Chic C’est La Vie

fullsizerender-3One night this past week I found myself at a charity gala held at an estate in Los Angeles’ Platinum Triangle. We were raising money for something or another, and as such the who’s who of the westside elite were in attendance. As I galavanted across the expansive yard I came across an old friend from high school. The best way to describe this devastatingly gorgeous creature, resplendent in her gown, was a casualty of her luxurious circumstances – the ennui due to accessibility had completely set in, and yet she still maintained her youthful and seductive glow.

“It’s not as though I disbelieve in global warming…it’s just that…well, quite frankly, I simply don’t care.” she casually starts.

The lively conversation I thought we were going to have took a comically nihilistic turn.

“But what about the future generations?” I asked with feigned concern.

She responds to me while scanning the crowd, “look, at some point we may go extinct, just like several species have done in the past, and i’m sure as several will do in the future.”If we cease to exist,” she effortlessly inhales then exhales a puff of smoke from her Virginia Slim, “alors, it’s not the end of the world.” With that point she cleanses her mind and her palette with a sip of the 2002 Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil-sur-Oger on tap that evening.

The candor with which seductive socialite delivered this insight enhanced my view of her and provided levity to that eerily possible eventuality.

“Indeed, with or without us I guess the world will continue to go on,” I concede.

Seductive Socialite nodded at me, grinned, then called out to a a friend across the lawn. She kissed my cheek, then glided away.

In that moment I came to realize that Vervain was more than just a Virginia Slim smoking, deluxe champagne sipping, uber-svelte seductive socialite – she is a hilariously nihilistic philosopher – and that’s why i love her, she always surprises me in the best way.

 

 

 

Chic C’est La Vie

Chienne

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“You look like you’re going to kill someone,” Boudicca whispers.

Indeed, I may.

Exhaustion is no joke.

As time passes and I learn more about myself I’ve come to understand, and accept, that without proper rest I am not the best person to be around. Alas, i turn into a cranky, cantankerous bitch – which is completely ok.

That’s not to say that it’s ok to be a bitch to people. No, not at all. What i’m saying is it’s ok to feel like a bitch. For me, feeling like a bitch is an indicator that one of my needs isn’t being met. I understand that my bitch comes out when I’m existing without a proper amount of rest.

When I am not well rested I cannot socialize. My being turns into survival mode and I simply observe people to understand whether or not they are a threat. It’s not fun. I observe without enjoyment.

How does the saying go?

Your environment is a direct reflection of yourself?

Well…Something like that.

When i’m bitchy my actions are mirrored by those around me and i certainly take the hint. If i see this, I quietly remove myself because I know that I won’t enjoy myself – that’s to say that i don’t enjoy being around a bitch.

It has nothing to do with anyone or anything except myself.

Chienne

Vie Faux

fullsizerenderYou still owe me tiramisu,” I texted.

Alastaire replied, “I know. How about today. I can meet you at our usual spot, say 3pm?”

“Sounds good, see you there.”

I got to Cecconi’s around 3:15, Alistaire still hadn’t arrived. I asked the waitress for an inside table. As though completely ignorant to the idea that people may enjoy privacy she seated me next to the only other people in the restaurant – an older and younger pairing.

I tried to be polite and not eavesdrop, but after a few minutes – that is, after i checked my Facebook notifications, emails, snapchats, and text messages – i couldn’t help but overhear the conversation of the pair next to me. The older one was clearly a benefactor of some sort. i assumed this as the younger one spoke broken english, and aside from beauty didn’t really seem to bring much to the table.

To provide myself with further distraction I snacked on the famously long breadsticks while i waited for my companion.

Finally, i saw Alistaire approaching the table. I saw him glance at the older of the two people sitting next to me. From Alistaire’s glance i observed that he first sized up, then recognized the older person, and finally pieced together that person’s backstory.

Alistaire introduced us and then i met the young companion. The older one was a self-important figure who felt compelled to give both first and last name. I didn’t care to acknowledge such pompous affectations so I just parroted the name and smiled. For some reason the young companion gave me a look of commiseration, a look that i did not reciprocate.

Although I often fantasize about a relationship that would provide me with financial security in exchange for my youth and beauty, I can never imagine being happy in that sort of arrangement – only because i believe one sacrifices too much, and that which one sacrifices is their freedom. But anyway, back to the story.

I met Alistaire through a business meeting set up by my boss, Barclay.  Apparently Alistaire has extensive experience in the investment world and my boss wanted to butter Alistaire up for some inside tips. I went to the meeting knowing who Alistaire is and did my best to pique his interest in me.

A few days after our initial meet Alistaire texted me in a casual manner. I responded and had been communicating with him for a few weeks. I had done my research and knew that Alistaire was an accomplished individual. I pursued a dialogue with Alistaire and not only because I thought he could somehow help me and my company, but I was actually genuinely interested this person. Especially because he seemed to be so interested in me.

The last time Alistaire and I had hung out we lunched at Cecconi’s. When he suggested that location i initially resisted because I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. I ultimately acquiesced to his persistence, and because I love their Chicken Paillard, and because he was buying. Unfortunately, our lunch was cut short because he had a business meeting to attend. We weren’t able to get dessert, and that brings us back to where we started this story.

I figured that since Alistaire had so persistently invited me to lunch and previously agreed to do dessert I could take him up on the offer.

When we relocated to a more private section of the restaurant we chatted about work, relationships, and family all over a shared a tiramisu.

We exhausted all possible subjects as well as our appetite so we asked for the check.

When the check arrived I could tell that Alistaire was uncomfortable. I asked what the damage was and offered to split it. In my mind I felt that it was a polite move since I knew that Alistaire had mentioned that he was between jobs. He agreed to split the check. He threw down his scintillating platinum card, as i tossed my beat up debit card.

I didn’t think much of this as I didn’t want to give Alistaire the wrong impression of what i was after, and also because I sensed that he may be struggling to make ends meet.

I didn’t truly understand how dire his situation actually was until we walked out to the valet…

So, Cecconi’s offers free valet service until 4pm. From that point until closing it is $10. As i was walking to the front I pulled a few dollars out of my pocket for tip without realizing that it was past 4. When i got to the attendant he asked for $10. I pulled out some more cash and promptly paid.

When this interaction was occurring Alistaire seemed to be a bit frazzled. He asked the attendant if they took credit card and he said that they didn’t, but he could go back inside and ask for cash back from the waitress. Alistaire didn’t seem to like that idea much, and he coyly asked if i had an extra ten spot.

Without hesitation i said of course and handed him some cash. He paid the attendant and profusely thanked me. I said it was nothing.

…You know when someone is gratuitously thankful and it comes off as insincere and can be slightly uncomfortable? Well that’s what happened here. It got to the point where i felt like he was thanking me and telling me that he’d pay me back because he didn’t think that he would actually ever pay me back…well anywho…

The next thing i know his Yellow Porsche Caymen roars over the cobblestone driveway.

He thanks me, yet again, as he gets into his car. He doesn’t want to break eye contact as though he wants to see the reaction i have to this entire scenario. I truly don’t think much at all, especially since i only did what i’d like someone to do for me if i were in his position. But the whole scenario, and his uncomfortable eye contact leaves me feeling a bit odd.

I watch him drive out onto Robertson boulevard and think to myself…

hmm…I wonder how many people are driving around LA in $50,000 cars and can’t even afford the Valet…

Why are they doing this to themselves?

Vie Faux

Dîner pour Trois

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“I fucking hate her….there are some days when I would laugh because I imagine her getting hit by a car.”

Caradac and I looked at Boudicca with blank stares-not immediately knowing what to say.

Caradac tried to offer some kind of excuse on behalf of Boudicca’s mother who wasn’t present.

We were dining at Cecconi’s on Melrose. My two childhood friends wanted to take me out for my birthday-despite my protestation. 26, what’s to celebrate?

They’re good friends to me, Caradac and Boudicca, I love them. Boudicca continued her tirade…

“She’s so fucking crazy. One second she’ll tell me to do something and the next second she’ll yell at me for doing it.”

“You know, Bouds, I’m sure she needs help with the family…taking care of six people is not easy,” Caradac offers.

I try to understand what the big issue is, but of course no amount of explanation by Boudicca can ever compare to what it’s actually like living with Formentera, Boudicca’s mother.

From what I gathered up until that point Formentera seemed to be a nice enough person. She volunteers, she stays involved with the community, and is always trying to please her children, especially when there is a celebration involved.

“Well that’s nothing…imagine your mother getting pissed at you for not wearing your seatbelt and slamming on the brakes so you fly into the windshield in order to teach you a lesson.”

My eyes wanted to pop out of my skull. I tried to limit the drop of my jaw.

“Yeah that’s the side of Cari you’ve never seen,” Caradac adds.

Cari or Carinthia is Caradac’s mother.

She’s a pretty and soft spoken woman. I wouldn’t say my image of her was shattered in that moment, but i was certainly surprised. I didn’t know how to respond. I struggled to change the subject.

We all had shared a joint before dinner, the three of us, in the parking lot of a french bistro across the street-Le Relais De l’Entrecôte. The bistro had recently opened, and they nailed the Parisian aesthetic. Their front patio was lined with Rattan Cane chairs, and circular tables ready to be adorned with the Café Society.

In any case Boudicca, Caradac, and I decided to grab drinks at the Cecconi’s bar before dinner. In the adjoining bar area we met our bartender whom we called “PM Otis” – but only after we got the check-how she got that name is an entirely different story.

As we walked up to the bar Boudicca mentioned that she had lost her walled-or misplaced it-I wasn’t completely listening. The comment didn’t really seem to be about her wallet at all. Rather it seemed to be a way to change the topic of conversation onto her Euro trip from which she had just returned a few evenings prior. “I think I lost my wallet…er..maybe misplaced it…you know, i’m not entirely sure where to find anything, my townhouse is an absolute mess after unpacking from Nice.”

Unfortunately, the relevance of this comment became immediately apparent. Boudicca, coming from a family function, didn’t bring any sort of ID-drivers license, passport or otherwise.

The bartender approached our corner and asked if we would like anything to drink. “Prosecco to start,” Boudicca ordered.

Unfortunately, the waitress was not as laissez-faire as we had hoped and denied serving Boudicca on the count of her inability to present proof of drinking age.

Naturally, we had to come up with a scheme for Boudicca to get a drink. We figured that if Caradac and I ordered a drink at the bar then gave one of them to Boudicca while walking to our dinner table our bubbly dinner waitress would reasonably conclude that Boudicca had already been carded.

The plan worked like a charm.

That evening the three of us enjoyed a liquor soaked dinner in honor of my birthday, and I couldn’t have been happier.

I went home that night appreciating my luck to have came across such awesome friends.

Dîner pour Trois

That Time Karl Lagerfeld Almost Swindled Me.

Karl-sketch

“He wants the Baccarat 12!”

“Who? Who wants the Baccarat 12?”

“Karl! Karl Lagerfeld!”

“No!”

“Oui!!!!”

//

“Have you received the check from Lagerfeld?”

“No…not yet…I would ask but I don’t want to be too demanding.”

“But mon cher months have gone by…you’ve called, wrote, and still nothing.”

“Mon cherie, you can’t push powerful people…”

“Oui, je sais, mais, nous avons bills to pay! Alors, i’ll go,” Colette says.

//

Colette approaches l’appartement particulier.

The lavish courtyard completely envelopes Colette.

This is like nothing she has ever experienced. Every single detail had been meticulously decided upon. The box hedges along the base of the walls underlined the windows. A soft trickle from a fountain aurally tickled her spirit. She felt the cool grey gravel below her feet slightly part as she took a step.

She quickly regains her focus and remembers why she is a la maison du Lagerfeld. Pour la money!

//

First task, find where the accountants are located.

She enters a hallway ornately decorated with gilt covered wooden onlays.

With a door on each side of her she takes a guess…

The next thing she knows she is in the kitchen and a chef is asking her if she’s lost.

Luckily the chef doesn’t ever begin to think that she is a random intruder as she looks like the type of people who frequent la maison.

Colette’s dressed in her chicest outfit-ready to demand payment for her Baccarat 12.

She asks the chef where the accountants are located, he points and says…

“They’re through the door across the hall.”

//

Colette bursts through the door across the hall, startling the two accountants who are calculating away.

She states who she is and what she’s there for.

“Oui madame. That’s so funny that you should come today, the head accountant Monsieur Marseille is coming in today and is planning to sign a check for you…Now run along and we will have it mailed to you.”

//

A week goes by, and still no check.

Naturally Colette returns to the accountants seeking answers.

They give her another excuse.

//

Another weeks passes and still no check.

//

Colette, infuriated with the entire scenario, returns to la maison. This time around she could careless about what she’s wearing or what she looks like.

Upon arriving to la maison Colette notices that there is a hoard of staff preparing for some event. Bouquets of gardenias are being carried through the hallways, le jardin is adorned with a spotless red carpet…the scene is set for an evening of glamour.

//

Colette, again enamored by the glamorous scene, almost forgets why she is even there.

But hellbent on getting the money from Lagerfeld she storms into the accountants’ office.

//

“This is bullshit,” she yells, “it’s been months now and still no payment.”

“I want my check, and i want it NOW!”

The accountants try to put her off one more time, but Colette isn’t having it.

“NO! I am not leaving here unless i have a check in my hand, the only way i’m leaving is if the police drag me out, and by the way, if you’re going to call the police you may as well call the journalists, because you can bet your ass that i’ll make a scene.”

The accountants, calculating that the money they owe to Colette is worth much less than the scene she could create on the night of Lagerfelds fête, decide to call Karl..

//

Karl descends his lavish staircase, gliding along with his signature sunglasses, gloves, and ascot he does not even look upon Colette, rather he speaks to ceiling and says, “follow me”.

//

[Karl escorts colette into his ballroom whereupon the Baccarat 12 chandelier hangs]

“You see this? This is what you bring to my life.” Karl drags out the word “my”, implying that colette should feel grateful that one of her pieces is adorning the digs of Mr. Lagerfeld’s Parisian Maison.

Colette, understanding Karl’s point and attempting to display some deference without sacrificing her own needs replies, “Oui monsieur, c’est très bien, mais mon cher et moi aren’t from  4th or 5th generation antique dealing families, we are just starting out. We have bills to pay.”

At this point Karl pulls out a white envelope, clearly filled with money, and starts fanning himself with it as though it were his signature fan.

He starts waving the envelope in Colette’s face as though he is scolding her.

“Never has anyone demanded money from me.” He moves the envelope in front of Colette’s face, moving it as though it were a whip.

Colette, beginning to feel indignant, decides that if Lagerfeld were to try and make her feel any more guilty for appropriately asking him for what he owes to her she will just snatch the envelope and walk away.

Immediately after Colette makes this decision Lagerfeld begins to make the same gesture.

Colette quickly snatches the envelope and turns away. Never looking back.

As she steps onto the cobblestone street she immediately begins thinking in hindsight about this scenario “I mean…i guess…instead of the money I could have asked for some of his designs…that would be a nice addition to my life,” Colette drags out the word ‘my’ as Karl did earlier. But then she silently says to herself…

“Mais nous avions besoin d’argent…”

That Time Karl Lagerfeld Almost Swindled Me.

Frustré

Close up portrait of boy shouting

“Turn down the music one more time and i’ll sock you in the fucking jaw” Kieran yells.

“Why are you so rageful?” his mother asks in a plea.

“You never seem to notice that Mark always hijacks any celebration and tries to make it about him. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and now my birthday…It’s fucking bullshit,” Kieran screams.

“What are you talking about? How does Mark hijack celebrations?!” his mother asks?

“It’s so fucking obvious! If he is not the center of attention he’ll complain about something until someone acknowledges him.”

“What did he complain about tonight??”

“At the first restaurant we went to, the one I chose for my birthday, he complained that it was too expensive, and that he didn’t think it was the right choice.” Then Kieran goes off on a tirade…

I have no fucking idea what you were doing while he was making all of these remarks…

That’s why i’m so fucking pissed.

You always conveniently miss him making these sorts of remarks.

It’s fucking frustrating to have a present party not hear the constant complaining. It makes me feel like i’m crazy!

Then after he makes these rude remarks he suggests a different restaurant to go to for my birthday dinner!”

Kieran’s mother chimes in, “but i didn’t even realize that these remarks made you upset! I thought that  he was just trying to help you have the best time! Why didn’t you say anything at the time?”

“Because he was so adamant about these remarks, and whenever the fuck someone offers an opinion contrary to his own he becomes ridiculously oppositional! It’s always like that! Besides, why the fuck should i have to justify where i want to go for my birthday? It makes zero fucking sense. Any rational person would hear his remarks and immediately think that he is being a jackass. But for some reason you don’t seem to think this way, and that fucking frustrates me!!!”

Well…i’m sorry that my perspective on the situation wasn’t what was ideal for you. I will try to be more objective in the future.

Yeah…right…i’ll believe it when i see it…

//

“Ugh, my mother is such a pacifist” Kieran laments…

“The annoying thing is that her pacifism sometimes works in my favor…”

and with that thought Kieran’s attention spirals off into another direction.

Frustré

Fashion Show Catwalks Now Deemed “Death Marches”

As fashion becomes more popular than ever runway shows are being forced to extend their catwalks, and the casualties of this phenomenon: The models

lv_fendi-editAs more and more Instagram style-bloggers become the tastemakers of what’s hot and what’s not in the world, fashion houses are trying to woo as many as they can. They want to take advantage of their huge following. The way that many of the houses plan on doing this is the old fashion way (no pun intended): wine them, dine them and provide them with front row seating at their SS and AW shows.

But the old Front Row divas aren’t planning to give up their seats anytime soon. “Fashion old timers are happy to accommodate the new blood,” as Dolcé DeAngelo, Editor at Large for Verité Magazine said, “…but not at the cost of my own position.” And fashion houses understand this. They don’t want to ruin their long-standing relationships with these fashion mavens so the solution to this challenge was simple, make more room.

We chatted with Emma Newton, the girl behind the @ChicDelishGirl instagram feed with an astounding 1.2 Million followers, to see what she had to say. “Yenno, I like, feel bad for the models and all, but it’s like, their job, yenno? I mean you don’t see articles about bloggers stress fainting for like, trying to constantly post engaging and eye-catching content to their pages…So I mean, I guess, it’s like, it comes with the territory…pick your poison, yenno?” She sipped her iced coffee and twirled away.

Some models seem to share the same sentiment about the situation. Russian model Uvanka Chybrova bluntly said, “I love extra length, it give me more opportunity to be photograph. Better for me.”(sic) Devandra Dantè a top model from the United States who has walked in almost every top designers’ SS’17 show added, “It’s a competitive industry, and I feel like my background in competitive gymnastics gives me an edge over the other girls. Things like these take dedication, perseverance, and a kick ass diet…Right now i’m focused on booking the AW’17 Dejèuner show and my secret weapon is my diet. I won’t tell you much, but I can tell you this: it relies heavily on tampons and Redbull right before the show, it’s all about finding the right balance between energy and the jitters”

HRunwayjokeowever, some models feel differently. “No longer do the 100-calorie pack of almonds do the trick,” Yimoné (Pronounced see-mo-nay) a model from Estonia revealed. “It’s just not safe anymore, I wanted to be the next face of Dejèuner, but i’m afraid that this will happen again – referring to her last runway show when her once guaranteed routine left her high and dry causing her to collapse just a mere 3-feet before the end of her catwalk. But who knows, that quote may have been her way of coming to terms with the almost guaranteed demise of her career after photos of her faux pas were instantaneously instagrammed, tweeted, and shared over 250,000 times in a span of seconds.

“It’s a major issue,” says Bastian DeManché Creative Director for St. Germain fashion house. “There are too few models who can go the extra distance,” says designer Giovanni Dejèuner. “Il est troublant,” he laments. “This is the start of something new, it’s truly unprecedented,” American sportswear designer Richard Hildegard chimes in.

The sudden upshot in fashion’s popularity is both fantastic and horrendous at the same time, fantastic for the fashion houses bottom lines, and horrendous for the modeling agencies that are struggling to maintain their reputations for providing top models. Mary Dotson Founder of Merày Models says that she has been forced to create a whole new division that caters to extended runway shows, or as the French call it, marches de la mort, which can be loosely translated into death marches because so many models have collapsed during shows. “We have had to find younger girls, 10, 11, at most 12 years old. They’re the ones who have the natural energy to walk the extended runways. But that is a temporary fix, as to what we are going to do for a long term fix…we don’t know, and that scares me” Dotson forebodes.

What will happen to the future of runway shows? No one seems to know. But one thing is certain, modeling has just became much more competitive, dangerous, and dare I say it, thrilling to watch.

Fashion Show Catwalks Now Deemed “Death Marches”