Saturday, July 24, 2010

My Own Private Classic

I love it when events come together to make a punctuation point in life as happened earlier this week.

Years ago, 11 years to be precise, I saw a photo in Vogue of this outfit, a photo pretty similar to this runway shot, and immediately identified with the look. Head to toe, jacket to boots, this look by Ann Demeulemeester seemed to be absolutely me. It was as if Cupid had touched me with his arrow, and I rapidly went on a hunt to see about purchasing the leather jacket. Since the magazine indicated Barneys would carry the jacket, I called, only to learn that the buyer had actually purchased a different item, and my perfect jacket was not to be had.

Having moved on from this quest, a few months later on a business trip in Europe , what should appear before my eyes in London but none other than "my" jacket, waiting for me in the most expensive foreign currency possible. After hesitating for about a half second, I bought the jacket on the spot, my first ever 4-figure apparel purchase. I've worn the jacket ever since, retiring it briefly for a few seasons and then resurrecting it and loving it just as much today as 11 years ago.

When my 21 year old uber fashion-forward daughter came to town this week, she hit a week of San Francisco summer, otherwise known as 50 degree foggy weather. Her response? My Ann D jacket, of course, wearing it her own way, making it her own as much as I continue to do.

This all occurred the same week as the New York Times published an article about putting yourself on a shopping diet, limiting your wardrobe to just 6 pieces for one month. While I find 6 pieces to be extreme, I can pare mine to an indispensable core of 10 which can pretty much take me anywhere, anytime for a month or two. Clearly, Ann D is among those 10, my version of a classic, marrying function and self-expression in one. That this jacket speaks equally well to a 21 year old woman as to a 57 year old one makes me smile and strengthens its case as a classic. A case of 50/50, as a matter of fact.

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