening dress, characterized by black and white garments, has spread through many countries; it is almost always the standard formal social dress in countries without a formal national costume.

A dress code is a set of rules governing a certain combination of clothing; some examples are black tie and morning dress. Formal dress is the grouping of all the dress codes which govern clothes worn to formal events. The traditional rules that govern men's formal dress are strictly observed; from these derive the evening dress variants worn on many occasions, such as high school prom dances, formal dances, and entertainment industry award programs.

The dress codes considered formal in the evening are white tie and black tie. In the UK, morning dress is standard formal day time clothing (a lounge suit being still considered informal dress), but in the US/Canada morning dress is rare, having been replaced with the stroller and then the lounge, or business suit. Morning dress, however, does remain in certain settings in Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Dressage

Dressage (/ˈdrɛsɑːʒ/ or /drɨˈsɑːʒ/; a French term, most commonly translated to mean "training") is a competitive equestrian sport, considered by the International Equestrian Federation as "the highest expression of horse training" and where "horse and rider are expected to perform from memory a series of predetermined movements". Competitions are held at all levels from amateur to the World Equestrian Games. Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods, a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse. At the peak of a dressage horse's gymnastic development, the horse will respond smoothly to a skilled rider's minimal aids. The rider will be relaxed and appear effort-free while the horse willingly performs the requested movement. Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet". Although the discipline has ancient roots in Europe, dressage was first recognized as an important equestrian pursuit during the Renaissance. The great European riding masters of that period developed a sequential training system that has changed little since then. Classical dressage is still considered the basis of modern dressage.

In modern dressage competition, successful training at the various levels is demonstrated through the performance of "tests", prescribed series of movements ridden within a standard arena. Judges evaluate each movement on the basis of an objective standard appropriate to the level of the test and assign each movement a score from zero to ten – zero being "not executed" and 10 being "excellent". A score of 9 is very good and is a high mark, while a competitor achieving all 6s (or 60% overall) should be considering moving on to the next level.

Sunday, 12 February 2006

all good naysayers, speak up!


I have to say, I've never been crazy about snow. It used to baffle me how people would go goo-goo over it, but I suspect it has something to do with a certain fascistic sentimentality and infantilism, with the rarity of "pure" whiteness in nature (which, call me a Melvillean, shit, call me Ishmael, but it really strikes me as more ghoulish-looking than anything else). At any rate, that particular phenomenon has always irritated me, especially when everybody knows and experiences what an objective pain in the ass it is. My apartment-to-class trek starts at 1st Ave and ends at University - this for someone with dachsund legs - and my job involves non-stop outdoor perambulation for over 4 hours. White winters simply hold no charm for my circulatory system.

And apologies if you're thrown by the uncharacteristic lack of climacteric in this post, but there's just no "but" to be deployed. I just really, really don't like snow. Not to mention I have to buy a pair of rubber boots now if I want to avoid a life-saving amputative procedure this week. And everybody knows how much I LOVE being made to shop.

I suppose I can throw in by way of a pittance that my favorite "Calvin & Hobbes" strip happens to be a speech-bubble-less episode where Calvin tries to get his dad to come out and play in the snow with him. Dad gestures towards a big pile of work, and Calvin shuffles out, slumped in disappointment. Dad resumes his work for a while, then looks out the window, contemplative. The next scene is outdoors, Dad romping through the snow, arms thrown open, dashing towards an ecstatic Calvin. Sort of an unguardedly sweet moment, very unusual for fellow curmudgeon and anti-corporatist Bill Watterson. He's not too optimistic about filial relationships either. But that man - well, you see, he's a regional soul. And he likes him some snow. And in Bill and Calvin's case, I can let that stand.

Saturday, 11 February 2006

paternalist journalist


It's Saturday morning, circa brunch. A Saturday like any other. Some of us are in bed. Some of us still have 16 hours of quotidian consciousness ahead of us, a whole day stretched across the unbroken surface of life in our late capitalist era. And some of us are at the Berlin Film Festival. Probably terrorizing poor, post-Baader Meinhof Germans with our eerily familiar manner of fascistic interpersonal relating. Sorry for the momentary gnashing of teeth, it's just not fair that any jester who blackens paper for the Washington Square News film section gets to attend the Berlinale, is it? It's not, right? Ehh, shit.

The new "L Word" episode that everybody's got on torrent is beauuuutiful. Download it, TiVo it, watch it on Sunday - I foretell a batch of tears that bear no relation to the crocodile's.