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wonders never cease Friday, February 4, 2011

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4th, 2011 show us your layers: holly.

suyl_hollyMeet Holly Bass, a DC Renaissance woman. She's a successful and busy artist: running workshops, writing poetry, acting as the Cullen Poet-in-Residence for Busboys & we were pleased as punch that she had a moment to show us her layers.

What's your relationship with cold weather and winters in DC?
I'm from California, so I'm admittedly not a winter person. But I've come to appreciate the brisk air of East Coast winters. I do enjoy late fall and early spring when it's warm enough to be able to choose which coat I'd like to wear on a given day, as opposed to defaulting to the parka. I've been in DC since the late 90s, which practically qualifies me as a native. And before that I was in New York, so I'm pretty accustomed to it now. But I still remember my very first cold winter freshman year of college. I seriously considered transferring!
How would you describe your layering practice?
It's all about keeping my feet, head and hands warm. I usually do one or two pairs of tights, Smartwool socks, boots. And then I can wear a skirt and cute sweater and be fine. Also, headgear is of utmost importance. And a great scarf!
What was your favorite Snowpocalypse moment?
The snowball fight at 14th & U---until crazy Hummer-cop-guy ruined the fun by brandishing a weapon.
Show us your {inner} layers!
I'm most proud of the fact that I've been able to make a living as an artist in Washington, DC. People seem to think it's an impossibility, so I like to prove otherwise.

And quite an artist you are, Holly! To wit, a piece from our beautifully layered poet:

This wasn't no wear all black funeral. Uncle Al showed up in a royal
blue suit with matching royal blue, pointed tow, snakeskin Stacy
Adams. Cousin William wore royal, too. But with blue-and-white
wingtips and a bit more gold around his neck. Most of the men were
content to wear traditional blacks and blues, leaving color to the
women. Mama wore her Christmas suit, the color of lemon creme,
once assured by her sisters that no one would remember it from the
holiday four months earlier. I wore a houndstooth suit, and over that
a Persian lamb mink collar coat Aunt Jean had found for me at the
Goodwill. Mama did my makeup and said I looked like a movie star.
We all looked good--filling up the pews of the church. Mama was
glad a lot of people showed up to grandma's funeral. Lena Pearl
Hollins wasn't one for making friends too kindly, or for keeping
them close, either. But that day everyone made a good showing.
The sun did not shine, but at least it did not rain. I didn't cry but
once, when cousin Jamil sang, "Goin' up Yonder," his fourteen-
year-old falsetto sounding angel pure and sweet. And then I felt my
heart fall softly when the funeral home man pulled the light blue
shroud off the sky grey casket, folded it quick and neat, and placed
it over grandma's white-gloved hands. He closed the heavy lid. You
almost could not hear the click.

Holly is pictured wearing the Christine A. Moore animal print "paris" beret, the Allison Parris ruffled coat, the Carolina Amato fleur-de-lys gloves, and the Tracy Reese funnel neck coat. (The boots are hers.)


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