Friday, July 31, 2009

Upon getting home from Al’s, Dad, still in his loud bathing suit, T-shirt and Docksiders, is on the ground making funny faces at Tessie and letting her lick his forehead. He’s on his 2nd or third glass of Cab by now. Tessie is in heat, clad in a denim diaper that Dad stuffed with a maxi pad he cut in half.

Stephanie Green did you cut her bangs?”

“Yes. She couldn’t see.”

“So what!? I liked them like that!” pouting like a kid.

“Dad, are you serious? She couldn't’t see.”

“She couldn’t see,” Mom says walking into the room.”

“She was cuter like that! She’s not cute now,” Dad contests.


“Dad, am I really witnessing you discussing your Shih tzu’s bangs. What’re you, a girl? Who gives a shit?”

“I do!”

“Dad, you’re on the ground, complaining about your girlie dog’s bangs while she’s wearing a denim diaper. Spay her already!”

So the parentals are off with plastic cups of wine in hand walking to the beach club two doors down. And once again, blissfully I have the house to myself. After five days of having it to myself, you’d think I’d have been prepared for a scene like that. You never know what the hell you’ll find once your folks past 60 I suppose.

Tessie before:

Tessie after:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Midas Touch

I know you all may have think I exaggerated in my praise for ORIBE in yesterday's post, so check it. First there's the Versace campaigns from the era that I so immersed myself in.

These photos are all lifted from Oribe's web site. (By clicking that link you can see the full extent of his genius over the decades.)

And look at Christy's hair below. Is it not still uber-chic today? In fact, I think it could be a cute cut for me, not that I'm saying I could pull it off like Ms. Turlington/Burns. These are some of the frocks that Meredith had to surgically remove me from at the FIT show in 1992 or '93. I mean, come on, anyone who doesn't like Versace—and don't get me wrong, I sometimes want to hurl when I see men in a Versace ensemble—still has to respect his artistry.

I have both Versace coffee table books from this era—the Signature book and South Beach Stories—so you know I'm going to have him sign them both.

A more recent Vuitton campaign. Would it be too much if I asked him to turn me into Giselle?

Hellll-ooooo, Racquel Welch from the 1980s.

These hands will be in my former Jewfro! Cannot. Fucking. Wait. Meredith, have you booked your ticket yet??!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh.My.God. Oribe!!

When I converted from Judaism to Fashionology, my new religion had Gods a plenty. The year was 1992. I was a junior in (public) high school, where the only dress code was that our shorts and skirts had to be below our fingertips' reach.

That was neither here nor there. Roxy was alive and kicking and her closet kept me busy for hours. Not to mention that Roxy was a hoarder and had back issues of Vogue from the 80s. Mom was always a fashion plate—and I imagine wanted to shoot herself when I became a victim of the WT trends that permeated my world briefly, until I remembered who I was and where I came from. I mean, my father's mother Lillian, though long-dead, was apparently a chicer-than-thou woman as well. Always turned out in her St. John and Chanel knits. Leaving daddy with his mammy Minnie for summers while she and grandpa Sam went to Europe.

Back to '92. Vogue was my bible; Gianni Versace was my Rabbi; Style with Elsa Klensch was my favorite TV show; and the only thing I watched on MTV was House of Style. My baptism came in the form of the FIT retrospective of Versace's couture gowns from his most vibrant collections. I was moved to tears, embarrassing Meredith, who practically had to pry me off the mannequins. In those days, Fashionology had as many Goddesses as any religion could hope for. These were the wonder years, when these other-worldly creatures took over runways, the fashion world at large and stole the hearts of little girls like me. These were the days of Christy, Naomi, Claudia, Cindy, Linda, Helena and to a lesser extent, models like Karen Mulder and Elaine Erwin (now Mellencamp).

Nobody dressed these women better than Gianni. This was also the time that Gianni discovered South Beach. On the runway, his beaded couture frocks were both art and fashion—Warhol Marilyn Monroe faces composed of beads and stitched to fit Cindy as she strutted the catwalk. Versace spoke to me due partially to his flamboyance as a designer and person, his joie de vivre, his child-like love of his trade, but primarily because he was an artist. A true artist in the body of a son of a seamstress from Southern Italy.

He published South Beach Stories—which Meredith, my fashion partner in crime was luckily enough to have autographed by him, even though he wrote 'Dear Martha'—and I dragged my parents down to South Beach to stay. As kids we only went to Miami for bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings. But even they wanted to see what this South Beach thing was all about. Interview magazine—Warhol's print baby and one of my regular rags growing up—had just done a South Beach roundup, so that was my Fodor's. I led the way up and down Ocean Drive, where the ill-fated Versace Manse was still under construction.

In my junior year I began saving up all my allowance, birthday, whatever money for shopping. New York shopping. I'd save up for a while then head up to New York for a week-long spending spree. Arriving back at Samuel W. Wolfson high school—which was named after our family friends—clad in Versace, Anna Sui, John Fluevog and Norma Kamali, I was subjected to some ridicule. Wolfson: one-half African-American bused in from the 'inner-city,' one-quarter WT, and one-quarter Jewish and non-WT whites. There were not many kids there who took shopping trips to New York. Thus, I still remember wearing a pair of black Fluevog—Google it—clogs, walking down the hall and being called out by one of my WT friends:

"What are you wearing, are you alternative now?" I just rolled my eyes, but I should've said, "Yes, didn't you hear? I officially changed my label from 'popular' to 'alternative.'

So there was Vogue. There was Versace—God rest his soul and burn in HELL Andrew Cunanan. There were the fierce supermodels. And there was one more idol for me and Meredith; the man responsible for the glam, over-the-top hair that characterized that era. He was behind the scenes at every couture and pret-a-porter show, appeared in Vogue nearly every month, and was just ripe for idolizing. Oribe. Pronounced Or-bay. Before Fekkai, before Blandi, before all the stylists with their eponymous, Sephora-approved lines, there was Oribe. He didn't just cut or style hair, his work was the cherry on the sundae of a Versace catwalk ensemble. The crowning coiffure in a Vogue editorial. The king of hair in an era when big, luscious hair was the rage. He was, in short, one of our Gods. Meredith and I used to talk about him like he was a high school boy we had a crush on.

"Did you see what he did in the Lacroix Paris couture show? To die for!"

Yes, we were retards with big dreams. Meredith had the advantage of growing up on the UES and attending the same private school that Roxy did. One of those Gossip Girl schools. After Meredith and I met at a summer program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, my New York shopping trips escalated and I'd go stay with her for weeks. We covered every area of the city. She introduced me to Patricia Field when Patricia was actually working the counter and Richie Rich bummed cigarettes from me. (He's now 1/2 of Heatherette.)

Meredith and me 15 years later:

Then came the Grunge Phase of Fashion—Marc Jacobs was the man and Kate Moss, Shalom Harlow and scary Kristen McMenamy stomped around covers of Vogue in Doc Martens and flannels. Natch, we rejiggered our wardrobes to fit in with the trends. Soon I was running around in flannels, vintage Levis and Docs collected from New York to London.

My first-ever clip was a letter to the editor in Vogue. I actually wrote about the ground-breaking grunge cover that was a collage of diverse models from black to white to albino—I mean, Kristen. I was 17 years old.

Sixteen years later. I always thought coming full-circle would mean a story in Vogue, which I still aspire to write. Instead, my full-circle moment has come via my friend—who happens to be the EIC—at Aventura magazine.

As I mentioned, I'm on the Aventura Arbiters of Style list with ORIBE. Me! Adjacent to one of my longtime loves and idols. I emailed Lori about my life-long obsession with Oribe. Next thing I know, I was on the phone with her and she had a big surprise for me. She'd told Oribe all about me, how honored I was to be on any kind of list with him. And she so generously offered me an early birthday present—a cut with Oribe. (He's based in South Beach now.) The best birthday present ever, no offense mom and dad. Money can't buy this kind of treat.

So I've had two post chemo cuts, but this is the real one. Post-Japanese, post all major surgeries, I will now have the fingertips of one of the most talented tressers in the world touching my humble head. And it's Oribe, so I'm in his hands. So this is my full-circle. And I'm going to try really hard not to drool or cry when I meet this amazing man. Thank you so, so, so much Lori!! xoxo

These are my two favorite shots that Tomas Loewy took of me for the Aventura shoot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Style Arbitration

Natch, Wally and I have gotten into some minor beach-house snafus. Last evening was a particularly humbling experience when I locked us out of the back, oceanfront entrance. We're on the ground floor about six feet up, but as you can see there's a railing.

Wally had already conquered the balcony. Apparently, before I arrived, the spry little fucker actually leaped through the rails, onto the grass and bolted onto the beach towards my parents and Brother. I was horrified when they told me and have been monitoring his hip movements, which seem to be fine. But God, I would've paid to see him take a flying leap off the balcony. Almost as funny as him accidentally walking into my pool in Miami.

So, last night. Took him for a walk on the sand, locked the patio doors as well as the entrance to the balcony from the stairs, but I locked it from the inside. There are three keys and like five different entrances to the complex and the condo, not to mention all the patio doors and the screen doors. I'm not good with these old-fashioned condos. I'm used to fobs, valet, numeric codes and other such accouterments. I'd also had a glass of wine, natch. I fidgeted with the lock for a few minutes and resigned myself to finding another way in. I contemplated pulling a Spiderman and scaling the wall, but I was already sore from yoga. I went around the building crossing my fingers that there was a beach-to-parking-lot entry. The gates were locked. All of them, in all five connecting complexes. Of course, this is a good thing—Ponte Vedra Beach is an incredibly safe and private town. But not so much when your an idiot with a buzz and a key handicap. Thankfully, I saw a neighbor—a tweenage girl. She showed me the way through the garage, back in to the building. I was off to an Einstein-ish start to beach living.

This morning, I walked out into the lobby with Wally to find a sign that read something along the lines of "Fresh concrete keep off until Thursday." It was one of those situations where the pre-Starbucks synapses didn't connect until Wally had traipsed out the door and left his indelible impression on The Breakers front stoop. Jeez. My dad's going to kill me when and if he reads this—Jacksonville ladies keep your mouths' shut!—but I was cracking up.

I got a message this a.m. from a friend saying that the new issue of Aventura magazine is out. In which I'm profiled as one of South Florida's 15 "Arbiters of Style." Oh my, I'm getting heart palpitations waiting for my profile to load online. Oy vey I hate looking at photos of myself that I'm not in control of!! But woo-hoo I'm on the list with the legendary, original hair superstar Oribe. I'm not worthy.

Yikes, it's not my fave photo of the bunch, but I'm cool with it. Man, it's strange when you're the subject instead of the author! Thanks Lori! xoxo

Monday, July 20, 2009

Grey Goosed

Hey bitches. I'm at the beach, wondering where Brother wandered off to, and cooling down after a fairly lame yoga class and gym trip. Often it doesn't occur to me just how bananas I am, especially regarding my generally hyper behavior when I'm out and about. (When I'm at home couched, I'm about as mellow as mellow gets; green, not yellow.)

I was on the eliptical today at the beach club's gym—lots of older snowbirds now, which we'll get to later—after a supposedly 'relaxing' yoga session. Ha. If yoga did the trick, I'd have a clean toxicity test to impress you all with. Anyway, I'm on the eliptical, book on the screen, phone in hand. And it's the one where the arms move. So I'm on my Sidekick, on FB, emailing and alternately reading. This older dude, mid-sixties stops in front of me and—slowwwwwly, this is The South—starts to speak.

"Were you just texting on your phone?"

I feared that he was an undercover agent for The Nazi Beach Club Gym Patrol who were gunning for me—I'll also get to that incident, later. This place is so not Equinox.

"Uh, e-mailing actually. Have to multitask."

"Emailing, reading and working out? You don't have to make it look so easy."

Shit, how else do people get stuff done during the day? Or ever, for that matter, if they aren't triple-tasking? Uh, where was I going?

Whatever. I don't really feel like writing at the moment, but we've got lots of photos from Brother's big 30th Bday Weekend. (Though mine still trumps his—he didn't have the Bermudian Police searching for him.)

After dinner at one of the few posh/trendy restos here, Grey-Goosed-up mom exclaimed outside: "Ooo-hhhhh! I have my shoes on the wrong feet!"


"I slipped them off under the table and I guess I put them back on the wrong feet!"

Vodka Mom is fun as hell—I know all you real-life-friend readers can attest to that.

Looking at her handiwork:

Inspired by Alison's July 4th shenanigans, foremost of which were "Suck and Blow" type of shooter things—don't get me started—we'd decided to soak a watermelon with vodka for the party Sat night. After I told mom about it over July 4th, she was all over that shit.

I mean, look at her go:

This is why Saveira and I get along so well:

As you can tell, a pretty intense start to the weekend. More later; you can see album I and album II on Facebook. Tessie Lou says, "Ta."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Photographic Evidence

I'm so thoroughly exhausted from traveling that even Chad said my Chi energy was especially low today. So he did a full needle treatment and a nice boobie massage to prep me for the rest of the month, since both of us will be away. Not exactly a self-confidence booster that I have to pay someone to massage The Girls. Ugh, an entirely different story.

I will say that Ben and Laura's wedding was fun, fabulous, unique and we all had a riotous time on Cape Cod. Laura was hands-down the happiest, most radiant bride I've ever seen and I'm sooo happy for the both of them. (Ben wasn't so bad himself.) It was also poignant in a good way to be with the Glassman Girls at the wedding of friends whom none of us knew 10 years ago when we were in college together. The circle of life and all that good stuff.

First, photos of me! Photos I'm finally content with after nearly two years—fuck!—of Cancer BS. Not to toot my own horn, I mean clearly straight men are not of the same opinion or I'd have a free boob massager. Sigh.

It was nippy at night, so I'm glad I threw in this shawl. The girls stayed put!!

You can always count on Hemley for a flattering photo.

The blushing bride and one of her bridesmaids. Look at Pickle! The Pig and Ishka were an integral part of the fun.

I have to give it to Megler for the funniest and most creative wedding gift: a wad of cash a la The Godfather. Hemley, drink much?

I was so honored to give Laura her "something borrowed," the pearl cuff she's wearing above is a hand-me-down from Mom.

Everybody could use a little Feldman in their lives. In fact I think it's safe to say that we'd all like to clone him and distribute him evenly. But don't tell him that.

I mean, have you ever seen a bride this jubilant the night before her wedding?

Before all that sangria kicked in.

Lindsay and me at the reception. We were both on watch for eachother's potential nip slip.

The Miami crew. Site of the ceremony, aka Ben's parents' backyard. Could you die?

Ending the wedding night on the right foot. We'd have beautiful, apeshit crazy kids, huh Hems? Not that I'm offering. . .

Ooh, roo, ooh, roo, achim!
Another happy couple, Stacey and Joe in Ben's backyard.

Hyannis JFK Memorial Beach.

Heading to Boston post-wedding. Have Mac, will travel. And no, I did not coordinate my shoes with the computer cover. Not consciously anyway. Tomorrow I'm off to Jacksonville through the first week in August. Can't resist the appeal of an oceanfront condo. Writing, reading, sunning, chilling with the dogs and beaching it for the next three weeks. But don't fret, I'll keep you posted on all the Southern shenanigans.

Monday, July 13, 2009

In Boston today staying with family, meeting the wonderful Laura Zigman for lunch. Check out her sob-inducing wedding story in yesterday's Styles section of the Times. It's the lead feature and, natch, Samuel L. Jackson walked the bride down the aisle. You didn't expect Ms. Z to cover B-listers now did you?
Victoria Rowell and Radcliffe Bailey.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mock Jet Set

What a week. But first let's talk about my hair. I am in love. When was the last time you heard me say that about my appearance? I'm sitting at MIA airport on my way to Cape Cod for Ben and Laura's wedding, super psyched.

But back to the hair. I washed it for the first time today (you have to wait 2 days), let it air dry and poof, Sally Hershberger. Choppy, layered, straight, and thankfully, chic. I didn't really know how it would look so flat since Andreas had cut it while curly.

So, I managed to squeeze in a helluva lot in my two—well, thanks to fucking Delta three—days in the city. Sunday night I dined with Michael, Saveira, Maccia and my great girlfriends at Morandi in the West Village.

I stayed with Schwartz so got to hang with her a little even though she'd just returned from the Hamptons and was exhausted. Monday, hair! Quick run to Saks—nothing. On to Bergdorf—plenty I couldn't afford. My one indulgence was a cute fuchsia satin headband, on sale, natch. Monday night one of my Facebook friends and I met for dinner and drinks at Centrale and had a blast. I can def see why Mackenzie is the features editor of the New York Post—she's freaking hilarious and smart and fabulous and I'm so glad we hung. She also has the most perfect skin I've ever seen and brought me a tub of this miracle all purpose cream that I'm loving. (Thanks babe.)

Mackenzie and I after I'd had the hair done.

Tuesday—my god. I was staying on the UES, and ended up going downtown and to the Westside way more than usual.

Lovely lunch at Mel's gorge apartment and Monty sure lives up to his Monty Monday escapades. He is like the most well-trained dog ever; makes Wally seem like a wild wolf or something. Every time you throw his toy, he leaps up and catches it in his mouth. I think MLB could use him. (The day after the hair was done.)

Oy, reality check about the hair. Upon inspection in the airport bathroom it didn't exacltly dry perfect. I'm definitely going to need to flatiron it when I land. (Have I mentioned that I'm driving by myself from Boston to the Cape? Have I also mentioned I've only been to BOS once, 16 years ago? I got GPS in the rental car, but I'm sure I'll still get lost.)

From Mel's apartment uptown, all the way across town to Chelsea for a last-minute, part-time job interview copywriting for Chico's. It'd be a purrrfect gig for me—three days a week in the South Florida office, leaving me two days to do my own freelance/book stuff. From there I rushed back to the UES to visit Vicky at Chopard. We had a coffee at Nespresso, caught up very quickly, and I'm happy to report that she is doing very well. Love her. So—here's where it gets insane. I arrive at LGA at 6 p.m. for my 7:30 flight to JAX. Cancelled. No flights out to JAX any later. Remember, I had to drive to MIA the next day to catch this flight to the Cape today. I freaked, but took action. I booked myself on a Jet Blue from JFK; took a cab from LGA to JFK. Got there to find out the departure time was delayed till 11:30. It was about 1:30 a.m. when we took off. I arrived at my parents' house after 4:30 a.m. I went to bed after mom awoke. Woke up yesterday, drove back to Miami. Repacked, got a few hours sleep, left at 8:45 for the MIA airport and am now sitting on yet another plane. Yes, I'm exhausted, but I'm going to the Cape, yay! Beaches, and friends and celebrations, oh my!

I have the honor of giving Laura her something borrowed—a piece of jewelry, naturally, that Roxy gave mother for her "18th birthday. Or high school graduation. Or maybe it was my 21st birthday? Something like that." Okay, the plane is about to take off. Buh-bye.