One of Estee Lauder's heirs coined the term "lipstick effect" to refer to the propensity to invest in a smidgeon of glamour come what may. I am a true believer. It's Fashion Week in New York and I have ditched my sack cloth (worn since the August 2023 affirmative action ruling) for a Pretty Little Thing gold goddess of a dress by Naomi Campbell. Priced from $16 to $160, even a freelance fashion investigator can afford threads designed by a super.
Be the cake,
P.S. Are you enjoying my content? Tell my manager.😉
I've been feeling some kind of way ever since the Supreme court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions v. UNC. I'm not angry nor disappointed. I am not hopeless nor suicidal. I am perplexed, though. I am incredulous. I am in desperate need of a respite and a plan of action. So, I am off to the beach to regroup, reassess, and recharge.
What I am packing.
Oh, yeah, and I already shipped my summer wardrobe to Cape May. (wink)
If you stay ready you don't have to get ready.
See you in September, darlings.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming with a NEWS UPDATE. Beloved British Vogue Editor in Chief, Edward Enninful leaves his top position for a newly created one...global creative and cultural advisor.
I decided to start the DollHouse renovation project in my bedroom. Here's how it started.
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The fifth contractor agreed with the previous four. It will be damned difficult to install the claw footed high back soaking tub three feet from the canopied bed.
Simone, true to form said little. Instead, she tilted her head, blinked her large bright eyes and met his gaze with a faint smile.
He countered by gesturing wildly, shaking his head emphatically and repeating his pronouncement with more fervor.
"There are no water pipes on this side of the room," he sputtered. And, "anyway, why would anyone want a bathtub twenty feet from the loo?"
Obviously, he has never visited the Mansion on Forsyth Park (Savannah) or seen series one episode four of Miss Phryne Fisher's detective stories.
Doesn't he know all DOLLIES require an elixir on occasion?.
Take away her 20 minute soak and her hearty Cotes du Rhone red and even our sweet little Simone just might meet them where they are....with a sword at the ready instead of a wand!
I boarded the plane with a renewed sense of purpose. How do I curate a lifestyle similar to Minnie Belle's?
From previous conversations, I remembered Minnie had been on her own since she was widowed at 35. Yet, her homes in DC, Cape May, St. Thomas, and Paris spoke of hidden assets. "Organized crime or something else?," I mused. The only thing I knew for certain was that she worked briefly as a model for Halston and then as a political activist in the Black Panther party.
I closed my eyes and turned up the volume on the wind chimes playlist emanating from my gold MontBlanc-esque headphones purchased on E-bay. I needed to spend less time focusing on Minnie and more time charting a new course. I signaled the stewardess with the luxe lash extension, "Darling, may I have a tonic water and a lime?"
I pulled out my Betsey Johnson flask and splashed a finger's worth of gin into the plastic United Airlines cup. After switching my playlist to Betty Davis, I opened a new OneNote on my phone.
Time for a new list.
S1m0ne's Spring 2023 Wish List (in no particular order)
S1m0ne's Spring 2023 List of Assets
S1m0ne's Spring 2023 Deal Breakers
What will our little butterfly do next?
Where in the world is Sim0ne B.? St. Thomas, USA.
Minnie Belle spoke the truth. The right apparel can absolutely open doors, windows and hotel vaults. After I finished a few errands, I headed straight to the most exclusive hotel in the county. The Ivy was spectacular, with robin’s egg blue beach chairs and a bar staffed with cocoa brown waiters in sharply creased cargo shorts. Having stored my trunk of garments, shoes, hats, and accessories at the airport, I sat down unencumbered at the outdoor bar.
As the tide waltzed in and out, I sipped my sugar rimmed lemon drop, and reflected on a conversation I had earlier that day:
I smiled at the memory and retrieved my song list from my bag. If Omar worked at the Ivy, he might be in a position to hire a lounge singer. Luck favors the prepared, darling. 😉
Fashion stories to entertain & inspire.
“Four days before Valentine’s Day and I was no closer to conjuring up a dreamy V-Day celebration.
Then, on February 12 at 5 am, I received a phone call from Minnie Belle, my fairy godmother that lives in Cape May. On her recent cruise to see what’s left of the whales in Alaska, she contracted covid, and was air-vac’d to a medical spa in St Thomas.
Why St. Thomas? That is where her primary care physician, the very single Dr. Nigel resorts.
Minnie wanted me to race to Cape May, pack up her favorite Pucci lounge sets and bring them to her in St. Thomas by Feb. 14. She was planning a takeover of sorts.
“Normally, I’d let you stay in my villa,” Minnie said in between sips of what I imagined was an icy rum punch. "But, alas,” she continued, "we are giving her a refresh.”
In other words, Dr. Nigel was in residence.
“Don’t worry,” I assured her. "My wits, plus a few outfits from your 3rd floor closet is all the currency I need."
“Help yourself,” she said with a laugh.
The real conundrum: “Could I get myself from NE to Cape May to St. Thomas in a day and a half?”
Can Tom Ford sell lace knickers to a man? YES! see Tom’s Spring/Summer 2023 line (pic 14 out of 17) 😉
Happy Valentine’s Day!
#fashion stories to inspire colorful living 🥂
On January 2, 2023, I began mentally preparing for V-Day. And by preparing, I mean I memorized a new mantra to be recited thrice daily, “Forewarned is Forearmed.”
I assure you that this level of cynicism is more nurture than nature and takes at least 3 consecutive valentine day debacles to perfect.
It began the year the Vulcan disappeared for the day only to text a photo of himself in a CVS holding my V-card at 10:25pm. It ended the time he invited me to a resort with his sister (who was really his ex). My meltdown, recorded by the hotel CCTV was a daytime Emmy worthy performance.
Cupid would not catch me slipping again. 🤷🏾♀️💔👊🏾 #justsaying
I hung up on my accountant, Frasier on Thursday. He used the “B” word 3 times during the first 60 seconds of our call. Haven’t I given up enough already? I demanded. I mean, I only eat out with Capitol Hill interns - (they know where the hardiest happy hours are). And, I have long since replaced my weekly lash extension sessions with strips from Sally's. To ask me three times to "BUDGET" beyond that is (in one word)....ridiculous. But Frasier is right about one thing, I cannot sustain my lifestyle without more income.
When, my agent, Margarita called with a Christmas gig at the Greenbrier, I did not hesitate.
"Yes! How much are they paying?," I asked.
"They say the package is worth $4500," 'Rita said.
"I need money, 'Rita." I retorted.
"The good news: after this week, you will finally be able to get into that white Lanvin sheath. That's a bonus, right?".
"Plus," 'Rita continued, "they've booked you into a charming bungalow and comped you two spa treatments per day."
"What am I going to eat?," I demanded.
"The bungalow has a kitchen," Rita continued.
"Girl, call them back and ask if they will provide some food vouchers. I am not cooking for two weeks." I pleaded.
Two minutes later, 'Rita called back with better news.
"Greenbrier will provide daily dinner and drink tickets but you are on your own for breakfast and lunch," she said.
"How many songs do I have to sing?", I asked.
"You're booked in the the piano bar from 8pm to midnight. (2 sets)."
"WHAT? Can I at least collect tips?," I asked.
"Yeah, sure," Rita replied. "Your tip jar is all yours."
"Fab!," I enthused.
At least I had somewhere luxe to go for the holidays, I thought. The mortgage could wait two more weeks. Right?!
🗝🔓 Remember, the only life worth living is the one you create! Be intentional this Christmas and let God handle the rest.
It's the day after Thanksgiving and even though I modified mom's recipe by 1/8, I still have a massive amount of leftovers.
I may be on my own for the holiday. But, with two Portuguese water dogs and a house sitting gig in Cape May, I am far from lonely.
Allow me to explain. Since the CFDA awards (Nov 7), I have been sheltering in a renovated Victorian beach house owned by Minnie Belle, a former Halston model who once worked as a Shirley Chisolm's campaign manager. Minnie hired me to watch her house while she scouts humpback whales with her boyfriend in Alaska.
In addition to $500 a week, Minnie granted me unfettered access to her three closets and SAINT, her 1966 Volvo P1800 convertible.
Tonight, like every other night since I arrived, I light a Juniper candle and try to recreate a look from the 2023 spring/summer collections. Today I channeled Victoria Beckham (VB) and selected a pale pink bias cut ankle length gown from closet #3. Sadly, Minnie did not have a heavily fringed VB handbag. So, I simply tucked one of her oversized velvet shawls under my arm...very Victoria Beckham in Paris.