A Statement Piece.

G has a work function tomorrow night. It’s one of those events that plays with your head in the what to wear department. It’s not a ball, it’s a “gala dinner”. I have no idea what that means, but the word dinner would make you think that dressy dinner wear would be appropriate. G is the MC for the evening, which means two things: he will wear a tux, and I will spend the majority of the evening sitting by myself (until I get bored enough and go and find the party people at the bar). I’ve heard that at last years event somewhere towards the end of the evening G called for his lovely wife to come and draw the raffle prize. It was then that he discovered she was outside propping up the bar with her new best friends. Oopsy Daisy.

One of the fancy smansy malls in town is in the middle of having a huge sale, which is why G and I went there on the weekend. We were sure we’d find something to transform us from middle aged breeders to fabulous gala dinner people. G bought a new suit and shoes, both look very swish and both were an absolute bargain. It took him roughly three and half minutes to find, try on, and then purchase his items. I on the other hand, spent about an hour roaming through the store with a vacant yet awkward expression on my face. I was performing my usual shopping nightmare routine. After years of training, my arms know to automatically launch towards the back of the coat-hangers in a frantic search for the bigger sizes. I guess they like the fatties to work a bit harder to find what they’re looking for. Flicking past each size somehow draws out an already excruciatingly painful exercise. Do they have one in my size? Flick, nope, flick, nope, flick, nope, flick, noooooooo. A little voice inside my head says ‘sorry, we just didn’t have enough material to make one for you’. Or, by the look on the size two customer service woman’s face, ‘girl there just isn’t enough material in the world for you!’

I hate shopping at the best of times, but I really dislike high end designer stores. Forget about the fact that high end fashion caters for high end bodies e.g. no fatties allowed, it’s the prices that slay me. The prices of some of these dresses are ludicrous, laugh out loud funny. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve spent way too much money in the past on a shirt or some boots that I’ve just had to have, but when I picked up the 15,000 US dollar sparkle larkle number the other day, I was genuinely perplexed as to how anyone could justify it. It was a dress. Just a dress.

Yesterday I wandered into a franchise store and found something silky yet structured, the added bonus was that it covered Qatari requirements. No boobs, no bare shoulders, no knees. Perfect. More importantly, it’s big so I can eat all three courses without losing a button. And with the $130 that I spent, I reckon I’ve got enough to splash out on a new pair of shoes. The only thing left to choose was the colour, blue and yellow or pink and orange? I did what any good blogger and social media sad case would do – I took a photo and asked Facebook. I had a flurry of responses, one was from my oldest friend in the world, I love that expression as it makes her sound 102 when she’s actually 17 days younger than me. Okay, my longest friend in the world said “On you? Definitely pink”. She was right, I tried the blue on and as gorgeous as it looked on the hanger, my face somehow turned a pale yellow. Pink and Orange it was. Done.

It occurred to me after sitting through five minutes of pre Oscars banter last night, that I should be thankful my oldest friend chose a career in health rather than fashion commentating. It could have been so much uglier. I may have copped something like this:

“I’d just like to see something younger for you.”
“You know, it just, it’s just not right. Actually it’s awful.”
“With your hair pulled back? Well, it just ages you.”
“Did you like that dress? Ewww, no, I really don’t think you can do that dress.”
Oscars chatter is just toxic isn’t it? When did it become okay to be so brutally vicious about someone on the television? In a world where we speak of bullying and mean girls it all goes out the window when it comes to fashion. And it’s not just award nights, this bullshit plays out on the web, on morning television and weekly fashion shows. Small town gossip dressed up as fashion commentary, it’s repugnant.
Somehow when high end fashion gets together with red carpet occasions and premiers, you just know its going to get ugly. Sure, you gave an Academy winning performance, but we’re just going to stand over here for a moment and dissect every little thing about your appearance this evening. Oh, and we may sound like we’re bullies and mean girls – but it’s all in fun. Right? 
We wont mention that the cost of your dress could feed a small village. A village you may have even made a movie about. We’ll talk about the more important stuff, like who lent you your bling, shoes and exactly who decided on your hem length.  And then we’ll rate you out of ten while simultaneously reducing the conversation to one of nail colour and hair pins. We’ll throw in some adjectives that have no place hanging out with nouns, but we think it sounds clever.
“She was so brave to try the strapless dress but I’m sorry I expected more from that dress”.

Really, that was brave? Coming out to your friends and family is brave. Starting your own business is brave. Changing career may also be brave. But wearing a strapless dress?

“I think she’s afraid of colour”. 

Well, colour can be terrifying. Forget working through those Tsunami scenes where you appeared to be stuck in the spin cycle of a washing machine with the lid on. That would have been a breeze compared to deciding on the blue or the pink.

“She’s an inspiration, she looks amazing”.

Two hours at the gym every day and five hours spent getting your hair and make-up done is hardly inspirational. Nelson Mandella is inspirational. 

“I just wish she would have done more with her jewelry” 

Me to, she should have worn those dangly earings from her nose and performed an interpretive dance as a walrus as she made her way down the red carpet. I mean she is an actress after all.

But it was this little gem that made me turn the television off. I realized it had all become too ridiculous, even for me. There was a squeal of excitement when someone discovered that Sandra Bullock had something in her hair, and out came this little gem from one of the panel of fashionados:

“Is that a hair piece or an ear cuff? Oh. My. God. You can do so much with it! Is the diamond too small? You know, this is just a simple styling trick that anyone could do. Its such a statement piece. It’s like so so so modern day esque. I can’t tell you how much I love that we’re talking about this! Normally I wouldn’t like this, but I just do. You know, but maybe she needed a statement earring? I’m going to need to think about this.”

It’s possible she’s still thinking about it, I wouldn’t know I turned the television off.

Fashion, how did you get so mean and ugly?

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