Love, Loss and What I Wore

That’s the title of one of my favorite books, written by Ilene Beckerman. It follows the stories of several women, through their lives, their memories and their wardrobes. It’s poignant and deeply personal, featuring sweet little illustrations. I think so many women can paint a portrait of their own lives based on the clothes they wore.

I love my blog, but I’m often torn as to how much I should reveal on it. Do I really want to let strangers hear my inner monologue? I try to remember that this goes out on the internet, for all to see. I think about the impact it might have on me, my son, my family, my friends.  However, there are some things I desperately want to share, to record and to reveal. I want to preserve the magic of those moments…and the outfits that went along for the ride.

Cinco de Mayo is mostly an excuse to drink margaritas and tequila around these parts.  Dinner and drinks on a patio under the starry sky, waiting for the DJ to start. I was wearing a Tracy Reese dress that Mom and I got a few weeks earlier in New York: a silky knit sundress with a keyhole back and spaghetti straps in a beach-y coral, with a geometric design and a hemline short in the front and long in the back. Gold stacked bracelets and my hammered gold hoops with diamonds twinkled. You thought I was on a date, but it didn’t deter you (or me). We spent the night talking, laughing and dancing; enthralled and mesmerized. I met your sister, your brother and your mother too. How I wish that night could have stretched on forever into oblivion. Magic like that doesn’t happen, well, hardly ever, even in a lifetime…learning that lesson has been profound. (dress below)

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When Patrick was just very little, three years old, I saw an ad in a parents magazine for a photographer with bunnies. She was taking Easter photos. Bunnies have long been my obsession, even before birds. We went to her home studio, a stunning mansion on Club Drive. Patrick wore the sweetest outfit–linen shorts, a thin cotton, short-sleeve button down with a Peter Pan collar, and a matching ivory knit vest with two tan stripes. I wore a rose pink silk patterned shift dress from the Gap. She captured us barefoot in the spring sunlight, sitting in the grass. She also took one shot of Patrick, with his legs crossed, holding the tiny Dutch Dwarf and Lop-eared bunnies. Ridiculously adorable. I look at those pictures everyday. Me and Peanut frozen in time, blissful, young and happy. It’s impossible to believe that 12 years have passed since then…I must have blinked.

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I was briefly married for a second time awhile back. Rather than spend a fortune on a dress to wear once, I chose a dress I bought at Neiman Marcus years earlier. I’d hoped that it would be perfect for a beach wedding. A stretchy, gauzy, smocked slip dress by ABS for Allen Schwarz, with a little tie and delicate pink iridescent beads and sequins under the bust, off-the-shoulder cap sleeves and a short above-the-knee-hem. I needed shoes though, the crowning glory. Jezebel Magazine had the answer: Miu Miu jeweled platform sandals in blush patent leather. The faceted rectangles grace the heel all the way down. Getting them was no easy feat–Bergdorf’s sold out of my size, so we ordered a 9. Thankfully, designer shoes often run small, so they fit perfectly! I was easily 6″ tall in them and felt like a princess (Hello, Cinderella!). I added a pearl tiara that my parents brought back from Harrod’s in London in 1997. Head to toe, it was all Jo. As for the wedding reception, it was the best party imaginable, with everyone I love. I’ll never wear that dream Alexander McQueen wedding gown like Kate, but that’s alright. I did it my way.

(Side note…my favorite story from the reception was a conversation Patrick had with his dad and his dad’s friend, Ian. He came up to them outside, after several hours of shmoozing, grabbed their shoulders, leaned them in close, and said “Hey fellas. Weddings BLOW”. Apparently, everyone and their mother had pinched Pat’s cheeks and told him they had known him since he was a baby. And his patience had grown quite thin. I love our family’s sense of humor.)

Just Jo Spring 2011 124

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