Category: ‘Style’

Fairy Dust

“The more unexpected you are,

the more compelling you will be.”

-Polyester Is the Devil

Gown:  Vera Wang Luxe “Fairy Dust”

Being an authentic bride

“As a bride- heck, as a woman- you need to claim your personal style.  You must own your body and your confidence, and then translate those qualities into the dress of a lifetime.  You must always be looking for ways to rearrange your preconceived notions of what beauty is so that you can uncover a deeper, more real you.  And with that more authentic sense of self, you will realize your true personal style.” -Polyester Is the Devil

Bride:  Denise Corso, May 2010

Gown:  Vera Wang, styled by Lindsay Kenna

What makes a bride beautiful?

“To me, a beautiful bride is not the skinniest, the trendiest, or the most meticulously put together.  Instead, she’s slightly imperfect and gloriously herself- so confident and unique in her own style that she becomes irresistibly compelling the second she steps into a room.”  -Polyester Is the Devil

Bride:  Erin May, August 2010

Photographer:  La Vie Photography

Dress:  Vera Wang “Diana”, styled by Lindsay Kenna

What Would Vera Do?

Finding Your Inner Vera Wang

The other day, I was talking with the Vice President of Vera Wang, Inc.  By the time our conversation was winding down, I had come to a harsh realization: if I were ever to meet Vera Wang, she would probably hate me.

The beginning of our chat was truly inspiring.  She started by telling me all about who Vera Wang is as a woman, designer, and boss.  She told me the history of Vera’s fantastically glamorous upbringing – filled with fashion, travel, literature, art, and lots of money.  She told me stories that reflected how Vera learned at a very young age to appreciate culture, attention to detail, work ethic, and education. Her parents taught her how important it is to develop one’s personal style, stay true to oneself, and maintain a high sense of personal integrity.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence, Vera started in the fashion industry as a fashion editor at Vogue magazine.  Eventually, the senior editor title was given to Anna Wintour, and Vera went on to design ready-to-wear clothing at Ralph Lauren for many years.  It was only when she couldn’t find the perfect dress for her wedding that she realized she had found a niche that needed to be filled.  She told me that although Vera’s true passion is in ready-to-wear fashion, her father agreed to finance her business only if it was bridal.  And so she opened her first Vera Wang bridal boutique in New York.  The rest, as they say, is history.

After hearing this amazing life story of one of my personal fashion idols, I felt compelled to find out more.  I immediately began imagining myself flying to New York to work at Vera Wang and becoming best friends with her, jet-setting around the world arm in arm.  So I wondered out loud, “What is Vera really like?  What does she wear to work everyday?  What does she eat?  Is she nice?” And then I asked the most important question of all, “Would Vera Wang like me?” She quickly burst my bubble of hope and responded with a grin in her savvy New Yorker accent, “Probably not, honey.  She would love your dress, but she would hate your shoes, your nails, and definitely your makeup.”

I broke out into uncontrollable laughter at the complete bluntness of her ruthless response.  But that laughter quickly turned into a dry gulp as dreadful memories of junior high flashed through my head.  I suddenly relived that all-too-familiar panic that I wasn’t going to be welcome at the cool kids’ table at lunch.  Whenever I think of what she said to me that day, I can’t help but laugh to myself and love her for it.  The truth is, she was probably right.

She told me that Vera Wang wears black leggings to work almost every day.  She dieted down to 80 pounds for her own wedding, and she doesn’t see the necessity of lunch breaks.  She doesn’t believe in nine-to-five workdays or time off.  She likes her employees to wear only the colors that she prefers: navy, grey, and black.  She loves Prada.  She hates colorful makeup.  She doesn’t believe in tight-fitting clothes, preferring women to wear loose, high-quality fabrics that drape and fall smoothly across the body.  She doesn’t like big belts.  She hates pink nail polish.

Hmmmm … I could see where she was going with this.

I looked ahead into the full-length mirror with the v.p. at my side. There’s no doubt about it – I am the true definition of a California girl.  I was sporting a hot-pink pedicure, light-pink manicure, and light-pink stilettos with chunky, sparkly rhinestones at the toe.  My dress was a simple, size 6 (which is technically obese in the fashion world) Prada-esque black A-line paired with a black cardigan – okay so far, but wait – I ruined it with a big belt to cinch in my waist.  My light-blond hair was styled with long Jessica Simpson curls, and I was wearing pink Mac® lipstick in a shade called Snob.  My eyes were smoky with Armani glitter mascara.  And I was tan.  (Now I don’t know for sure, but I’m assuming Vera doesn’t much like tans either, so I chalked that up to a negative, as well.)  And to top it all off, for dinner the night before I had two cosmopolitans, bread, spaghetti with extra mozzarella and bacon, and chocolate cake.  Ahem.

I sighed in defeat.  I am the antithesis of Vera Wang style.  Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned.

Then Ashley, one of Vera’s bridal representatives, stepped into the conversation and said, “It’s okay if you’re not a Vera girl.  We think you are a rock star the way you are.  You sell the crap out of her dresses, and that is all we can ask of you.  You just have to look inside yourself and find your inner Vera.  I bet you would be surprised.”

I will always remember what Ashley said to me, because it means that I am perfectly fine as I am.  And isn’t that all the assurance anybody really wants?  She made me remember the larger picture, which is to be true to and take pride in myself.  It reminded me that Vera Wang represents more than a wedding dream, but rather a higher ideal for which all women should strive.  Her message to the world is not only about style, but also about the importance of working passionately, furiously, and incessantly at something you hold sacred.  It’s about feeling like a woman and demanding to be treated as one.  It’s about remembering to be true to the bones of fashion.  It’s about sticking to the basics, and ignoring trendy distractions.  Finding your inner Vera is about reminding yourself that you deserve to have the life of your dreams, and you are worth the work.

And so, when I am at work or getting dressed for a party, I always ask myself, “What would Vera do?”  Not to remind myself to be like her, but to remind myself to be me.

The truth is that I really like my style, and I don’t know if I would ever change it for anyone.  I like that I wear bright colors and chunky jewelry and probably focus too much on maintaining a tan.  I like that I make fashion mistakes and that my hair is never perfect.  I like that I go crazy if I don’t get a massage every month.  I like that I would sacrifice money over art any day.  I like that I work hard as hell at the things I love and then take time off to do absolutely nothing.  I like that I’m quirky and probably not as funny as I think I am.  I like that I’m not always simple and elegant, and that an ensemble of ripped jeans and a Hanes white T-shirt with a gaudy necklace is my favorite outfit.  I like that I work out when I feel like it and have six different Pilates DVDs that I never use.  I like that I am a vegetarian who eats bacon on everything and that I can’t go a day without eating a piece of chocolate.  I like that I am imperfect, don’t know everything, and have a long way to go before I can feel like I’ve made a difference in this world.

At least for now, I am comforted by the acceptance of my flaws – cellulite and all.  I may not be a Vera Wang girl, but at least I am a Lindsay Kenna girl.  And that, in my opinion, is pretty damn cool.