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Monday, November 29, 2010

An event that is near and dear to my heart took place last Tuesday: the annual International Press Freedom Awards Dinner for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The dinner honors journalists from around the world who risk their lives to report from war zones and in defiance of brutal regimes.  MrB is coming to the end of his term as chairman of the organization, and he’s going out on a high note: the dinner raised nearly $1.5 million, which is a record. On its website, CPJ explains what it does:

“By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, CPJ effectively warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press freedom are occurring. CPJ organizes vigorous public protests and works through diplomatic channels to effect change. CPJ publishes articles and news releases; special reports; and Attacks on the Press, the most comprehensive annual survey of press freedom around the world.”

CPJ often gets journalists sprung from prison. Last year, it honored J.S. Tissainayagam of Sri Lanka in absentia, while he was in jail on trumped up charges. This year he was there to accept his award.  He brought the house down by starting his speech with “Sorry I’m late.”

CPJ also provides financial assistance to the families of murdered journalists, as it is doing with the families of the victims of last year’s election-related massacre in the Philippines.

I wanted to dress spectacularly for MrB’s last dinner as chairman of CPJ, so I got out the infamous Patrick Kelly leopard-print dress. That dress was hated by WWD in 2008 …

Click for original post.

… and loved by fashion bloggers in 2009.

Click for original post.

This time the dress got a lot of stares. I don’t know if people loved it or hated it, but who cares? Let’s face it: the whole point of this dress is to make ‘em stare.

Here’s my 2010 CPJ style.

What Wendy Wore:
Dress:
Vintage Patrick Kelly
Shoes (unseen): 2010 Prada
Purse (unseen): Susan Farber

Earrings:
My own Cleopatra design.
Ring: My own Hathor ring, carnelian side up
Makeup: Tennille from Kimara Ahnert with my usual Lasting Lust lip color.

Hair: Julie Matos
Manicure: Minx

One unexpected benefit of wearing the dress was having New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham ask about it. He seemed pleased to hear Patrick’s name and told me that Patrick had been a very sweet man. “Sweet” isn’t a word often associated with designers, so I was surprised and delighted to get that bit of insight.

My gorgeous friend Melissa attended the 2008 and 2009 CPJ dinners and she joined us again this year.

What Melissa Wore
Gown: Zang Toi
Earrings: Wendy Brandes Hathor earrings, turquoise side up

News anchor Brian Williams was supposed to emcee the awards, but was called away to report on North Korea’s bombing of a South Korean island. My old friend Tom Brokaw was called in to replace him. Tom commented on Brian’s very serious eyebrows and noted that such eyebrows were of vital importance when reporting this type of news. Being an eyebrow aficionado, I have vowed to spend more quality TV time with Brian Williams.

Tom’s being there had me agitated because I have embarrassed myself twice in front of him this year: in January and June. But I was out of stupid Family Guy references to use on Tom and feared I couldn’t manage a humiliation three-peat. So I decided that I would simply take Melissa’s picture with him. That proved to be a challenge as Tom was busy talking to other famous people at the end of the dinner. Birds of a famous feather flock together! We waited and waited and I was in favor of giving up, but Melissa was determined to stick it out. As soon as he turned around she said, “Okay, buddy, we’re taking a picture now.” Voilà!

Tom's expression means: "Note to self: Get restraining order against the woman with the camera."

Here’s another shot of the Patrick Kelly, just for the hell of it. This dress epitomizes my “Wear What You Want” philosophy. It’s been hated, it’s been loved, it’s been stared at … it’s a hell of a lot more fun to wear than a little black dress.

And here’s the best shot we could get of the hair artistry of Julie Matos.

Julie does amazing work.

My gorgeous sister Terri Berry was looking at these photos this weekend and suddenly remembered a time in the ’90s when I had a black-tie event to go to and didn’t own a single suitable dress. I borrowed a black one from her. After that — despite being a less-than-enthusiastic Girl Scout when I was a kid — I applied the Scout motto to my wardrobe: “Be Prepared.” Now you can take me anywhere! Except hiking. I don’t have the clothes for that.

On a serious note, 39 journalists have been killed in 2010. Protect press freedom by donating to CPJ here.

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40 Responses to “What Wendy Wore: Committee to Protect Journalists Awards”

  1. Lenya Jones says:

    You look AMAZING! Love the Cleopatra earrings with the dress.

  2. Tabitha says:

    I think you look amazing, you have a glamour that is all your own

  3. Jemina says:

    Wendy I LOVE that leopard print dress, MEOOWWWWW

    XOXO
    J

  4. Mary says:

    That dress looks so fantastic on you. I love your style.Very fitting for an event of such important cause.

  5. Hammie says:

    What a fantastic cause. And I salute anyone making a “sack the stylist” list and wearing the dress again. Fuck ‘em!

  6. YAYYYYYY!!! I love that dress, you know how I feel about leopard print x

  7. It takes a bit of guts to pull this gorgeous dress off… but you did it with golden glaze! I love you in this, so so so!

  8. GLOWINGDOLL says:

    The dress is great and even better that it’s a vintage piece. I even like Susan Sarandon’s ‘Pyjamas’.

  9. Grit and Glamour
    Twitter: gritandglamour
    says:

    Hotness! You did Mr. B—and that dress—proud. How fantastic that you caught the eye of Bill Cunningham too! You know you’ve hit a homerun when that happens.

    The minx nails are killer with this too, by the way.

    ♥ V
    http://www.gritandglamour.com
    twitter: @gritandglamour

  10. stacy says:

    You ROCK! First of all, you look so pretty and I love your stubbornness!

    And Melissa… was Tom copping a feel? Oh, and the turquoise earrings look perfect :)

  11. sharon rose says:

    Hi my dear-many congratulations on the amount the dinner raised, that is totally fabulous for this very worthy and committed organisation. You look totally stunning, the dress is one of my favourites on you, very classy and unique and you always pull it off with fabulous attitude and style xx

  12. Sara Rocha says:

    Hi Wendy!
    This dress looks amazing on you, with the cleopatra hearings, the ring with the carnelian side up and the minx manicure (and, of course, the MAC lipstick…)
    Congratulations!
    By the way, I love your blog and read it everyday, although it’s my first comment.
    Kisses from Portugal.

  13. Tina says:

    You and Melissa look fabulous!!! Love that you included the detail of your hairdo, too.

  14. Eli says:

    this is one special packed Wendy post with the Patrick Kelly dress wwd reference, cleopatra earrings, Zang toi, eyebrows, journalism, Tom Brokaw, love it!

    glad to hear that some people still are out of the field making efforts for unbiased and free journalism, it’s such a tragedy what happens to these people in the search of truths

  15. K-Line says:

    I have always loved that dress. Anything that gets you into the worst-dressed list is a keeper!! The hair is also amazing.

  16. Vix says:

    How can anyone in their right mind not love that dress? You look freaking fabulous and your hair is the best. x

  17. lisa says:

    The return of the leopard print Patrick Kelly dress! You always look gorgeous in it.

  18. nathana says:

    This leopard dress IS YOUR LITTLE BLACK DRESS. It is your go to dress. YOU LOOK SENSATIONAL in it. It’s a classic and you look classy in it. YOUR HAIR IS MARVELOUS, make-up perfection. And leopard is a neutral IF and only IF, you only wear it at ONE point in your outfit.. ALL OVER is the best.. AND YOU DO IT SO WELL… A LEOPARD DOESN”T CHANGE it’s spots and neither should you MS. BRANDES..YOU looks great. You have confidence and style, and of course – you own the look. Fuck them if they don’t get it. Yes, I said it. I know, I’ve always told you, don’t use the f word. I guess I must be loosening up, in my old age, You know our birthdays are coming around – Caroline will be 18 on Christmas Eve– CAN you IMAGINE ?? GOSH — I guess that makes me turning 29 at least?? !! And you will be 19?

    Everytime I turn on the news I see a “ProPUBLICA” ( “Mr. B’s” journalist expert) opining – on the serious stuff — being interviewed all over — I just quvell — I don’t know how I became Mr. B’s grandmother — but I have. Don’t get me going on how that is so important in this day and age when the media is so involved with politics and cannot be neutral — just look at the Rattner reporting.. aka.. bloomberg, the times, etc.. You “kids and your success” have brought me such joy in the holiday season — thank you!

    Anyway, back to the dress, the hair, the smile — what about the shoes – you know I bet a bunch of your blog fans would love to see a peek at those Prada shoes…

    Also, when is your next sale ?? On a personal note –

    When are we getting together for a drink or lunch ? We have so much to catch up on … You are not going to believe what is going on in my life.. geez — I can’t even believe this one.. my head is spinning.. this is some story.. you will love it.. get your notes out..

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Nathana, you just won the prize for the longest comment evah. Congratulations! I will email you tonight to set up a date. Can’t wait to hear what’s happening.

  19. drollgirl says:

    at first i thought it was a catsuit and i just about freaked out! but it is a dress. whew! and a stunning one at that!

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Yeah, I’m sure that’s what WWD thought when they said, “Mee-ouch” because the angle sure makes it look like a catsuit in that one picture. I have another post coming up on the fit of this dress!

  20. Janssen says:

    A definite standout! and those earrings are total winnners!

  21. elena anna says:

    love this post and love your blog

    check mine:) if you like it follow me and i will follow you

    xxxxxxxx

  22. Dear Wendy, it’s a fantastic cause. You look gorgeous. I love your dress, your hair and your earrings. Fabulous! xx

  23. Ashley says:

    I love how you are rocking the leopard with the biggest smile, it’s all about confidence and you looked great :)

  24. issa says:

    you can rock anything woman! looks good to me! and for a good cause i say

  25. Alicia
    Twitter: T
    says:

    You are STUNTING in that dress Wendy B. Seriously. I’m only sad I can’t see the shoes.

  26. Sabine says:

    You rock the leopard, Wendy! Never again will I think there can be too much of the cat print.

  27. Marian says:

    you totally carry off the dress. It would swamp a wallflower but you carry it off with punch.

    xoxo
    marian.

  28. Miss Peelpants
    Twitter: misspeelpants
    says:

    It’s a terrific dress and I love how different it looks each time. That hair is AMAZING.

  29. Kristin
    Twitter: BonBonRoseGirls
    says:

    I NEVER get tired of seeing that dress!

  30. Beautifully Invisible
    Twitter: BeautifullyInv
    says:

    That dress is perfection (WWD was crazy). And that Getty shot in your most recent post shows how gorgeous it really is… and how fab your earrings are (in case there was ANY doubt).

  31. jentine says:

    I would have stared at that dress… in a creepy admiring way… without introducing myself becuase I like to just watch and be creepy.
    The hair magic was full-on too!

  32. Eva
    Twitter: EvaDomijan
    says:

    Wendy, you were so ahead of your time in 2008.

  33. Doesn’t everyone hate hiking? Who would have the wardrobe for that!

    The CPJ is a great cause.

    I love this dress on you, as always.

  34. Sheila says:

    That dress is stunning – it rocks me to my core. You ever get tired of it, send it my way, Wendy!