Discover more from FOR SCALE
THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (and one of them is yours)
Including: how to approach "SELF"-REFLECTION
IN THIS ISSUE:
Use the mirror, plus: How not to let the mirror use you
Mirrors that mimic - and mock? - us
Moving past the mirror’s narcissism era
A report from MIRROR CORRESPONDENT, @pinkessay’s DAVID EARDLEY
Acknowledging that we live in a post-literature culture, the image – we must regretfully report – reigns supreme. And, no image compels the world today more than one’s own reflection.
We beg you then, to take a good, hard look at yourselves. Would you rather invest in the Capitalist social media machine, or find the self in a moment of unfiltered intimacy? THE LATTER, eh? Perhaps, may we suggest, IN THE MIRROR?
The mirror is, unlike the digisphere, totally non-judgmental – making it an exceptionally For Scalean interiors element. How so? We’re so very glad you asked…
THE MIRROR AS A CRITICAL ELEMENT OF HOME:
From the POV of the mirror, Word Overlord Sylvia Plath wrote in 1961 (in her poem “Mirror”):
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike
Now, doesn’t that sound both “quite odd” (the notion that the mirror consumes us) and also “very comforting” (that the mirror is not a picky eater)? Yet, odd/comforting is what we admire most in the Desirable Home.
The mirror is filter-free, and approval is totally unquantified. What do you see, Snoops? It’s you, goddammit – whatever you mean to you.
And, also, it can help reflect light, views, etc – so that’s super, and can contribute positively to what Twink Aesthetic popstar-in-chief Troye Sivan refers to as “a soup of light” (our preferred lighting scheme, and also our preferred type of soup).
A mirror, IN THIS ECONOMY?
An excellent trick of the mirror is to AT MINIMUM duplicate. We note that here, in a room design by For Scale cage-closet favorite Joseph Paul D’Urso, the mirror serves the household bottom line by doubling the number of cut flowers (visually speaking):
TALES FROM THE “FOR SCALE” RESIDENCE: THE TINY MIRROR
In a rare ‘personal’ reveal, here is a Tiny Mirror purchased by FOR SCALE from Los Angeles super-seller DREX (pictured on top of a Verner Panton chair also acquired from DREX).
Tiny Mirror was an impulse purchase.
AND YET, it opened our eyes to alternatives to S, M or L wall mirrors, i.e. ones you can see your whole face, torso or body in. Tiny Mirror is half-a-face sized.
Tiny Mirror operates more like Lucio Fontana slash – purposeless other than (as Fontana would put it re: his slashes) to create form out of space – it’s like, a rip through our otherwise Matte world.
Fontana used void. We use Tiny Mirror.
We believe Tiny Mirror has this same function ☝️
CULTURAL IDEAS ON THE MIRROR FROM HIGH BROW (WELLES) TO HIGHEST BROW (NELLY FURTADO):
In spirituality, the mirror can be a symbol of light/enlightenment and ergo of truth, ergo ‘what is’. In psychology, it’s more as a portal to the unconscious, so ‘what is’ + ‘what the fuck’.
In furniture, we suggest it is “FRAME FOR SELF” – but, before we get there, let’s look at where and how the mirror pops up in culture:
HIGH BROW: ORSON WELLES
… and THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI (1947)
A “fun house” vibe, but with murder. And, the murder is partially the murder of a dude, but partially Rita Hayworth aiming at and killing a part of herself. (Please watch.)
Alternately, it’s a very good set up for dressing areas.
HIGHER BROW: MAE WEST
We ask you to reappraise the horny ABOVE-BED mirror, care of Mae West. Of this feature, she famously quipped: “I like to see how I’m doing.” And that’s the kind of humble gesture towards Learning and Self-Awareness we’d like to see more of in the world.
Ask the question Canadian ICON Nelly Furtado asked herself in 2000, in the song “Hey, Man!”:
“I look at myself in the mirror
Am I vital today?”
IS THERE ANY OTHER QUESTION ONE SHOULD ASK IN THE MIRROR? Just don’t, as Furtado sadly did, “let [your] conscious get in the way”.
TALES FROM THE MIRROR’S FORMER “NARCISSISM ERA”
Mirrors, “once upon a time”, were kind of devilish and narcissistic – e.g. the Evil Queen in Sleeping Beauty. Largely these circled around narcissism. And, the domestic space was no exception.
And, in once case, a mirror was even NAMED “Narcisio”, but the reality is, it was an object of vanity – including an object which we call ‘The Vanity’.
Today, mirrors are no longer in their NARCISSISM ERA, because narcissism is the realm exclusively of social media.
If we take the vanity in a modern context especially, for example, they are now the scene of privates moment with oneself and sites of transformation. And, that transformation can be an empowering one – like, for instance, if you’re getting super femme’d up and that’s your thrill.
Here is a MEGA cutie-soo vanity that was eaten the fuck up on NOIHSAF BAZAAR recently:
And, if you needed more evidence of VANITY = FUN, please observe the spring-perfect work of LA design studio SPIRITUAL OBJECTS for HAIR (a salon):
TALES FROM MIRROR CORRESPONDENT, DAVID EARDLEY OF @PINKESSAY
A.K.A. THE MIRROR AS BLACK HOLE
Our Mirror Correspondent David Eardley offers his TOP (EXHIBITION-RELATED) MIRROR TIP, after years of contemplation and anthropological observation. In exhibition design, he says…
“Don’t neglect the mirror.
In the always-overwhelming-no-matter-how-many-exhibitions-you-put-on installation process, there comes a time where you, the curator, must pause, breathe, and confront that ubiquitous, whimsical mirror that somehow finds its way into every show.
With the mirror, there comes the inevitable power of the mirror’s counterpart, the selfie: wherever a mirror is placed in an exhibition, attendees will inevitably stop during their tour for a quick swipe and snap.
Those five seconds, a blip on the timeline of the show, often become the public image of an exhibition on social media, dictating what gets shared, tagged, and publicized by the capricious hand of Instagram. They're a black hole, drawing in everything within reach, but instead of space dust, these black holes suck in the impossibly tall, narrow, carved wooden chair, mycelium wall sconce, and delicate marble side table installed beside them, pulled up into their five seconds of fame and digital exposure, enacted through the endless selfies taken a few feet away.
Undeniably, the mirror's power feels a bit unfair. Curators are left to the mercy of its irresistible draw, challenged to balance its allure with equally enticing visual experiences throughout the space (though that is really just the fun challenge of it all).
Ultimately, at the end of the day (or at the end of the exhibition’s short and wondrous life), maybe people just want to reflect on their physical existence, even just for a second — a beautiful moment of humanity amongst the chaos of it all.
Or, perhaps, they just want a cute photo of their own faces, framed perfectly by a border of insulation foam an emerald green resin.”
USE THE MIRROR / How not to let the mirror USE YOU
A final note on mirrors, which is purely to say that to have agency OVER THE MIRROR is essential – to not let it eat you up… and then spit you out.
A For Scale note on domestic taste is to use the mirror to literally FRAME your aspirational SELF. As per the examples below, do you seek to be: (Left) kind of loud but ultimately classic, (Center) at first glance soft but actually totally hard, or (Right) both a total square and also very “wacky”?
The takeaway, of course, is we are in the mirror’s SELF REFLECTION ERA. (Having come out of its Narcissism Era, as a recap.) And, so take mirrors as not SOLELY functional but as a FRAME OF REFERENCE for your own personal development.
Until next time.
LOVE AND GOOD LUCK,