Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fashion Detox

Although I love fashion, it can be, at times, overwhelming. Even for me, a self-proclaimed style arbiter with the vested power to arrest perpetrators of fashion felonies & misdemeanors, the swirl of 24/7 non-stop fashion can be dizzying. With the crush of New York Fashion Week followed by intense preparations for Market Week, I was exhausted. And so the choice was detox or die. My counselor advised me to carefully, little by little, dip my toe in the waters of panache and elegance, but I never learn so here I am fully submerged doing the backstroke in an Olympic size pool of style. Inevitably, I will suffer from fashion burnout again. But for now I am restored to fabulous status.

My expectations for Market Week were not unrealistic. I know I am the new kid on the block. And without the working capital to hire a publicist, I also know getting my line of cocktail dresses out into the retail universe is going to be an uphill battle. But I had carefully selected my friend Mike's home on the east side in midtown as the space to show the collection to potential buyers. My boyfriend helped me carry all the dresses, a clothing rack on wheels, and framed poster size photos of the models wearing different styles into Manhattan on the train. I thought it would be a good idea to host a cocktail party for buyers in the evening so we could introduce ourselves in an atmosphere that was less serious, so I bought fresh cut flowers and the ingredients for a cocktail my mother (a sometime mixologist) created called the Wilburtini. My sister Ashanti rented martini glasses and asked her friend Christina to serve for the evening. Ashanti crafted the disc that was brimming with all of Whitney Houston's dance classics since it was the musical inspiration for this collection. We created the invitation which was emailed to all the targeted store buyers. Marla, our sales pro, was fit for a dress from the line so that she could truly represent. And I asked Vanessa, Goddess #2 from the June photo shoot, to please be present to do a little informal modeling. But as the time grew closer, I started to feel like we might not have the turn out I had hoped for. And since the drama at the U.N. had caused whole city blocks to be closed down, I thought it might deter a few from attending. So I began to invite some of my fashionable friends whom I have dressed asking them to please come by and help us celebrate. Smart move. Because not one buyer showed. Years ago I would have fallen into a deep funk, but I can cope better now because I have a better understanding. This is not the end for me or my dresses. I am a winner. So collectively, my team and I have got to knock on some doors and knock down others to make sure these dresses are on racks come spring. And God willing that is exactly where they will end up.

Peace & Fashion!

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