My sisters, I was about to write you a post about feminism just now. I was flying through it, my fingers typing 300 miles an hour on the keyboard, when suddenly I thought to myself: come on, just chill out for two seconds.
That’s enough of being deep, spiritual, self-fulfilled, and having an amazing perspective on the world.
Let’s be rich, light, carefree, and let’s just talk about clothes for a second.
Or actually, let’s talk about my day on Saturday, which will henceforth be known as “the worst dressed day of my entire life” – okay. The truth is, there have been others, some even more embarrassing. Let me remind you that I’m a former Fashion Week warrior and I’ve worn my share of questionable looks, just like any self-respecting fashion girl.
But this one was extra special, because besides being dressed badly, out of season, and wearing no makeup, I totally forgot who I was. I forget who I am all the time, honestly. Apparently, that innocence is part of my charm (so, I said I was done being deep and spiritual for two seconds, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop being pretentious).
The day began nice and warm in my bed at La Clinique la Prairie where, like any modern woman, I was doing a detox (I’ll tell you all about my detox next time – I promise I didn’t get any enemas). My alarm clock didn’t even have a chance to go off – I woke up bright and early overflowing with health and jumped right into the shower.
That day, my plan was to take a flight to Paris to meet up with my sister and her children, hang out for awhile and have a nice, relaxed dinner of detox broth before catching my flight back to LA the next morning.
So I put on my fuzzy robe, made myself a detox tea (yes, EVERYTHING was detox), then it was time to get dressed to leave. I had prepped my outfit in advance and I was congratulating myself for being so annoyingly perfect.
Except I hadn’t thought about my look as a complete outfit AT ALL.
I put on my burgundy cashmere sweat suit, which was a gift from my sister – super pretty.
I put on my Gucci moccasins, who knows why. I guess I think they’re sort of chic with a cashmere sweat suit.
So far so good, if you don’t look too closely. I mean, it’s still a sweat suit with moccasins, after all. But hey, you’ve either got fashion in your blood, or you don’t.
Except. On top of all of that, I was wearing an enormous faux fur. Which was bright red.
Where else would you want me to put it? A huge fur like that doesn’t fit in a suitcase! That’s the kind of thing that, if you take it with you on a trip, you have no choice but to wear it. It’s like traveling with a hat, or an umbrella, a dog, or a lover. Just don’t do it.
I had taken it with me because it was way below freezing in Paris when I arrived two weeks ago.
And at the time, it seemed PERFECTLY LOGICAL.
Already at the airport, I could already tell the Swiss people were looking at me funny. Swiss people are pretty chic. They like subtlety, discretion, they’re naturally polite and it’s very calming.
UNLIKE THE CRAZY PERSON IN BRIGHT RED FUR AND A BURGUNDY JUMP SUIT WALKING THROUGH THE AIRPORT OVER THERE.
Pfffft. Even though I’m like everyone else and don’t care what people think of me in the airport, I still took note: think for two seconds about what you’re going to be wearing wherever you go, even if it’s the Geneva airport.
A few hours after my airport defeat, I was slumped over in a Parisian restaurant that was NOT GOOD AT ALL (hey, it happens) with my sister and her twelve children (it’s crazy how children multiply when you’re not looking) (no, I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t seeing double – it’s just that all the kids brought their friends along), and suddenly, I felt it was imperative that we go to Béline.
That’s what my sister and I call Céline.
Obviously, she understood the urgency right away, and we left all the kids with a responsible adult (who was outraged about the mission they’d just been given) and we headed off to Béline.
Me, in my bright red fur, sweat suit and Gucci moccasins, of course, and my sister in, uhh…well.
Wearing a cashmere sweat suit, a faux fur (brown, though – phew!) and Gucci mocassins.
Yep, we were dressed exactly alike, like idiots. We hadn’t planned it, we’re just like that – we dress the same all the time without realizing it, her in the chic version, me in the “bohemian” version (another way of saying messy and disheveled).
Anyway, since I’d traveled that morning, I had “forgotten” to wear makeup. And since I’d traveled that morning, my cashmere had taken on a rumpled appearance. My bag (which was white – hey, I forgot to tell you about that part) weighed a ton and a half because of the trip and the too many things in it, which gave me the grace of a discus thrower.
And as for the fur, it hadn’t changed a bit. Red, enormous, unmistakable.
I could have organized myself a bit better (drop the fur off at my sister’s, break my promise about not opening my suitcase, take two seconds to do my makeup) but if I were an organized woman, you’d know it by now.
Oh, and the weather?
Yeah, the weather was changing.
A brilliant sun was caressing the streets of Paris.
An ideal Saturday afternoon.
Pfff, pfff, pfff.
Pffff. I was burning up. It’s starting to get hot, I said to myself as I passed by L’Avenue at the corner of Avenue Montaigne and saw all the pouty lips out eating lunch on the terrace, some of them wearing t-shirts.
But a few degrees weren’t going to stop me from going to Béline, I said to myself, as I felt my skin start to glisten and my armpits heat up. I had a moment of silence for my organic deodorant.
I knew I’d just given it a mission made for maximum strength anti-perspirant and it was going to fail miserably. Yeah, yeah, you know what I’m saying. Don’t pretend like the natural stuff works.
So I was badly dressed, my face wasn’t done, I was probably going to smell like sweat soon and we were on our way to Béline.
And when I got to Béline, that’s when I had forgot once again who I was. Ah, my natural humility is going to be the end of me.
I had high hopes that no one would recognize me. Even though I was clearly visible, I was SO not up to the standard of French chic that people associate with me (a reputation I’ve gotten largely despite myself, let’s just say we’re French just so people think we’re chic).
At Béline, it was fire and fury. All the women wanted to get their hands on the latest pieces designed by Boebe Bilo (OK, OK I’ll stop) before they disappear forev…
OK, interlude, hands in the air, chin down, eyes closed, everyone repeat after me:
“HOW ARE WE EVER GOING TO SURVIVE AFTER PHOEBE???”
Oof, that feels good. Because seriously, a world without Phoebe, it’s going to be hard for us. And for Zara, haha.
…so, before they disappear forever. There were tons of people, and there was also an event going on with models walking around in the store, hot servers offering drinks and snacks (haha, snacks!)
Despite all that, some kind soul (I don’t know what we’re supposed to say these days, saleswoman? Is that politically correct? Help!!!) a saleswoman, let’s say, came to “help” us. In other words, she followed us all over the store to make us feel guilty for not buying anything.
It’s difficult to describe how an outfit that’s slightly awkward in an airport becomes an impossible tragedy the moment you step into a temple of good taste like Céline. You suddenly feel like a hyena (a red one) in the middle of graceful swans.
I tried to hide in my fur, telling myself that I was sure NOT going to pass for someone very elegant, but there was a good chance I’d pass for someone very, very rich. I’ve often noticed these days, the richer you are, the more likely you are to wear distressed sneakers and distressed sweatpants – with either a mink fur over it, or a gold watch covered in diamonds, or an entirely redone face, or all three at the same time, and that’s the complete Bingo.
But hey, my fur was faux, I had no fancy watch on my wrist, and my face was probably shiny but certainly not redone. Even so, there was a glimmer of hope.
Yes, yes, I admit, I don’t know why, but I started to feel self-conscious.
Fortunately, I thought to myself, I look stupid, but no one will recognize me, so at least there’s that.
I ended up buying a purse out of guilt (it was so pretty!) (I mean, I think?) (shit, did I really buy it to apologize for my appearance?) (naah, it really is beautiful). When suddenly the nice saleswoman says to me: “AH, THAT WILL BE PERFECT FOR NEW YORK!”
I raised an eyebrow.
I hadn’t told her I lived in New York. Plus, she was three years behind.
I couldn’t decide which part was more annoying.
Fuck, Garance Doré had been unmasked! I hid my face three times deeper into my fur.
We left Béline feeling triumphant, and it was exactly 12,000 degrees outside. I managed to convince…
Oh la la, this is all getting way too long. I’ve got things to do!
OK, let me just give you a short summary, otherwise you’ll still be reading this tomorrow. And, how do I put this – this post isn’t exactly required reading on women’s place in society these days… OR IS IT?
Okay, so in short, we went to have tea afterward in a Parisian palace – I can’t tell you the name (OK, the George V) where the cakes were not good at all, and we got to observe “palace” fashion (Wow Balenziaga IS REALLY ALL THE RAGE in palaces, and plus the brand is written in such huge letters everywhere, in case you were confused and thought you were looking at a repairman with a passion for gold watches covered in diamonds) (if you don’t follow, go look at the Balenciaga “work wear” fashion shows) so we finally decided that no matter what we do, no matter what we say, what nice things we amass, and no matter how much we go to Céline, the best of the best of the best, in our opinion, and what works whether you’re in a palace or a plane or the subway or anywhere else, is JEANS AND A WHITE T-SHIRT (WITH GOOD DEODORANT).
Oh, and Bucci moccasins, of course. Dropping the mic.