Monday, August 23, 2010

Lynn Yeager (in the center), one of my style icons, gathered some of my other style icons, Suzanne Golden, Patricia Fox, Iris Apfel and Tziporah Salamon, for tea at the Carlyle and a discussion of evolution of their fashion sense. You can read her article here. Alas there are no more photos, as each of these ladies is a marvel of inspiration. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. Sadly, this article is simply not long enough for me. I wanted more, more!

I want to know where these ladies find the best treasures. Who does alterations for them? What were their greatest fashion failures and how did they turn them into successes? And so much more.

Ms. Yeager has some interesting questions. She asks the group if there is a time when style failed them. She writes: "I confess that there have been rare occasions — a business meeting, say, or a funeral — when I’ve looked at my wardrobe and thought, Why, this is a clown’s closet! Did the others ever face a similar dilemma?"

Ah, indeed I have, Ms. Yeager, though I did not realize it. I have donned what I considered to be perfectly appropriate attire, only to be hounded by school children hoping to follow me to the circus. I have arrived at business meetings only to realize that metallic green harem pants were undermining my credibility. And in these cases I have watched people's faces pucker in disdain. Oh yes, I have. What to do if this should happen? Well, goslings, there is a tunnel out of this mess: dazzle them with what you are saying. Trot out the upper echelons of your vocabulary, make eye-contact, and pretend that you feel confident. Of course this only works if you really know what you are talking about (I also have to resist the urge to over-enunciate like Julie Andrews when my back is to the wall). But a few times I've been able to pull it out of the fire this way. And it can be exciting to watch someone change their opinion of you as you speak.

A workplace can deform one's sense of style to be sure. An oncologist can't really wear a sun dress, and you should never see your lawyer's feet.

Ms. Yeager has great advice on this issue. With her extreme, Weimar Republic broken-porcelain-doll looks, Ms. Yeager says that in order to look sane when she's gotta go somewhere and be a journalist, she always carries a very expensive designer bag. Bags aren't really my thing, so to keep from looking insane, I wear pearls. After all, a woman in pearls is at least trying to be respectable. She may fail, but at least she is trying.

As I was not invited to tea with these ladies (an oversight, surely) so I ask you:

1. Who are your style icons?
2. What would you ask them?

I'd love to hear your responses.

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Blogger Lizzie, The Vintage Traveler said...

You are right; the article leaves one screaming for more!

10:56 AM  
Blogger samsara said...

Hello Ms. Lizzie!

Thanks for your comment. If only we could get more!

2:25 PM  
Blogger midafternoonsnack said...

Lynn Yaeger is fabulous. I once ran in to her on the street, all perfect pageboy and Raggedy Ann cheeked.

Great post!

7:15 AM  
Blogger samsara said...

Dear Ms. Midafternoon Snack!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I've only seen Ms. Yeager on the street once, but it was a magical moment indeed.

2:02 PM  

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