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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Y’all know that I love to wear my vintage Patrick Kelly leopard gown for a big event on an annual basis. I got the dress on eBay in April 2008 and opened the package just as I was getting dressed for a Tribeca Film Festival party. Before I put on the Ossie Clark dress I was planning to wear, I decided to try on the Patrick Kelly for kicks. I was so shocked by its strange combination of sausage-casing-tight fit, long sleeves and turtleneck that I figured if I didn’t wear it out that minute, I might not be brave enough to wear it ever. (Another consideration: I wasn’t sure I could get it off again without assistance.) So off I went. The dress turned out to be a great conversation piece. While you’re at a party, it doesn’t matter if people are talking to you because they love your dress or hate it. It’s just fun to talk.

I first wore it (the day I got it) to the Tribeca Film Festival opening in April 2008.

A photographer caught me at an unflattering angle that made the extremely-tight-around-the-legs dress look like a catsuit, so I wound up on WWD’s Disaster Area page in May 2008. When I saw the picture, my train of thought was: “Who is that crazy lady? She might as well wear ears and a tail. Oh wait! That’s me. OMG! I HAVE TO POST THIS!!!!”

Being told I laid a fashion egg brought out my contrarian nature, and I became determined to wear the dress among the most fashionably daring and fun group of people I could find. That chance came in September 2009 with the Independent Fashion Bloggers Dress Up Soiree. I even won a prize after collecting the most “I like your outfit” Mardi Gras beads.

Photo by Pamela of Market Publique.

The dress’s 2010 outing came late last year, at the Committee to Protect Journalists annual fundraiser in November.

At CPJ event. Photo by Getty/Michael Nagler.

This coming weekend, I’ll be attending an interesting event in Los Angeles. I told MrB I planned to wear the leopard dress again, because it has never made a West Coast appearance. (I’ve previously worn both my ombre Zang Toi gown and Sex-ay Pilgrim Dress in quick succession, first in New York, then in L.A.) Because MrB is an unusual man, he suggested I get a new dress, even pointing out there is guest overlap between the Tribeca and CPJ parties and the upcoming event so there could be one or two people who think, “Bitch, please! Get yourself a new dress!”

But I don’t have time to go shopping and get alterations, which are nearly always essential (except, strangely, with the leopard dress). I can’t just grab one of Zang Toi’s samples and go, though if I could, I would. And none of my old dresses excite me as much right now.  Leopard is having such a big moment and I have the most leopard-y dress of them all.  In this dress, I feel like THE QUEEN OF LEOPARDS! KNEEL BEFORE ME! As a result, I think the Patrick Kelly should get one more shot at a worst-dressed list this weekend, before it retires until 2013 or so.

What do you think? Are you in favor of one more wear or do you think it is leopard overkill? (I’m going to wear what I want anyway, of course, but you can talk amongst yourselves in the comments.)

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53 Responses to “Pondering the Patrick Kelly Leopard Dress, Again”

  1. niki says:

    it really does look fabulous with your hair up and cleopatra earrings

  2. Cameron says:

    DO IT! Rock LA with your leopard spot madame ! They gave us spandex and big hair; it’s the least you can do to return the favor! 🙂

  3. elena daciuk says:

    who was that wise woman who said “wear what you want?” oh that was you! i say…do it! again and again…

  4. I think it would just be plain selfish of you to not share that leopard masterpiece with the West Coast haha. I say wear it if you feel comfortable. It really is a great dress. That dress deserves to be worn all over the world… Perhaps you can start the Leopard Dress Journal? Every time you wear it there seems to be a story behind it.


  5. I think the west coast needs to be educated on the Awesomeness that is Wendy Brandes. And if anyone disses you you can always say “West coast bitch says what?” kidding have fun though.

    • WendyB says:

      Literally laughing out loud: “West coast bitch says what?”

      On Family Guy, a rival piano teacher said, “Loser says what?” to Lois.

  6. Sheila says:

    Do it! Wear red shoes with it (or another bright colour) and show ’em all that you will wear whatever you want, and damn the bitches who say otherwise!

    You’re already my idol, Wendy – I’ll be wearing leopard tights for you tomorrow!

  7. stacy says:

    can a leopard change its spots?

  8. Melissa says:

    Are you going to have any blogger meet ups while you are in LA? You should totally wear the dress to LA!

  9. Absolutely wear it again, it’s good for the environment, think of all those carbon credits you’re getting by giving it another outing, saving a few real leopards!

  10. Mo Thompson says:

    `Go for it, it’s a fabulous dress and you wear it well.

  11. Vix says:

    If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing! You look absolutely fabulous and don’t let some jealous old harridain hiding behind a newspaper coloumn tell you otherwise. xxx

  12. Robin Louise says:

    If they think you need to get yourself a new dress, then they are nuts! This isn’t a movie where nobody rewears clothes. If you were only meant to wear that leopard dress once, you would have got it from Forever 21

  13. West coast smesht coast. You must wear it when you next visit London. We could all have a lep-off; who can wear the most leopard print in one go! It will be like one of those street dance films, but with leopard print.

  14. deja pseu says:

    Oh, you should definitely wear it! It’s chilly here this week, so you’ll be nice and warm. And LALA’ers love a good leopard print.

  15. Lara says:

    So cute that Mr B points these things out! Wear it!

  16. Christine says:

    Definitely wear it!

  17. Sally says:

    Wear it! You ARE the Queen of Leopards!

  18. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear-its a no brainer from me, this dress must be worn for sure-I’ve loved it from its very first outing and it looks awesome-go for it!! xxx

  19. Thelma says:

    I love it! And all your other fun outfits on this blog!

  20. I think you should… wear what you want! It is an awesome dress and it looks killer on you, have fun!

  21. Leopard print really is an attention grabber. I have a leopard print D&G with purple bustier peeking out that I bought at a charity dress auction. You have to be willing to be looked at when you wear head to toe animal print.

  22. You could wear that dress once a WEEK for all I care and I’d still love it. It’s amazing and maybe my favorite thing you wear.

  23. Vanessa says:

    Chuckles. This is a most funny post. I like that you’ve found opportunities to re-wear this dress, and I say give it one more go. It’s definitely worth it!

  24. qin says:

    The dress is sexy 🙂

  25. Rebecca says:

    If I had a dress like that, I’m pretty sure I’d think of any excuse to wear it. It is hot.

  26. i would SO wear that dress in a heartbeat! you seem to have the personality (and definitely the bod!) to pull it off. i love it. 🙂

  27. Maddy says:

    I’m not usually one to wear animal print, but you rock this look! And the way you styled your hair and paired it with the Cleopatra earrings in the last pic is just fabulous!

  28. Susan Tiner says:

    I kneel before you!

    Wear the leopard, it’s hot, you’ll look great, and anyway LA needs to learn to kneel.

  29. Kathy says:

    Love the dress – it’s the overlap that’s worrisome.
    And Mr B is one smart man.
    I’m digging the VIP number!!
    Whatever – when in this movie have you NOT looked fabulous?!?
    Represent NYC!!

  30. Mish Dish says:

    I met you in that dress and I told you then I LOVED it! I vote rock the leopard and wear the Patrick Kelly. xo Mish

  31. Miss Janey says:

    People may think,“Bitch, please! Get yourself a new dress!” but its unlikely anyone will have the cojones to say it to your face, so who cares? Its hot, WendyB is hot in it- wear it!

  32. Miss Conduct says:

    Heh heh heh. “Fashion egg.” I wonder what kind of jewelry piece, mechanical or otherwise, Wendy could design with that theme. It could be the Faberge Egg of the Wear What You Want movement.

  33. Tina Tang says:

    I been meaning to tell you that I have tried the WB pose twice! I am going to credit it tomorrow in my blog. I am loving your pose as I went from one arm on hip to your 2 arm cross leg pose.

  34. eric says:

    Wendy should wear it again. I even like it with the Mardi Gras beads, but then again, I like many things associated with the Mardi Gras beads.

  35. I do love the dress, but as someone who has never had the occasion to wear any full-length dress I could never bring myself to wear the same dress four times and pass up the opportunity of a new one. Obviously this is totally irrelevant to you, but all personal style judgements always are, aren’t they?

    • WendyB says:

      I admit, if I had time to look for a new (but vintage) dress that was as spectacular as this one, I would! There’s just no time. Boo!

  36. Natalie says:

    Okay, so obviously you should wear it! BUT — fashion is about taking risks, and wearing it again isn’t really a risk since you’ve worn it before and have already landed a spot on the worst-dressed list.

    So if you wear it again, do it up. Add some leopard shoes or something. Or maybe some face paint, like this lady: http://www.refinery29.com/capt.....ve-sundsbo. You’ll be one pretty kitty!

  37. As a huge fan of leopard print, I love your dress!!! Beautiful!

  38. Elisse says:

    Yes, to wearing it again – just as important – what SHOES are you gonna wear it with this time?

  39. Eli says:

    It looks like it’s unanimous, wear what you want! Worst comes to worst, take a back up dress with you

  40. StefM says:

    LA=Leopard Approved

  41. What is this “leopard overkill” of which you speak? Is that even possible? Wear it and be proud.

  42. Lynette says:

    As the Chambers Brothers sang, “Time is on your side, yes it is,” as in it’s A-OK, #1 fine that you don’t have time to look for a new vintage frock, WendyB, because you have been and will continue to be the cat’s meow in your leopard dress. MrB is such a great man, a true sweetheart. Y’all are a blessed couple.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    I love that dress so much, I’d petition for you to wear it non-stop for thirty days, so all the world could share in the joy of seeing you in it.


  44. - Tessa says:

    If you want a touch of variety, put a vest or someting over it and GO FOR IT!

  45. "CC" says:

    I own the short version of this dress…AND the matching coat which is quilted & in a satin finish. I am the original owner & wear one or both at least once a year..AND I would kill to own this too!!
    GO GIRL!!