Exeunt Ms Lhullier. Au revoir, mon amie. Tu ne me manqueras pas.
But wait, what’s that I hear? Who is whispering seductively in Spanish? Oh, Mr. Rodriguez, I’ve been waiting for you. Thank you for arriving before I develop dowager’s hump and can no longer fit your siren curves.
So. Once upon a time I needed a new little black dress. I know, by now, that I require structure, sleeves, classic materials. I know, by now, to do research on the Internet. I looked online all around. And, on the Barney’s New York site, (40% off sale on selected items today, if you are so compelled) I found this.
“Aha!” I thought, “Good design, private label, equals luxury bargain.” And off I went to Barney’s New York. In San Francisco. Which begs the question of why isn’t it Barney’s San Francisco? Do they think we feel the words “New York” add style? Have they talked to anyone in California? At all? But I digress. (The most compelling word in the English language, digression.)
Small lobby, Barney’s. Elevators at the back of the store. Rather like those old New York emporiums, Bergdorf’s, etc. Up. You can see almost everything on the women’s designer floor from the moment those elevator doors slide open. Find a saleswoman. Explain that you want the Barney’s private label dresses. Wonder if you feel a faint chill of disdain. Remind yourself about impunity.
Try on on Balmain, Balenciaga, Gaultier (twice), DVF. Break into loud guffaws, snorting to the salesperson, (you’ve been passed over to an important guy, sensing wallet blood, male, gay, fabulously stylish, both discrete and reassuring), “I AM JUST TOO FAT AND TOO OLD FOR THIS!” Tell him you have been in denial. Tell him, laughing, that you didn’t realize things had gotten to this point.
Realize you don’t really mean that you are fat*, just that you certainly aren’t willowy any more, and you, most of all, aren’t 20. Or 30. Or even 40. But that, at 50, the Narciso dress locates every bit of your current appeal and says, “Uh huh.”
And, since the dress is in fact a present, receive confirmation that the atmospheric price is within lavish budget and take your purchase home. Where you will pull it out as soon as you walk in the door, just to look. And again, for Thanksgiving, and probably Christmas parties. For Christmas dinner, and New Year’s. Any time at all you travel to Manhattan. Uh huh. New York City.
*I’m not “fat”. But, being female in America, I sense the possibility, always hovering nearby. The right question is, fat compared to what?