I’m not someone who hates holidays. Really. You know those people who complain about Valentine’s Day (and I guess Valentine’s Day is the most controversial, you rarely hear people bemoaning, say, St. Patrick’s Day)? I’m not one of those people. At all. I love holidays. All of them. I have fond childhood memories of Secretary’s Day, which I don’t think is even a day anymore. Probably not. I don’t think you’re allowed to say “secretary.”
I mean, I was that kind of person. Until Anna Wintour invented Fashion Night Out. And then I understood. I understood how Jessica Biel felt in Valentine’s Day. Like this:
Because, in addition to being a night when all the shops are open and offering champagne, it is a night when a wild mob of people force their way down the street and call you a bitch if you don’t move out of the way fast enough when you are standing in front of your own apartment. And sometimes, they vomit into trashcans. Actually, always. Around 10:00 you will always see a girl vomiting into a trashcan.
A few years ago, I vomited outside an OTB, so I’m really not one to judge this. I’m just saying it happens. Just vomit pouring down the street in rivers.
But this year, I had a plan. I was going to go to the Plaza. The Plaza was hosting a private Assouline book launch for Africa is in Style. And they had a scarf! This limited edition scarf! Who doesn’t love scarves?
I figured the fact that it was private and required an RSVP would be great, not because I love tiny red velvet ropes (although who doesn’t?) but because there would be a much smaller mob. More like a Frankenstein castle mob than a The-Entire-French-Revolution mob.
So. I would only go to the Plaza. Just as Holly Golightly believed that nothing bad could ever happen at Tiffany‘s, there are certain old hotels in New York – the Waldorf, the Essex House, the Plaza – that I believe are pretty safe, sacred spaces. Obviously, this doesn’t hold up with new hotels. With new hotels I can never shake the sense that some B-list celebrity is going to overdose on cocaine in the next room over, and an underaged prostitute will have to report his death. I think new hotels cultivate that vibe intentionally. I’m quite certain The Standard does. I think that’s what it means to be “cool.” But I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen too often at the Plaza, and I’m absolutely sure no one would ever call you a bitch and vomit on you at the Plaza. Eloise wouldn’t stand for it.
So that was my plan.
I woke up in the morning thinking “tonight, I will only go to the Plaza.” And for 2 minutes, I felt calm about that.
And then I got a text from my mother.
She wanted to make sure that I was going to to go to Burberry, because they would be taking pictures of anyone who wore a Burberry coat. I have a Burberry coat that used to belong to my mother. She wrote about it. Suffice to say, this coat is a big deal for us.
It was 85 degrees out, and I tried to think about how I was going to carry a Burberry trench around the entire day. I tried to think about how I was not going to do this because I had a plan.
“Think it’s going to be a bit a bit of a madhouse – kind of just want to do the Plaza.” I texted back.
“Ok.” She texted.
Someone once told me that I had a curious ability to make the phrase “okay” sound exactly like “it was the worst of times.” It’s nice to know where I got this from.
The workday was actually alright. I found a copy of Page Six Magazine on the ground. Just lying on the ground! The goddamn ground! I tell you, it was like finding a diamond necklace in a sewer.
There was an article about Cat Marnell in which she said that real girls know how to do bulimia, which made me wish I was friends with Cat Marnell, so I could send her Sam’s article on the after-effects of bulimia. Then it occurred to me that this would be the entirety of my friendship with Cat Marnell. It would just be me sending her articles to make her consider the rational outcomes of actions, and her probably not being all that rational, and then eventually I would give into her madness and overdose on cocaine at The Dream hotel.
There was also a section in the magazine where they profiled sexiest political campaign people in New York. I went to the same school as one of the girls who was campaigning for the Republicans. She said her dream date owns “A Vineyard Vines red elephant tie.” This set off a good ten minutes of nostalgia, wherein I just googled all the Vineyard Vines ties.
I hope she finds someone like that in New York, but I really think the odds of someone retching on her are higher.
So, that was what I did in the day. I read Page Six Magazine. I must have written articles. And then, at the end of the day, Ashley suggested we go to Tom Ford before I went to the Plaza. And I figured, hell, I can handle one more place.
Thank God we made those decisions, because if we had not we would not have seen these two Upper East Side matriarchs whose outfits matched their poodles. Really. This really happened. I took a photo even though that seemed strange, and made me feel like a spy. Or the Sartorialist. I guess he must feel like that all the time. Wait, no, he probably asks people before taking their pictures. Huh.
Anyhow! That happened. We laughed about it. How we laughed. I bet both their husbands have Vineyard Vines ties, though I think maybe black poodle lady also has a red room of pain, because I think they might be racy like that. And we went to Tom Ford.
It was for a new men’s fragrance (it was nice!) but, to hell with fragrances, all I want are naked lady slippers for Christmas. Do you think they’ve sent them to Hugh Hefner? I feel like he would really like them, and wear them really well. I feel like I would, too. I would not turn down these slippers. I would also take a lady-slipper equivalent.
Basically, I babbled to the publicists about how they make good lipstick for the entire event. They do. Tom Ford makes really good lipstick.
Then we stopped in to Alice & Olivia, a FNO out event which is always inexplicably favored by 12 year old girls. I have no idea why, but they served this popcorn. Ashley claimed it was appropriate, as it was menstrual colored. I would never say something like that to you. Ashley says shocking things, sometimes (I don’t think she’s a lady). This is what it looked like:
Girlish. That’s how I’d describe it.
And we ran into a commenter!!!! Kimberly! This girl! Who wrote this piece for Regret Week! We were walking by on the street and she said “are you Jennifer from TheGloss?” and I said “yes.” For that is my identity. And we talked, and it was nice. I think we spend a lot of time thinking about how the internet can be a lawless, destructive land – and I like it pretty lawless, I like to pretend we’re all schizophrenic cowboys – but sometimes it also brings people together, and means that when you run into people in the street you feel like you are friends. And you know them. I took a picture. We both look a bit startled. I think it is a testament to how surprising this age we live in is.
Go Internet. Go technology. Thank you Al Gore.
Then I went to The Plaza
Ashley ditched me. She just took her menstrual popcorn and ran. This is her way. But I did not matter because I was surrounded by the Plaza, and Assouline books, and champagne. This!
And elderly people! I love stylish elderly people! They love Diana Vreeland jokes.
I mean, it’s really hard to just come out of nowhere with Diana Vreeland jokes, but I bet they would love them.
I’m going to work on one for the next event like this.
Diana Vreeland. She’s going to make her maid iron all her money.
Maybe Diana Vreeland is more funny in the context of “whimsical anecdotes.”
There was one girl there who had a glove on covered entirely in spikes. Someone asked her about it and she replied, very coolly, “security doesn’t like me very much.” I thought of replying, equally coolly, “that’s because you have spikes coming out of your hand.” Then people spent some time discussing how her glove could be used as a weapon and I sort of felt like like saying “yes, it’s a glove with spikes all over it, of course it would be used as a weapon. What else could it possibly be used for?”
I spent a little time in the corner wondering if maybe I was just feeling unappreciated because I didn’t have any visible weaponry on me.
This is my way of telling you that I’m going to start carrying a katana everyplace. I bet so many street style photographers will take my picture.
Then I went home.
And I changed into a dress that matched my Burberry coat. It was white. It’s after labor day, but I roll how I want to roll. I roll like a powdered donut or snowball! I wear white all day every day! And then I walked back 25 blocks to Burberry, glowering at people a little bit. I’m making that sound like a bad thing, but I really like walking, and glowering, so, you know, it was pretty fun.
I got to Burberry and I thought, ‘goodness, there is no way I am going to go up to someone and ask them to take my picture, because I am not some manner of photo strumpet, I will just mill here and maybe they will give me a chocolate because their salted caramel chocolates appear to have sea salt on them and I like that and…” then someone tapped me on the shoulder and explained that they were photographing everyone who wore a Burberry trench into the store.
“Oh, really,” I replied, very coolly, as though I was wearing glove covered in spikes.
They took my picture. They took lots of pictures. At one point I was encouraged to fling the coat over one shoulder and look back while pouting and, I’m sorry, but this sort of thing is really fun. Really fun. I understand the impulse towards photo strumpetry a lot more now.
I sort of suspect it’s going to be one of those things when you feel like Christy Turlington while doing it and then, if these pictures ever get sent or used anyplace, I will realize I look very odd indeed.
Or I’ll look like Christy Turlington and I’ll be leaving this job for my upcoming Burberry campaign. Hah! No, not really, then I wouldn’t run into you on the street someday.
And I did not encounter anyone vomiting even once in the entire evening. I think we’ve turned a corner. And you know, I think things are going to work out okay for Jessica Biel, too.