I've been meaning to show you this beautiful item I saw at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe a few weeks ago. It's a 19th century undergarment from People's Republic of China. This finely crafted garment is made of hundreds of tiny bamboo beads and cotton.
The description reads as follows: Male members of the Chinese emperor's court wore these bamboo mesh undershirts to create an absorbent layer between the courtier's skin and his many layers of silk under-robes during long ceremonies, especially during the heat of the summer.
I would have taken the opposite tack: I'd have worn it proudly as an outer garment, over a silk camisole. It's really an incredible piece of craftsmanship. Click to enlarge.
We now turn to the book department. Recently read: Canada, by Richard Ford (highly recommended); Lila: A Novel, by Marylynne Robinson (recommended, especially if you like Marylynne Robinson, which I do - it's the third piece of the Gilead trilogy); The Game Player, by Rafael Yglesias (didn't much care for this); and I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron (wonderful). It's amazing how much reading you can get done if the Internet and TV are out, as they were here for several days.