Key takeaway. We Baby Boomers are not so good at this all-photos-all-the-time Facebook culture. Case in point. I confess I picked the best photo. There are others, with the standard closed eyes and twisted mouth, here. Via Smilebooth
I imagine a style blogger attending an industry conference feels a little bit like an astronaut, called upon to demonstrate zero-gravity in a Walmart parking lot. In other words, she hopes all the equipment arrives intact, but assumes that should anything go missing, she can probably run next door and get a replacement. I packed for Lavish! in good spirits.
The first day of the conference, Friday, December 9, I wore this blue Naracamicie shirt, along with 7 for All Mankind ‘Ginger’ jeans, and quilted black Manolo flats. I felt quite at home in Room and Board, dressed fancy-suburban, watching stylists work.
The earrings were on loan from Beladora. Yes those are diamonds. Yes I felt like a movie star. And, oh, by the way, the hanging parts tremble. No kidding. I thought myself Tinkerbelle, perhaps a cocktail version of her flickering light. I was very sad to send them back. That bracelet is my own, the requisite piece of High WASP family jewelry and was made by fusing my grandmother’s brooch to a gold cuff.
To date, the adult life I’ve led involved full-time work, followed by caring for small children, followed by full-time work again. I threw dinner parties in my little house. Lavish! satisfied my secret wish to dress larger than that life. I could discover, dressed in finery, what if my family fortune had not faded? Now I know. Somehow a little hole is filled. Turns out it was the not knowing that caused distress, more than any aching lack. One problem with privilege is that your psychology gets tied up with luxury, in childhood. This can take decades to untangle.
The next day, Saturday, December 11th, with the conference in full force, I wore my Prada dress, Surprise! You might wonder, as did I, was the dress too fancy for day? No, not covered by a cardigan and dressed down with black tights, and black Ferragamo Varinas. Not when paired, for the win, with this mid-century bracelet. Certainly not given the conference was called, after all, Lavish! And if my outfit, let’s say, just a teeny tiny bit over the top? Nobody minded.
I am getting a lot of mileage out of that dress, you know. Every single time I have put it on I feel as though I’m reaching all the High WASP archetypes; Sturdy in fit, Artsy in print, and Grande in lace trim and fabric. All was well, sartorially, except my feet hurt when I had to stand through a very crowded session. I tweeted as much. Sturdy Gals don’t like painful feet, as we know. You can dress us up but feet are non-negotiable.
and a $138 dress from Zappos, by Jessica Simpson. Yes. That Jessica Simpson.
I bought the dress a few days before the conference, determined to prove that one could dress High WASP glamorous, (sort of an oxymoron, but I digress) on a budget. The copper-colored sequins, shape/fit, along with frayed black edges at sleeves and neckline, moved the simple shift into a better place. I wore it with black tights, (why everyone is wearing black tights I don’t know, but I can go along), and the same black Louboutins. The earrings provided more flash than I’m used to. High WASPs are scared of heart-shaped jewelry, except for pavé diamond pendants. But with the short copper dress and black tights? Right balance.
Guess which outfit, of those hitherto described, garnered the most compliments? Jessica? Call me.
And finally, for the parting ceremonies, on Sunday, December 12th, I brought out some cat of prey. We’re going to call it the “Snow Leopard” print. Embrace a trend now and then. Even if only as a collar peeking out from under a black cashmere v-neck. The latest black cashmere sweater in a history of many such.
Vintage mabe pearls from my sister, 20 years ago. Recent 8mm pearl strand, mine. Snow leopard printed satin shirt, from a hotel store somewhere in Southern California. Store-label black cashmere v-neck. Wide-legged grey Banana Republic pants. Wide crocodile-embossed belt from Wilkes Bashford. Vintage DKNY ankle boots. Vintage as in I bought them 20 years ago.
The wide belt and leopard made me feel quite Versace. Louche, almost. Sturdy Gals dream of feeling louche. To us it is the most possible wickedness, and we tell Angelina Jolie, “Watch out. I’m coming for you. After I put my Aerosoles back on.” Because we dislike foot pain almost as much as we like Tinkerbelle diamonds. Almost.
Again, thank you Shameeka Ayres. Lavish! reverberates in unforeseen ways for many of us, I imagine.
Note: If your monitor doesn’t show the links highlighted, every time I refer to a piece of clothing I’ve talked about before, I link to the post where you can see the item. And, if you could let me know that you can’t see the links, I will work on darkening or otherwise increasing their visibility. Thank you.