Any dictionary will concur: a book launch at a Fashion Week event is ironic. Sex and the City aside, fashionistas are not lit freaks. If it ain’t glossy, it ain’t. That rule holds for people as much as it does for books.
And so I found myself at such a gathering this week. Last Friday, my invitation arrived in my work email. Being a glutton for “material,” I figured I’d go and channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw. Naturally, I spent the weekend agonizing over what to wear. I’m not a clothes horse. I could be. I’d like to be, but working in the arts, particularly in publishing, is not conducive to such equine aspirations.
I settled on a wardrobe, planned on transportation, worked the day, met a friend, and then at 10 p.m., set off with a coworker to the event. Easy peasy.
Not so much. Once through the door, I was made abundantly aware that I was underdressed, under-heeled, under-augmented, and over-aged. Mere glances. That was all that was needed.
I’ve been to film, music, and publishing events. Each has its own pretenses, and while I feel like a bit of an outsider, I’m always able to navigate my way through. At Fashion Week, I felt completely alien, as though I was walking through an air-kissing, lip-glossed, acid-rain cloud about to float away.
When we arrived at our particular section of cloud, things got easier. They always do when you can commiserate with cultural kin. Together, us bookish types could gush, drink, and make quiet fun of our surroundings. We may have been outnumbered, but none of us got off the fucking boat, so we were safe.
Nevertheless, it was weird. I think I met my match. And if the opportunity arose again, and I decided to enter the ring, I’d definitely go shopping first. For the Fashion Weak, clothes will make or break the woman.