Moodboard: This Month The Mood is Grounded - The Gloss Magazine

Moodboard: This Month The Mood is Grounded

we’ve lost track of deeper connections worth having, in particular to the land we inhabit, says Susan Zelouf …

Listening to 20-year-old Barbra Streisand on the recently restored 1962 album Live at the Bon Soir, I remembered what a vocal coach friend once said about her range: “The notes she hits are not higher than any other decent singer can hit. She just makes you think they are.” At a little over three octaves, Streisand is easily bested by Christina Aguilera’s and Ariana Grande’s four-octave ranges, while Mariah Carey’s trills crest in a dog whistle at the tippy top of her five-octave range. Deconstructing Barbra’s reach, I attempt to sing along to “Cry Me A River” in the shower, but the rubber mat doesn’t offer enough grip. Like the 60 varieties of snowdrops coming into midwinter bloom at Kildare’s Burtown House & Gardens, a singer needs the ground (to orient the body in space and time) as much as they need the soft palette (for resonance), raising it to raise the rooftops.

No singer but a passionate violinist, unemployable aspiring physicist Albert Einstein grounded himself by taking a day job as a clerk in a Swiss patent office, “that worldly cloister where I hatched my most beautiful ideas”. Did tethering himself to the mundane free him to contemplate the beyond? Although most of us mere mortals live lives a quantum leap from those of astrophysicists, it feels as if the ground beneath our feet is shifting as disastrous world events biblical in scale demand we adapt and change to survive and thrive. Where is the sweet spot between gutter and stars?

Wandering along Grafton Street, I decide to take a look inside JM Barnardo Furriers (established 1812). Drawn to fur, I wonder if there might be an ethical, sustainable way to wear it that wouldn’t make one a pariah. Greeted by Liz and her charming son Harry, the sixth generation in the family business, they show me pieces restyled from vintage furs: gilets, bomber jackets, teddy bears, pillows and luxurious throws, prompting an aha moment: that voluminous floor-length sable I’ve been eyeing on The Real Real which could’ve belonged to Vogue editor-at-extra-large the late André Leon Talley. It might, conceivably, be turned into an edgy biker jacket with enough plush fur left over for my darlin’ and I to snuggle under, binge-watching The Crown. There is something grounding about hunkering down next to a wood-burning stove fuelled by chopped-up lathes of discarded pallets that makes these end times almost fun.

According to Ian Bogost for The Atlantic, “The Age of Social Media Is Ending”, and good riddance to the glower of tiny screens and their outsized influence: “Social media was never a natural way to work, play and socialize, though it did become second nature.” Fooled into believing our every utterance, meal and outfit is share-worthy, we’ve lost track of deeper connections worth having, in particular to the land we inhabit. In “The Desert Changed My Life. It Can Change Yours Too”, Meg Bernhard writes for The New York Times about how planting Joshua trees in the Mohave reminds us “we are of the landscape, not apart … in the desert, humans are reminded of our smallness, our naïveté, our transience. This is the meaning of geological time.”

Almost a century and a half of geological time has passed since poet Emily Dickinson was interred in Amherst’s West Cemetery, beneath a gravestone reading simply Called back. We should all go to ground with such grace.


1. I’M LETTING the great world spin, from my armchair. Antique standing globe by Emform, available from

2. I’M RESTYLING Auntie’s beloved mink at JM Barnardo Furriers in-house atelier. 108 Grafton Street, Dublin 2.

3. I’M MIXING and matching tableware from Spanish artisans Micuit’s porcelain Ocean Collection: starfish and octopus and whales, oh my! To order from

4. I’M POPPING a cork over graphic artist Drew Millward’s ‘Hit the North’ Modernist-inspired cork wallpaper for

5. I’M STARRING in my own fairytale with Evening Herons as a backdrop. Murals to order from a selection at

6. I’M BEE-ING conscious with Comb cabinet hardware from the Earth Collection by

7. I’M BRINGING nature home with a flower-encrusted Spellbound cabinet from

8. I’M DIVING into Living Waters with Good & Craft’s magical charcoal and amber jellyfish wallpaper, available from

9. I’M VISITING London’s Natural History Museum to see the work of women artists featured in Head of Library Special Collections Andrea Hart’s “Images of Nature”.

10. I’M ATTRACTING love into my life by wearing an amethyst cluster pendant from

11. I’M EYEING up Jimmy Nelson’s signed photography book Before They Pass Away, Collectors Edition XXL, containing three autographed art prints, a gift for the ages from

12. I’M FEATHERING the nest with Ted Baker’s hand-tufted wool rug, to order from

13. I’M MAPPING meaningful connections via book club fave Brené Brown’s Atlas of the Heart. 


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This