Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jersey: America's Hidden Treasure

Oh, the border may be deceiving... Two smoking chemical plants flanking the "Welcome to New Jersey" LED sign. A van sporting the URL speeding past. (kid you not)

And I was speeding - I had to get to my destination by noon to meet a friend for a pedicure. "A Jersey pedicure?" my mom inquired. "What's that - Lee press-on nails on your feet?"

But then the hidden nature of the Garden State revealed itself. Frickin' gorgeous fall colors! Frickin' deer! Frickin' bucolic fields spotted with quaint churches and horse farms. Pumpkin pie baked fresh by an Italian family, procured at an Exxon station no less.

At my destination: 20 nails painted in OPI Who Are You Wearing for $26 total (not including tip) - yes, that's manicure and pedicure combined. $26 wouldn't even get me a pass under the pumice stone in Chevy Chase.

Carmella would approve.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Black tie. Oh @#%^.

I re-read the invitation at work, just to check the directions. Embassy events are tricky that way. When I'd gotten the outfit ready that morning, I had prepared for a nationality of the funky Ikea variety - as opposed to, say, fancy France or Dubai, in which case Granna's mink would be drug from the closet.

I had thought I'd be safe with a non-cocktail dress I could wear to work with a sweater and boots, then dress up later with jewelry, heels and a corset belt.

As with many circumstances during my time in Washington, was I off, fashion-wise.

And thanks to the rain and two hours sitting in the car on Wisconsin Avenue (why I usually prefer the metro), I had no time to duck home to upgrade.

My skin was dry and flaky. My hair was a staticky mess. Though my dress was a flattering DVF wrap style, the H&M material had more petrochemicals in it than the soil of Azerbaijan. This was made glaringly obvious by the posh spangles, silks and satin that surrounded me. Were the expressions that surrounded me disdain or botox?

In such a situation, all one can do is suck in one's stomach, take a final glance in the mirror and forget about it.

Because once you arrive at a party, it's not about you and what you look like. It's about accepting your hosts' hospitality, putting your neuroses aside and having a good time.

And that's how the evening went. Ikea-genre countries know how to have a good time.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Fashion-blogging Wisconsin Avenue: A flippin' horse in the Ralph Lauren window!

(Granted, I was a bit buzzed when I walked by last night. But his morning's clearer-eyed stroll past revealed it to be no Chardonnay hallucination.)

Sweaters, I expect. Cocktail dresses? Absolutely, particularly with the holidays coming up.

But what are most city people going to do with a bridle and saddle? One time I did see a deer bound across Wisconsin Avenue (en route from the country club to the tennis courts, I believe). But I had no urge to lasso it up or ride it. Nor, do I think, would most of my neighbors. So move the livery accoutrements over to Middleburg or Potomac, Ralph. Bring in the pretty dresses.

Some other puzzling things in the Chevy Chase Collection:

- The ever-gorgeous Catherine Deneuve is perched atop a stack of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks. "Mon dieu, mes pieds!" she seems to be thinking as she rubs her elegant ankle. Is this the best image to accompany the shoe display?

- In the Barney's window, I spot a gray button-down with a chocolate cardigan - male mannequins are color-blind, too!

- Behind Mr. Rogers, two female mannequins have pushed a third to the ground, where fortunately a stack of leopard throw pillows was there to cushion her bony blue plastic ass. Is it a girl gang fight? A prelude to a kinky menage a mannequin trois? As with all great art, the viewer is left to decide.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A man with a stuffed animal glued to his crotch...

...boards the Metro.

Do you make eye contact? Offer him a seat? Call security?