The Street Where I Live

British by birth, New Yorker by nature.

An Open Letter to Bella Freud's "Ginsberg is God" Jumper

Fashion & BeautyAlexandra king3 Comments
ginsberg is god sweater

Dear Ginsberg is God jumper,

I still remember the first time I saw you. It was 2003. Vogue magazine. You were stuck, strong, sensual, to Kate Moss's chest- barreling through St John's Wood on London's most desirable woman, and you knew it. What was it about you then? Your perfect monochrome? The kitten-kitsch cursive of your iconoclastic pronouncement?


I didn't know who Ginsberg was, obviously. I was a boring girl in a boring place. An English schoolgirl raised on Keats and Chaucer and Philip Larkin, the latter whom might have written a deeply purvey, deliciously gloomy poem about you. To me, then, a beat was a thing that dropped in a dim club, with a dim crowd. I'd never been to America, I'd never read the canon you evangelize. Ignorant, though, I howled for you.


I saw you in real life once. It was years later. You were on a mannequin in Liberty's, arms folded, hands curved, the folds of your merino promising softness, warmth. You looked right at me. Right at me. I couldn't believe it. I came back the next day, because my student loan had come in and I briefly contemplated buying you and returning you, regretfully, within the week, just so I could have you for a while, because god knows you bring out all the wrong in me, Ginsberg Is God jumper, you really do, but it feels so right. I barreled back to Carnaby Street, Natwest SOLO card in hand, the next morning. But you were gone. Hopping away with my heart again like Godard did with his girls. Oh how I wish I could quit you, Ginsberg Is God jumper, my sartorial spirit animal, the fashion phantom still shocking me, on the daily, from the pages of the Sunday Times Style mag.

You weren't available then and you're not available now. Your'e never around, my love, apart from an occasional lone counterpart knocking about on a forgotten corner of Net A Porter (size L). That's because you are 270 POUNDS- the same price as a tired but workable fifth-hand Renault Clio. 100 of you would have bought my entire university education. One of you bought my heart.
 
 I wanted you when I was 15. I wanted you when I was 25. I was too poor each time. By 40 I'll probably have the cash but I'll be too fat or too responsible or a deeply unsatisfying mixture of both. Why do you haunt me Ginsberg Is God jumper? Why do French ingenues on Instagram born in 1995 own you? Do they not understand our history? Our yearning to be together? The destiny that was for you to be rolled down my waist every morning until we eventually came undone, together?

Someone probably put you in the washing machine once. I want you to know I would never to do that to you.

Yours,

 
Alex