May 07, 2015

Lessons Learned

This is how we're used to seeing Anna: Beautifully tailored suit always with gorgeous colour and texture. Nobody does
this look better. Even Wendi Murdoch feels compelled to walk 2 steps behind.

Our friend Jody from About Last Week touched on something here yesterday that is too often overlooked when dressing for a special evening out. Jody commented regarding the pic below of Anna at The Met Gala that she looked "a little hunched and as if she's ready to take criticism"....

The fabric is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for her but that garnishment through the shoulders
and neckline overwhelmed everything else. Scaled down to 1/3 of what they have here and it would
be a future masterpiece of the Costume Institute.

Now it's understandable how Anna Wintour made this uncharacteristic misstep (I know, I know the KK Vogue cover was almost unforgiveable but The Den is all about redemption). The Met Gala was for the Costume Institute and essentially Anna's party with the intention of highlighting the China: Through the Looking Glass exhibit so she was duty bound to stay on theme. I'll bet she okayed the gorgeous fabric in person and was later talked into the shoulder towers....sounded good over the phone...with all those lap dogs around her nodding in eager approval. With all her other duties as host, it's a pardonable mistake. But ladies, remember always wear something you'll be comfortable in even if it's something old and unimaginative. The effect that dress makes or doesn't make lasts but a short while but a charming woman at her ease will quickly overcome even the most unfortunate choice of dress. But as I've said on numerous occasions, there is always a delightful frisson emanating from a woman who feels at her best and is ready to make the most of a night out.  I can spot them from across the room and even with a devoted husband who is the love of her life in tow, I always get a charge out of respectfully complimenting her fab outfit and great energy and feeling her gracious reply.

Anna's a trooper; she knows it doesn't quite work but won't let it wreck her evening.

Anna, next year GSL will be at your service.

I want to confirm all the rumours that I am doing a comprehensive monograph on the LBD as a Den exclusive this Fall.  Vogue and Harper's are chomping at the bit to at least publish an excerpt but we'll wait and see on that....the prospect of working with G-Cod would make it a collaboration for the ages. But I must share something re the LBD that's just come to my attention which I think you'll find instructive. Did you see this in your inbox earlier this week?

MaiTai rockin' the LBD like a Level 5 Hurricane (remember that awful song?).
MaiTai even has these statement necklaces now that all her girls are raving about.
The Den loves a woman of enterprise and resource!
Simple, elegant, and she didn't have to pour herself in either. Room to maneuver, room for dessert,
and room on dance card for GSL.

I don't know if I've ever seen MaiTai in an LBD and I've seen her in literally hundreds of pics. Part of the reason she hits this little ensemble out of the park is because we aren't conditioned to seeing her in an LBD therefore it packs an elegant punch. That's why GSL always preaches not to have that LBD be such a security blanket. I'm tired of going to an event and trying to spot who isn't wearing an's not as bad as it was 5-10 years ago but it's still overdone. Every woman needs a 'hole card' that's worn very seldom on celebratory occasions when she knows she's at the top of her game. Whether you've finally shed those 10 pesky lbs, got the most fab haircut of your life, or that killer tan and spa treatment has your complexion turning heads at Whole Foods; you need that one showstopper outfit to  knock everybody's socks off. If an LBD is your security blanket, then search high and low for some gorgeous colour/pattern/fabric combo and have it tailored to fit like a glove at your fighting weight.


  1. Wendy Murdoch only walks like that subconsciously because, as was proven, she was at the behest and grace of a powerful man whereas Anna's power is hers alone. But I am just the type of girl who doesn't kiss ass so I still am not on talking terms with her.

    But I am confused.

    May I present to the jury the following evidence that the defendant, hereby referred to as dear GSL, stated in this blogpost May 7th 2015 -

    "But ladies, remember always wear something you'll be comfortable in even if it's something old and unimaginative. The effect that dress makes or doesn't make lasts but a short while but a charming woman at her ease will quickly overcome even the most unfortunate choice of dress."

    as stated in the 2nd paragraph of the aforementioned blog post.

    Then the defendant states

    "That's why GSL always preaches not to have that LBD be such a security blanket. I'm tired of going to an event and trying to spot who isn't wearing an's not as bad as it was 5-10 years ago but it's still overdone. "

    The jury may, along with the plaintiff's counsel who is still arguing the legal nuances and merit of "hole card", opine on the stance of this niche term but would like to surmise and conclude that the last two statements is at odds with each other and being comfortable in the context of the first quoted statement by dear GSL.

    The plaintiff asserts that "old and unimaginative" is - according to all polls and panels of cross sections of women who live across the globe - an article of clothing normally referred to as the LBD.

    A "hole card" or what the layman might presume to be an Ace is so conspicuous when used and so rarely doled out that too many of those "hole cards" aka "card up the sleeve" would be akin to the cards being stacked in the wearer's favour or the wearer being doled out a deck of cards that were so fortuitous that all bets were off anyway metaphorically speaking.

    It is common knowledge that "hole cards" can only be used three times applicable to a very generous crowd that may or may not include citizens that share the same surname. Hole cards tend to be very cheap or very expensive. It is urban myth that a supposed lucky pursuer of "hole cards" finds a vintage Courreges or Vionnet dress in a thrift store but then that would be another of her hole cards used up.

    So the plaintiff requests that the defendant GSL retract or amend his statement.

    I would not normally rest my case but there is an election here and I am working on a special project but I know you don't take thing personally so will take this in good humour.

    If I don't reply it doesn't mean I am not reading but I am a little busy to comment the next week!

  2. My dear Naomi,
    GSL wishes to commend you and your overpaid staff for putting together such a thorough brief and with the thumb of my offhand will peck in the following response on Samsung Galaxy S5 Smartphone now promoted Brilliant Phone even under GSL's offhand still with me?
    In my haste, I may not have made it so crystal clear that by having the LBD as security blanket; it loses much of it's elegant punch and is diluted into a yawning shrug.
    When worn so often it can't be a 'hole card' which I will define for those junior members of your overpaid staff:

    hole card: 2nd definition "something held in reserve until it can be used advantageously"

    Remind me to give you a tour of the 1,000,000 square foot GSL 'Hole Card' Warehouse.

    As the Magnificent MaiTai so ably demonstrates and which I carelessly assumed would be understood even without charts and diagrams that not wearing an LBD as 'security blanket' to the Opening of every envelope that has free Chard and semi-eligible investment bankers, it's full power is restored to it's intended glory and voila a gal has a 'hole card' to give any EX seizure inducing remorse.
    Anything else Naomi? My offhand thumb wishes to go check these UK election results that has your neighbors on edge.

    1. You might like help. Once it might be the galaxy but three times it's definitely a mistake. It's "its".

    2. Naomi,
      As a lawyer, I'm sure you know when you're reduced to correcting apostrophe marks in rebuttal; you haven't had a good day.

  3. I didn't really notice what AW was wearing in the first picture. She just looks damn good. Mai Tai radiates...didn't even notice she had on a LBD. She looks damn good. I prefer a "you look beautiful" than a "what a beautiful dress". AW's Met dress is ALL you see...she is lost in it. The dress is beautiful but it is definitely wearing her. I just never understood why, at cocktail parties, men wear suits and ties and sweat their asses off. Women wear little cocktail dresses and freeze their asses off. I really like Mai Tai's scarf solution.

    1. AW's Met Dress was fab in so many I mention you reduce that ornamentation by 2/3 it's in the CI Permanent Collection Main Stage the morning after.
      MaiTai's LBD jumped out at me because I haven't seen her in it. That solid black really does pack an elegant punch when only used sparingly. Those scarf solutions are fab in every way and she's the best in the biz.
      So right about cocktail parties and why you see so many women wearing their date's coat.

    2. I agree with BB 100%! I want to be seen as beautiful, not seen as wearing a beautiful dress :)

  4. Firstly I love Maitai- she is so gorgeous and the most gracious person on the internet. I've tried and failed to meet up with her maybe twice in the last few years when I was in London/Paris. One day!

    I like Anna's red dress! Helen Mirren looked the best but Ann was up there!

    1. I think Vogue might make a cover story of an FF/MaiTai summit...Hermes would sponsor and encourage you to collaborate on a collection.

  5. I respectfully disagree with the comments about Anna's dress. The more I think about the dress and read negative comments about it, the more I am convinced that this was the right dress for her. She definitely takes chances in her evening wear, note last year's Chanel dress, and I think I was right in pointing out, as I did in a comment to a reader, that Anna really goes in for that volume up high around her face. Have a look at plenty of photos of her in winter coats where the gigantic fur collar starts right about where her bob ends and you will see what I mean. I am starting to think Uncle Karl knows this about her, designed this dress to give her this specific kind of volume, and that it is a summertime version of her winter look. I don't think she looks uncomfortable at all and I like that she's not just hiding in some anonymous black dress, she's taking a chance with color and pattern and volume! I've seen her in person enough times at the Met to know she doesn't wear something she is not comfortable in. She just doesn't, and you can tell that with every step she takes! xx

    1. My Dear Jill,
      GSL is a big fan of voluminous fur collars on winter coats but far less so of floral arrangements nesting atop each fine boned shoulder of a Vogue Editrix...this rare misstep likely a result of a flashback of those ganja weed fueled excursions with former beau Bob Marley...
      The few pics I've seen of her in this frock, she didn't appear to have her customary poise.
      Had they had the benefit of GSL's sage counsel and clipped those shrubs down by 2/3, AW would have stollen the show and immediately thereafter immortalized in a CI permanent collection showcase.

  6. Oh my good lord! GSL commenting on dresses, again?
    Tellin' women to wear something comfy?
    Now would women tell men which pair of tighty-whiteys to wear for crotch comfort?
    Well, sure sugar, we would. But that's only because we sure as hell know what's best!

    Darrrlin' GSL, you have to realize, that a man telling a woman what to wear, is like a man telling a woman how to be givin' birth. You know nothin', sugar.

    Fashion is not meant for comfort, hon. And fashion is not style.

    Do y'all have a little special somethin' to tell us...?

    Hell yeah, it may be acceptable for a man to dress like a woman; even take hormones and have operations to give a semblance of lookin' like one. But he's still XY and ain't never gona be XX. You'd be seriously delusional to think that being a women is a simple cosmetic change. We're givers of life, hon, not just playing dress-up.

    Now sugar, You're a bit confused. Is it:
    "But ladies, remember always wear something you'll be comfortable in even if it's something old and unimaginative."

    Or... "That's why GSL always preaches not to have that LBD be such a security blanket. I'm tired of going to an event and trying to spot who isn't wearing an's not as bad as it was 5-10 years ago but it's still overdone. "

    Yo'all swingin' both ways, hon?
    C'mon sugar, you can tell us gurls!

  7. Listen Sweetie,
    How sporting of you to tiptoe in here under cover of Anonymity so when GSL slaps you around, there is nowhere to send the coroner's report.
    I preach comfy Anon both in fit and attitude. I can just imagine your fat ass trying to spanx itself down a couple dress sizes with your little support group at the ready to coddle your insecurities which I suspect is a heavy lift operation every time you go out.
    Real Style is an Art form, I suspect you haven't the foggiest notion of. It isn't an Art form I practice but do appreciate and encourage...and which many women I find enjoy putting time and effort into. Every woman I know at the very least desires GSL's knowing glance to affirm when they've got their A game on for the night.

    1. Curator,
      I would have thought someone with such a 'salty' embroidering needle wouldn't be so sensitive to GSL's needle regarding your fat ass... you big baby

  8. MT is the epitome of grace and style and really does rock this LBD in all of its' interpretations!
    Anna...blah,blah,blah! What to me is glaringly evident here is the the lack of smile on Anna's face and, on the other hand, the beautiful smile on MT's face! Anna could learn something here!

    1. Well said my dear Trudye! You know what a fan of MaiTai we both are and I know you're a little tired of the AW show and she'd be well served putting on a smile from time to time...perhaps a long well lubricated lunch with us two would loosen her up.

  9. At least Anna was dressed, unlike many of the other guests… there were far too many people making statements for the night. It was just ridiculous, frankly. So many attention seekers. No elegance.
    As for the LBD, well I think if it has a bit of a twist to it it still can look fresh. Unfortunately alternative colours (like navy for instance) haven't been in abundant supply from the average designer in the past few years.

    1. Heidi
      Like your Navy, grey is a great LBD alternative and with so many shades there is a great option that works for everybody and be not so following the herd.

  10. Such a misfire. I wonder if someone got fired over that.

    1. I have to think she OKed the fabric and tried on before those shoulder shrubs were added on and her personal stylists probably knew they laid an egg but thought they could get away with "the empress has great clothes" imposed groupthink...'tis a pity because so close to being a smash hit with GSL's sage counsel followed to the thread.

    2. I'll bet those stylists have been putting out feelers so they can slink away quietly...

  11. Dear GSL, I feel truly honored to be mentioned on your distinguished blog, thanks so much. And you are right, I don't wear a LBD often, and it feels quite special when I do. Not a big fan of AW's dress either, but would definitely love to join Trudye and you on the long lubricated lunch!

  12. Old Anna looks fab in the first, must action me one of those shoulder wearing jackets

    1. That Anna like frock you rocked last post is my kind of action!

  13. Anna has had some fabulous face work done. Perhaps Jill is right and the shoulder detail is intended to draw our eyes to her face. I for one enjoy your clothing commentary GSL. Even if my ass has gotten fat.