If loving Fashion is Wrong, I don’t want to be Right

I just got back from Barney’s….mmmm. There has been a LOT of shopping going on. UNDOCUMENTED! LOL! Once in a while I get paralyzed by guilt or wake up to the fact that people actually read this blog. I started this blog documenting my shopping because I myself am fascinated by what people buy, and what they actually spend on things. I like to know the hard numbers. I think it makes shopping much more realistic. But this past month I got kind of freaked out by the fact that people–anyone–could see how much I was REALLY spending on clothes and that scared me. Like, my husband? Or my mom? (Actually only those two.)

Also, I think that when you put things in hard numbers–people tend to judge. You know? Like the "what kind of person would spend THAT much money on THAT" kind of thinking. And I started to shudder. Because, you know, I’m a writer, and us writers have to wear like holey sweaters and look really frumpy for anyone to consider our writing worthwhile. Somehow being fashionable and a writer shouldn’t go hand-in-hand. Unless you’re Danielle Steele or Candace Bushnell.

So glad for the Candace Bushnells of the world! Also, I have to say that many writers I know are tres tres chic. Like Cecil Castellucci, who always looks marvelous in her beaded vintage sweaters and quirky glasses (if you ever have a chance, you must go hear Cecil read from her work, she is SUCH a great reader and puts on a riveting show), and Lisi Harrison, who rocks a sexy, sexy jean look with her fabulous shaggy hair (she looks like the coolest AND nicest girl in school–you know, the benevolent popular one), and Gigi Grazer, who wore skinny J. Brand jeans, Lanvin gold flats and a solid-colored balloony-silk blouse to one of the readings for our anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys (and whose outfit inspired me so much that all I wear these days are skinny J. Brand jeans, Lanvin flats and solid colored balloon-y blouses).  My dear friend Anna David whose novel Party Girl recently came out always looks divine in her casual, sexy Cali-girl vibe. I know so many good-looking writers. And no, they’re not just "book hot" as Gawker says. They’re hot-hot! See, you can be pretty AND smart…

Anyway, I digress. I haven’t been posting my shopping expenditures because I have also been in denial about my shopping. I thought this season I could try to contain it by only spending $10,000 on new clothes. $10,000 should be enough right? Even though I work from home and only go out one night a week when the nanny can babysit. Hee. But then I spent a little here and a little there and didn’t keep track and now I’m worried I’ve already spent my budget and I don’t have anything "editorial."

So I’m starting anew. Here are my purchases for Fall 2007: A fabulous black Balenciaga jacket (it’s the 10th one when you click through the collection). It’s tres tres fab. It fits LIKE BUTTER. Oh. My. God. It’s insane.  It’s the best thing that’s ever fit me. I want to wear it everyday. It was $2300. Yoiks. But do the fashion math: It’s a museum piece! And apparently this might be Nicholas Ghesquirre’s last season for Balenciaga, and everyone (that is fashionistas in the know) agrees it’s his best yet. I’m also on the wait list for this blazer (it’s the third one from the left, the blue with the piping). Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s about $2500. And yes, I know it’ll get knocked off from here to Forever 21, but no one can copy the insanely beautiful fit, and the lush fabrication (yes I know fabrication sounds like a stupid word. But it’s actually a real word that fashion people use. It’s a technical term). And just how awesome it is to have the real thing. I can’t wait!

I also bought two black cashmere knit Rick Owens skirts at $500 each and two black Marni tops ($455 and $420). Everything I bought today was black. I tell you, I’m feeling a solid-color fall and back to black. The Rick Owens skirts are amazing–so comfortable and sexy at the same time. They’re body hugging but flattering. One skirt wraps over criss-crossed like ( I tried to find a pic on the web and can’t find one) so you show just a bit of tanned leg, and the other skirt goes all the way to the floor, but kind of gently trumpets out at the hem for a very chic look. One Marni top has a bit of a baby-doll, empire thing going on, but it’s very high-armhole and tight on top so you don’t look pregnant (god forbid!) and the other one is kind of balloon-y and sculptural.

A good haul for the day, I think and it’ll last me all season. Plus I think I still have around $6000 left on my budget (not counting the blazer–oops, well, minus the blazer I’ll only have $3500 left hmmm.) If I don’t buy a new handbag, I should be able to get a couple of new shoes. I am loving the platform peep-toes. If I were younger I would rock the toe-less Prada socks. But I feel like it would look silly to wear them at my age. Those of you who are under 30 should wear them though! They are sooooo cool.

My dearest fashionista friend Karen (a writer and shopper like myself) and I are obsessed with the crazy, ethnic Balenciaga scarves. But get this–they are FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. FOR A SCARF!! That really is crazy. Although I have to say, I did think about it for a second. My Barneys shopper told me they are only ordering two for the store. Because who is crazy enough to spend that much money on a scarf? Apparently there is a lesser version–$2500. But it doesn’t come with THE CHARMS. Which MAKES the scarf. You know? So what’s the point? And also, you have to remember, it’s still a lot of fracking money to spend on a SCARF.

I have to say in my defense that everything else in my life is incredibly cheap. I am the biggest penny-pincher when it comes to everything outside of fashion. For instance, I am writing this on my husband’s old broken Eames desk. One of the legs lost one half of the leg. But the desk still stands! And I’m too cheap to buy another desk since this one is still standing! And last night, I bought us the cheaper rotisserie chicken from Ralph’s. There is the ten-dollar kind that comes in the plastic tray and a five-dollar kind that comes in a plastic bag. Guess which one I bought?  I would eat Ramen noodles for a year to wear the Balenciaga jacket. Fashion money doesn’t seem like real money. It feels like mad money. Because, really, the prices are crazy enough right? It’s  not real. It’s just fashion.

I think everyone has something that they spend mad money on–whether it’s your car or your collection of vintage guitars and synthesizers (like my brother-in-law Tim who plonks down four thousand dollars a weekend for some electronic equipment). Tim has as bad a shopping habit as I have, we just have different obsessions. His apartment is FILLED with musical instruments he will never play. While my closets are filled with clothes I hardly ever wear.

What’s your poison? (If you’re reading this, I think I know! LOL!)