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Monday, May 2, 2011

Last Wednesday, I dressed for a cocktail party in a way that felt “not me.” Anyone familiar with the Family Circus cartoon knows how annoying that little son-of-a-bitch “Not Me” is.

Courtesy Family Circus. Click for source.

As a result, when I got dressed for an event the following evening, I made a point of dressing as “me” as I possibly could.

What Wendy Wore:
Dress: Versace (2004)
Shoes: Prada (2010)
Earrings: From my personal collection
Ring: My own Agrippina poison ring design
Lip color: My favorite Lasting Lust by MAC
Hair styled by: Julie Matos

I knew I was successful when a former colleague ran up to me to say, “As soon as I saw the back of that dress, I knew it had to be you!”

This is what she was talking about.

In the early 2000s, I got quite a few Versace pieces thanks to a fabulous and persuasive sales associate at the now-closed Madison Avenue store. The dress I’m wearing in these photos was from the Fall 2004 collection. Believe it or not, this is the first time I’ve worn this dress. I happened to get it about a day before I decided that black was not the way to go for big evening events. I wrote about my feelings about Boring Black Dresses in a post in 2008. One of my complaints in that old post was that beautiful craftsmanship details are lost in photos of black evening clothes and that’s true in this case. The dress is shaped by gorgeous stitching that’s invisible in my photos, but if you look closely you can see that stitching a little better in this photo of Halle Berry wearing a white version of the same dress in 2005. (Talk about someone you don’t want to be in a “Who wore it best?” contest with, right?) There are also silver studs on the straps and down the back of the dress that are hard to discern in the full-length photos. You can see them a little better in this close-up.

See the studs?

I never got rid of the dress because I knew the right moment would come. And it did! Patience pays off. I pulled another old Versace out of the closet on Saturday. I had to pick up my laptop from the 24/7 Apple store on 5th Avenue, where it was being treated for the ill-effects of a water spill. Gorgeous clothing designer/blogger Stacy Lomman and I decided that was sufficient cause for celebration, so we went for drinks at the Plaza Hotel before going across the street to Apple. I’d been brooding about this little chartreuse Versace skirt for a while. My miniskirt days have been over for a long time, but I’ve been reluctant to part with this one because I love the color. This weekend, I figured that if I’m ever going to wear it again, it might as well be now. It’s not like I’m going to be any younger next week.

What Wendy Wore Skirt: Versace (2005-ish?)
Turtleneck: Something random from the late ’90s
Over-the-Knee Boots: Manolo Blahnik (pre-2005, probably)
Jacket: Zang Toi
Necklace: My own Cleopatra design
Lip color: Lasting Lust by MAC

As you can see, I tried to cover up everything else and let the skirt do the talking. I’m glad I didn’t go for black tights though. That would have been a bit much. Now for something totally different: While I was writing this post, the news of Osama bin Laden’s death broke. One of my favorite Family Guy clips mocked bin Laden by portraying him as a regular guy who fumbles his lines in front of a video camera. Evil-doers aren’t known for their sense of humor, so I felt like he’d be really tortured by this if he ever saw it.

OsamaBloopers

Osama jokes around with a rubber chicken.

Eminem did a jig and waved a white flag while dressed as bin Laden in his 2002 Without Me video.

And we’ve already got GhostOsama and OsamaInHell on Twitter. Humor is good revenge.

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44 Responses to “What Wendy Wore: Old Versace Comes Out of the Closet”

  1. Cameron
    Twitter: CameronMiquelon
    says:

    Wow… damn you look hot in that dress madame ! I’m glad you threw out your “no-black-dresses” rule that evening!

    And what a night: Bin Laden is dead, and the world… is still a fucked up place. But for now, let’s pop the cork!

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      One less fucked-up person in the fucked-up world. Couldn’t think of a more deserving fellow to be shown the door.

      • Cameron
        Twitter: CameronMiquelon
        says:

        I can think of one, one who if he wasn’t running Libya (into the ground)… would be basically Charlie Sheen.

  2. Eli says:

    If the skirt really bugs you, you can have the hem taken down a bit no?

    I like the dress on you as much as halle! It really looks beautiful, rules were meant to be broken no?

    I was getting quite frantic all the news…but reading all the funny tweets got me through it!

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Not much extra fabric on the skirt, I’m afraid. But fuck it, right? If people don’t like my old legs, they can avert their eyes ;-)

  3. stacy says:

    Wendy… only you can combine Osama, Versace, Family Circus and Eminem into one post that makes sense!

    • Lara says:

      ha! I was thinking the same thing! You have any amazing mind for references!
      I think the skirt looks great on you btw. Yes, black tights w/ bright skirts always bother me. That\’s one of my fave colors too! Versace makes me smile.

  4. Megan Mae says:

    The versace dress is amazing. The back of it is incredible. I actually prefer the dress on you. No offense to Halle Berry, but it becomes a little too boobalicious on her, where on you it covers enough.

    I LOVE the mini-skirt. I’m rather obsessed with lime-y shades this spring/summer.

  5. Jacqueline
    Twitter: drtyshinyprtty
    says:

    You should not have waited so long to wear that dress. Absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Great post!
    Love the earrings.
    As someone posted on my facebook comment, Osama bin Laden isn’t with 72 virgins, he’s with 72 West Virginians. God and I hope they are all named Bubba.

  7. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl
    Twitter: juliaohso
    says:

    I love it how this dress is from 2004 but looks so in the now! The studs and all. But you’re right, some of teh details are not so easy to make out. For example, at first I thought those were chain straps and not the studded ones.

    As for Bin Laden… I’ve seen a lot of people saying they don’t believe it, so let’s see what happens next.

  8. Franca
    Twitter: apple_franca
    says:

    Both the dress and the skirt are gorgeous!

  9. Nancy says:

    Wendy, I love the dress and the skirt is fab too. You’ve still got it. Enjoy the mini. When you’re ready, have a tailor add a strip of black fabric around the bottom of the skirt and it will be good for several more years!

  10. Clare says:

    As Stacy said, only you could combine Versace, Osama, Family Guy, Eminem, and Family Circus, and make it sound totally coherent. And also fabulous. Which is what you are in that dress.

  11. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear-a big wow, the Versace dress is so hot and well worth the wait!! More future pictures in it please and I so love your Versace skirt too, pairing it with the OTK boots and Zang Toi jacket is pure perfection!! xxx

  12. Denise says:

    I looked at the ‘not me’ dress – I wish I looked so good when I didn’t feel myself! Which reminds me, I felt pretty good last night for the first time in a long time (those weight issues are improving) but noticed after checking in the bathroom mirror that my dress wasn’t tucked into my undies, that my shaper had seams on the bum that showed through my dress, making it look like I was wearing booty shorts under there! A wedgie I didn’t even have. I just can’t win.

  13. Leah says:

    It’s always great to pull out one of those old pieces and make it feel new again. Looks great on you.

    xo L.

  14. Elissa
    Twitter: dresscourage
    says:

    Oh my God. You look absolutely amazing in that black dress. My mouth literally fell open when I first saw that pic. The dress is tailored perfectly and fits you beautifully. And you look so damm happy – a great smile is the perfect accessory!

    Loved those Osama clips too!

  15. Tina says:

    I think the dress looks WAY better on you than on Halle. You have an amazing collection of beautiful clothing. Loving the Versace collection. The mini is fab–keep wearing it-you can totally pull off that look!!

  16. Ann Tindall
    Twitter: Annimalhse
    says:

    Wendy you crazy! Old legs? I know a lotta 20 somethin’s who would kill for your legs let alone the rest of your killer bod!! Anyone who looks as good in a dress as Holly B is doin somethin right!

  17. your style is so so so you, great pieces from the collections. love this look.

  18. Tanvi
    Twitter: tanvii
    says:

    You look HAWT!!! And Classy! :) Love the dress … and the boots in the second outfit.

  19. LOVE the black dress on you. Also your hair is gorgeous.

  20. Sally
    Twitter: sallymcgraw
    says:

    Man, am I glad you kept the skirt. You look FABULOUS in it. Beyond fabulous, in fact. I’m drooling a little.

    The studs on the dress straps are stellar, too.

  21. The Versace dress looks gorgeous, beautifully cut – and you look fab with your hair up and dangly earrings.

  22. patni says:

    That skirt is amazing. The color is perfect. I love it. I am pretty sure I am older than you, and I probably wrongly, feel that I can show all the leg I please. The legs are not bad, and i have none of the fear about showing skin I did when i was young, and people may actually have wanted to look at it.

    I love the black dress too. it is classic in a versace way. Since I have had my etsy store I have been learning a lot about photographing clothing. Black is really hard to show detail. Being that details are often what makes me love pieces, I find myself avoiding buying black because i feel i can not do it photographic justice.

  23. patni says:

    argh. WHEN people may have wanted to look at it.

  24. The Styley says:

    I enjoyed every minute of this post. Your hair in the Versace photos looks gorgeous.

  25. Helen F says:

    Wow what a gorgeous dress. And that first cartoon is hilllaaarious

  26. Audi says:

    That Versace dress has such an amazing cut and shape that it looks great even if you can’t see all the details; I’d say this one is a rare exception to the ‘no little black dresses for evening’ rule. And I agree with other commenters that you wore it best! You kept it classy by not showing as much cleavage.

    • WendyB
      Twitter: WendyBrandes
      says:

      Couldn’t show it even if I wanted to :-)
      Ooh, this gives me an excuse to do the boobs emoticon ( . )( . )

  27. Nicole @ Frankie Hearts Fashion
    Twitter: frankiefashion
    says:

    Holy moly that black Versace is absolutely stunning on you!! And don’t even get me started on those earrings..just perfect. I’m also loving how you paired the chartreuse skirt with the OTK boots. Such a perfect mix of highs and lows!

  28. UN-stitched
    Twitter: unstiched_com
    says:

    That dress is so amazing, so hot, I love it! It fits you amazing, you look great!

  29. GRIT & GLAMOUR
    Twitter: gritandglamour
    says:

    STUNNING! In 2004 or any other damn year. You are gorgeous, Wendy.

  30. Fajr | Stylish Thought
    Twitter: stylishthought
    says:

    An auntie of mine once told me black is for old ladies and us “young girls” need to wear color. Always stuck with me, however that black dress is worthy of women of all ages.

  31. You need to show more leg Wendy! x

  32. melissa
    Twitter: jeweldosedaily
    says:

    ahh!! in love with that yellow and black combo!!!! perfecto! You look buzzing like a social butterfly…!

  33. Jill says:

    Now that’s a dress!!!

  34. Elizabeth says:

    Coming from someone who is MUCH OLDER THAN YOU, I think your miniskirt days are long from over. You have such great gams, I think you ought to shorts- and mini-skirt-it-up this summer. Come ON! What is all that working out for, anyway? And also, you have to “wear what you want,” right? So let’s see more of you and this skirt.

    The Versace dress is so beautiful, I’m glad you got it out.