I worked at Lehman Brothers — the now-defunct investment bank — from 2000 to 2005. I wore suits to the office most days, and always to an important meeting. This suit was by Luciano Barbera:
A suit like that doesn’t work for most of my meetings now. After all, I’m discussing design, not money management, and my design sensibility isn’t traditional. I feel that my clothes should match the message of my jewelry, so during my wardrobe therapy with designer Stacy Lomman, we’ve been identifying looks for meetings with editors, store buyers and clients. (I prefer to wear jeans to meet with wholesalers and manufacturers. I have my reasons!) I was very pleased with one outfit I wore to a couple of editor meetings earlier this month.
But that look is still relatively conservative. Yesterday, I had a meeting at Vogue and I figured I should step it up. Vogue is FASHUN, bitches. I decided to break out my Stacy Lomman Fall 2012 houndstooth coat.
Stacy asked me if I would dare to wear the matching houndstooth shorts she showed on the runway. Before 2010, I hadn’t worn shorts — even in casual situations, even in the summer — for about 20 years. I’d sworn I would never wear them again due to bad childhood fashion memories. But you know what I always say: “Never is the next new thing™“! A 2010 heat wave broke down my resistance to shorts for casual wear. Warning: fashion is a slippery slope! Now, a designer suggests shorts for a meeting and I say, “Sure!” (Actually, I said, “Sure!” but then asked, “Am I too old for this?” Stacy gave me this answer, and I went back to “Sure!”)
What Wendy Wore
Coat: Stacy Lomman (2012)
“Pillow” sweater: Dsquared from Chalk (2012)
Shorts: Stacy Lomman (2012)
Tights: Who knows?
Shoes: Hogan (2009)
Purse: Prada (2007)
Jewelry: All my own designs
I did feel perfectly comfortable in this outfit. For extra confidence, I wore my IDGAF necklace under my turtleneck. I swear, that necklace makes me brave. That came in handy after the meeting. As my gorgeous publicist Sakita Holley and I were waiting for the elevator, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, came our way. She stopped and waited for the elevator at a safe distance from us. As Sakita sent silent “OH MY GOD” vibes my way, Anna darted into the first elevator that opened and stood very close to the door. Sakita and I got in behind her and stared at her back.
Now, we’ve all heard stories about Anna Wintour and how one shouldn’t speak to her in the elevator and so on. But I believe that even a cat may look at a king. In addition, I am married to the Official Elevator Greeter of the World. Every day, MrB bellows cheerful greetings at anyone with whom he shares an elevator. It tends to scare New Yorkers and, being a New Yorker, I have definitely thought, “WTF!” myself. Then, one day, I asked MrB, “What, are you the Official Elevator Greeter of the World?” and he happily answered, “Yes!” After that, I had to accept the behavior. I mean, he’s doing his job. I need to let him be great.
Basically, I have been trained in unexpected elevator conversation by a professional. Remembering that I had glimpsed Anna at a screening of Silver Linings Playbook on Sunday, I bellowed at her back, “Did you enjoy Silver Linings Playbook? I saw you at the screening the other day!” At first, I wasn’t sure she knew that I was speaking to her but then she turned slightly and murmured something like, “Oh, yes.” Possessed as I was by the spirit of MrB, I bellowed, “Good, good, I enjoyed it too.” Then the elevator door opened and she was able to flee, but not before I bellowed at her, “Have a good day!”
I’m delighted to report that I haven’t been struck by a thunderbolt. I spoke to Anna Wintour in an elevator and survived! Now I feel bold. Next time I see her, I’m going to tell her that I have a beautiful Sarah Ashley Longshore portrait of her hanging on my wall!
UPDATED TO ADD: I was visible and audible at the Conde Nast offices, so this seemed like the perfect post to contribute to Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.