Archive | June, 2011

Bonus Sunday Post: Mermaids are Smart

5 Jun

So I know that some people have some stereotypes about mermaids — that they are, for example, not the most bookish of creatures. Which is why I wanted to present the following counter-evidence.

#1. Photographer Susan Knight of Susan Knight Studios captured the following photo of Dana Mermaid reading an extremely amazing book about mermaids. I am not positive, but I am pretty sure that Dana said that it was the best book she’d ever read, and apparently she is quite a ravenous reader.

#2. One Ms. Joi Brozek, who is rumored to turn into a mermaid upon contact with water, was also recently caught reading this fine novel, though she was in human form whilst doing so.

#3. And then Baltimore collage artist Michael Muller fashioned this pro-reading poster starring one book-loving mermaid and one Boston Terrier mer-dog named Mirabelle. You will note that with the exception of said wily dog, all mermaids pictured in this post appear not only to be reading, but to be doing so very happily.

I know.

I hope that the preceding images have opened some minds today.

Ani Simon-Kennedy’s “Sea Full of Hooks”

3 Jun

So I’m sure you remember the awesome Matthea Harvey poem, The Straightforward Mermaid, that was published in The New Yorker last August and discussed in Matthea’s illuminating interview on this very blog some time back. Here is the poem again, in case you are losing your memory and/or too lazy to click on the link I just generously provided:

The Straightforward Mermaid

The straightforward mermaid starts every sentence with “Look . . . ” This comes from being raised in a sea full of hooks. She wants to get points 1, 2, and 3 across, doesn’t want to disappear like a river into the ocean. When she’s feeling despairing, she goes to eddies at the mouth of the river and tries to comb the water apart with her fingers. The straightforward mermaid has already said to five sailors, “Look, I don’t think this is going to work,” before sinking like a sullen stone. She’s supposed to teach Rock Impersonation to the younger mermaids, but every beach field trip devolves into them trying to find shells to match their tail scales. They really love braiding. “Look,” says the straightforward mermaid. “Your high ponytails make you look like fountains, not rocks.” Sometimes she feels like a third gender—preferring primary colors to pastels, the radio to singing. At least she’s all mermaid: never gets tired of swimming, hates the thought of socks.

Isn’t it so good? Matthea, by the way, has just come out with this really stunning book from McSweeny’s called Of Lamb, which is about a lamb who wants desperately to be human and the human who loves that lamb, with paintings by Amy Jean Porter. I saw it and was very jealous because my books don’t have paintings in them.

Anyway, so Matthe’s mermaid poem was so awesome and inspirational that Ani Simon-Kennedy, a French-American cinematography student currently attending Prague Film School, made a short film of it called “Sea Full of Hooks,” which was just accepted for the Short Film Corner at Cannes.

Here is the lovely, lovely film:


I asked Ani how the film came into being, and here is her gorgeous response:

“I found Matthea’s poem when it was published in The New Yorker last summer and I was immediately drawn to it. I don’t read a lot of poetry but I was a big synchronized swimmer when I was younger and I love anything related to water. The imagery really stuck with me and when I moved to Prague in the fall to start film school I knew right away I wanted to adapt her poem into a short film. I used to work in the art department in film in New York so the tail was the least challenging part. Capturing the right mood and melancholic atmosphere of the poem was what I struggled with the most. We shot over the course for days, over three months, all over Prague. I knew from the start I didn’t want to rely on any special effects because the tone of the poem was so raw and real to me, so everything you see in the film is completely real (Rosa who plays the mermaid actually got into the river, and for the last scene in the pool we snuck into a 4-star spa and put the camera in a fish tank). It was a really amazing experience and getting selected for the Short Film Corner at Cannes was incredibly exciting and rewarding.”

Admit that that is very cool.

Kleinfeld Bridal Talks Mermaid Dresses

1 Jun

So mermaid wedding dresses are very popular right now and no self-respecting mermaid blog would be complete without mentioning them. I decided to go straight to the source, those ladies at Kleinfeld Bridal, the store featured in TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, which is oddly and even suspiciously absorbing even if you think the ritual of throwing down thousands of smackers on one white dress you’ll wear one time is kind of a weird thing to do.

But really, if you’re going to get married you ought to do it in the most mermaidly way possible. That is obvious.

So I spoke with Kleinfeld’s Jennette, who graciously sent me photos of some especially popular gowns, which I have generously posted below, and answered the following penetrating questions.

Have mermaid bridal gowns always been popular with brides or is this a new trend you’re seeing?
Over the last few years mermaid style gowns have become more and more popular. Brides are spending time in the gym sculpting their body before the wedding and a mermaid gown is a great way to show it off.

What is it that appeals to brides about the mermaid gown?
The appeal includes the combination of feeling sexy (since the bodice is close to the body) and still feeling like a bride since the skirts can still be very full (depending on the style),

What kind of body type are mermaid gowns and trumpet-shaped gowns best suited for?
Since the mermaid gown is made to hug the body, it is up to the bride if she wants to show off every curve! The shape is often fitted to the knees with a dropped (low) waistline. Many body types can wear a mermaid style because necklines and waist lines vary. A petite bride can wear a strapless empire waist mermaid gown and a taller bride can wear a dropped waist mermaid. It all depends on the style.

Do you recommend to your clients ways to style the mermaid gown (hair and accessories and shoes, etc)?
We will offer style advice but it is all about how the bride in visions herself on her wedding day.
[I SUPPOSE it makes sense that they don’t suggest glitter and tails and starfish earrings, which is what I would do.]

Have any of your brides ever done anything more extreme with the mermaid theme, or carried it through their entire wedding, as far as you know?
I have not heard any mermaid Themed wedding stories at Kleinfeld but we have had a fairy wedding (wings and all!) which was featured on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress.


Alita Graham dress


Henry Roth dress


Henry Roth dress


Michelle Roth dress


Pnina Tornai dress


Pnina Tornai dress


If you want to peruse even more mermaidly bridal gowns, check out this collection at The Knot. You are welcome.