I set my alarm to wake up earlier than normal today.
In the old days, the ones before I regularly lay awake at night obsessing about how best to reach a younger audience with classical music, or who might be interested in covering the Detroit Symphony's 2013-14 season, or how to get TV crews to the concert hall to film bits of our Beethoven Festival (it began yesterday, if'n you plan to be in Detroit this month and are in the mood for some Ludwig, by George get in touch!)
I digress. In the old days, I would have anticipated this day because it is the first day of New York Fashion Week. That magical time in New York when I used to pseudo-secretly watch runway shows from my desk at the Indianapolis Business Journal and post my opinions of designer collections on this blog because, why not? And then I'd leave work and get together with my stylish Indianapolis friends and compare notes about those collections and fantasize about going to Fashion Week.
But instead, I awoke this morning, early, with no recollection of the fact that meanwhile in New York, skinny little models were being primped for a glorious week of wardrobe. I was thinking about the Beethoven Piano Sonata Marathon we're hosting today at Orchestra Hall, and whether it might be appropriate to take my laptop into the theater and work all day to a live Beethoven soundtrack. (I did, and it was glorious.)
And somehow, perhaps subconsciously in honor of my former life as a style writer, I slipped on my new Prada kitten heels. So when NPR reminded me on my morning commute, with its stories about young starving designers in New York, that today kicks off Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I had myself a little cry in the car. Just a little one. How could I have forgotten? Heck, how could this have been off my radar completely?
Welp, let's just say not I understand how all those women who don't have fashion related jobs have trouble finding the time to read about it. Have I stopped caring though? I think the Prada kitten heels speak for themselves.
I wrote this post a long time ago, and then didn't post it because I felt like it might be obnoxious to post about something my boyfriend gave me.
Obnoxiously like it's bragging, and no one likes a brag. But I've come to the conclusion that every girl should feel free to brag about a good clothing gift from a man, because let's face it gals: it's rare.
I knew it was love before he bought me Marc Jacobs, but this is still a good story.
As it turns out, the man of my dreams is a professional tuba player. And whilst he was in Boston playing his tuba professionally, he texted me a picture of something black and white with a white ribbon on it.
Most of you reading this will guess that this item was a gift box from Saks Fifth Avenue. You would be correct.
Me: "Is that a box from Saks?"
Tuba hunk: "Yes."
Me: "What's in it?"
Tuba hunk: "A present for you"
Me: "Can I wear it?"
Tuba hunk: "Yes."
Me: "Who made it?"
Tuba hunk: "It starts with an "M" and ends with "arc Jacobs"
Yes, that's when my heart melted.
Tuba hunk is the very first of any suitor to not only silently take note of my favorite label, but then subsequently gift me a lovely frock, which he chose himself, in the right size, made by said label. Ladies, if you haven't experienced the feeling of elation that comes with such a display of affection, by golly you are missing out. Gents (if any gents are reading this), take note.
The coolest gals I know (you know who you are) proudly exhibit their personality through their clothing choices, and those same gals know that when a man understands their clothing taste, he is pretty darn close to understanding a very special part of them.
You know the part I mean. It's the same portion of our being that tells us to wear the yellow shoes instead of the brown ones. It's the part that smiles when someone compliments our outfits. It's the part that told me Tuba hunk is pretty much an impossible act to follow.
Here I was thinking it was a good day when a co-worker dropped off a package at my desk containing the shoes I ordered last week. Five-inch tweed wedges with a suede heel. Let's face it, new shoes make any day better, help cure any ailment, heal any wound, etc. So yeah, the new shoes at my desk had me in a pretty good mood.
So good, in fact, I derailed my own productive morning to prance by everyone's office to ask if they liked them, knowing full-well they couldn't possibly care less either way. Heck, I even asked the consultant (who humored me by the way)--these shoes are that cute.
But then I walked by the mail room on my way to the powder room. I didn't walk by because I thought I had mail, mind you, because I rarely do outside of the regular newspaper or magazine or advertisement for new PR software, but because that's the way to the loo.
Against all odds I glimpsed a manila envelope in my mailbox. It wasn't in the "public relations" mailbox. It was in the Gabrielle Poshadlo mailbox. I'd already stepped one or two paces past the mail room before thinking this highly unusual, so I craned my head back to peer into the room, without moving my body. As the side of my head appeared in the doorway the facilities manager inside, Sue, looked at me like I was nuts. But I didn't care, because there the envelope sat, bearing my name handwritten in back marker. "The House of WORN," the return label read.
A feeling of warmth and flattery washed over me. I didn't know what WORN was, and I didn't know how they'd come to send me a package, but I did know it had something to do with clothes. Some how, fashion had found me at the DSO. All of a sudden, I totally forgot about the shoes.
It turns out WORN is something of a fashion scholarly journal, based out of Toronto. OK, OK, so it's not like, peer-reviewed with footnotes and that junk, but it's smart, and thoughtful, like few fashion publications are.
Only now am I delving into the Yale University Press review of Alexander McQueen's "Savage Beauty" exhibit at the Met, and the examination of "the evolution of identity in gay men's fashion from carnations to hot cops" (because let's face it, a girl has to actually get work done during the day and I'd already wasted too much time with the new shoes), but I'm totally smitten with WORN. It understands me, gosh darn it, as the educated, socially aware clothes-obsessed girly girl I truly am. The editor, Sarah-Marie McMahon, gave herself the title "Editor-in-pants" for gosh sake. Can we be friends?
After receiving WORN, I spent much of the day oscillating between puzzlement over from whence these magical documents had sprung, and pure egotistical glee over being chosen by the enlightened WORN people to receive their work of genius.
I guess I prolly would have been OK living on believing that the blog I barely update anymore (read: this one) had inspired these people in Canada to reach out to me through the international language that is cool clothes.
But luckily, reality is much much sweeter. Tonight, I got a text from my favorite. (You know who you are.) "Did you get a treat in the mail?"
Oh, favorite, I should've known you know me more than any Canadian editor-in-pants ever will. You're the best.
For the rest of you, read WORN. It's awesome town.
First of all, I love Detroit.
I love that there's nary a chain restaurant to be found downtown save the occasional fast food joint.
I love that raging parties pop up in shuttered buildings.
I love that on any given night I can listen to some live jazz in a space that saw prohibition.
I love that my new hipster hair salon is within walking distance. (I still miss you though, dear Philip)
I love that there's a magazine here that actually understands how to shoot a fashion spread, that there's a blue jeans manufacturer in an old auto plant and that everyone is just so very much digging being here.
I used to hear the cool kids in Indy complain about the city's lack of coolness. In Detroit, you hear no such thing.
But when it comes to being a clothes-obsessed young professional working in the hippest neighborhood in the D, there are some requests I'd like to submit to the fashion Gods. Feel free to add to this list, y'all.
1. Any semblance of shopping--I'm talking within Detroit city limits. Once you cross 8 Mile, the sartorial heavens part to reveal endless shopping opportunities of every flavor. In Detroit? Nada. As my coworker so astutely put it, "I've replaced my clothes shopping habit with a grocery shopping habit because there's nowhere to shop here." Sure, grocery shopping has its perks (cheese, oh my gawd, the cheese) but when one is eating more than usual while buying less clothes that fit...you see the conundrum.
My lunch hours in Indy were often spent perusing Circle Centre, just a stone's throw from ye olde Indianapolis Business Journal and gosh darn it I got spoiled. Oh what I wouldn't do for a mediocre shopping fix this afternoon at Carson's or T.J. Maxx. And no, I never thought I'd say this.
This morning as I rode up the elevator I realized I might have time to swing by the gym this afternoon after work (a rare occurance) but alas, I do not have gym clothes with me. In the Indy days I would've just popped over to the mall and purchased a new workout get-up in this situation. But in Detroit, I probably will end up forgoing the gym excursion all together in favor of yet another rich meal and early bedtime.
All I'm asking is one tinsy H&M people. Is that too much to ask?
2. A blowout salon like the one I just read about in the New Yorker--I work for a symphony, and quite often attend concerts after work. I'm not complaining, mind you, but when one has been working one's backside off all day, one doesn't exactly look (or feel!) fresh and spunky when one comes downstairs for the performance. In fact, one has flat hair, wrinkled clothes and stale makeup on one's face.
If there were a salon anywhere within city limits (it could be downtown, Midtown, Greek Town or where ever!) with a menu of blowout options like Drybar I would be a happy camper. I feel fairly certain there's a city full of young female doctors, lawyers, arts administrators, entrepreneurs, etc. who feel exactly the same way.
I already think about Indy and all the people (and food!) I miss there pretty much everyday. That's why it was such a lovely surprise this morning to see via Twitter that the lovely Mandy Crandell (@MandyCrandell) had written a blog post about the H in the H farewell bash, at which she took what are now some of my most cherished photos. Click around! You might see yourself.
While you're on her site, Something Monumental, check out her rad jewelry. I'm the very fortunate owner of a custom Something Monumental piece, a necklace representing the two cities in which my heart resides. (see below)
Mandy, if you're reading this, I wear that darn necklace a lot, in fact I wear it with things it doesn't even really go with. It makes me happy to run my fingers over the shape of the states I love. It's a tactile reminder of the great memories I have in both.
But enough of that mush.
Moral(s) of the story: Mandy is rad. Buy her stuff. Hire her to photograph your next event.
Anyone who reads this blog with any kind of regularity knows that I adore Emily Clark of Emilliner. Always have. Always will.
But recently a Detroit fashion blogger who's graciously taken me under her wing (you know who you are!) directed me toward Pooka Queen, a former Detroit milliner who has relocated to greener pastures in Los Angeles. No one blames you for wanting to make a living, dear heart.
But I wanted to be sure and share this with anyone who still visits this blog from time to time. Pooka Queen is a veritable master with wool felt, folding it into simple, yet exceedingly pleasing vintage-look toppers.
On another note, I was recently told by one of my faves, "I love you but can you post to your damn blog already?"
It's easy to make excuses about being turbo busy at work (because I am) but really I haven't posted because I'm kinda scared y'all don't love me anymore. And also because I wanted to have something fashion-related to post about.
A brief overview of my first two months in Detroit: I wake up early and drive down Woodward (to put myself in the Detroit state of mind) to the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Midtown. I walk through the stage door to the sounds of world-class musicians warming up, and sometimes I wander down to the concert hall to listen to rehearsal. I count myself lucky because not everyone has a living, breathing, instrument-playing reminder of why they're doing what they're doing or why their day may be stressful.
I return home to the house where I grew up and usually make dinner with my folks or sew with my mom (I'll post a photo of my latest project soon!). It's the life, really, but I miss Indy everyday. This is what it's like when your heart lives in two places.
Let's be realistic here, how busy are your Monday nights? No, really? Mad Men isn't back on yet, so clearly your free. Luckily for you, the Indianapolis Fashion Collective is putting on a trend report predicting style for next summer, since this one is almost over.
So if you're a boutique owner who's planning a buying trip, or who needs to train your buyers or who just wants to know what to buy for yourself during all of the pre-sales, this evening is for you.
Don't trust the IFC to make these types of predictions? You don't have to! Take it from the Chicago trend expert they've hired, FranYoshioka.
Join Indy's most-fashionable for the lesson and a free mixer at my favorite hair master Phil Salmon's salon, Spa at French Pharmacie. Phil, darling, you're such a gracious host. I'll be there is spirit, so, see ya there!