I got one of my Christmas presents early this year. My step-mom took me to the holiday fashion show at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland. We had already been to one fashion show this year, during Portland Fashion Week. So, I was expecting pretty much the same thing.
What I got was the complete opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at Portland Fashion Week and I plan on going again next year. But, it was definitely an event focused on cool. The location: a cold, open air warehouse. The designers: funky, urban, and indie. The food and drinks: sushi and hard liquor. The clothes were gorgeous, but not anything you could wear in real life unless you are a movie star or a Kardashian.
This fashion show was in the ballroom of a warm building with wood paneling on the walls. Women walked around in sequins and cashmere, and waiters in black-tie passed out glasses of champagne with a splash of something fruity. I felt like a VIP instantly, without the red rope or the expensive tickets.
And at this fashion show I had a backstage pass, my step-mom. She was on the planning committee and introduced me around. Then she asked if I wanted to go behind the curtain.
Did I want to go backstage? At a fashion show? She knew the answer before she asked.
I knew ahead of time that one of the designers I loved at Fashion Week, Ms. Wood, was going to be there. She makes kimono inspired jackets and robes and leather dresses and belts. But, she is most well known for what she does with wood. At the Fashion Week show her models strutted in platform wooden wrap sandals that would make Lady Gaga drool. They were like walking pieces of art.
We went back stage and met all the people involved in the show, make-up artists, photographers, producers, directors, and the emcees who are local celebrities of sorts. And then I met Ms. Wood.
She was small and blonde and wearing flats. Kind of not what I pictured at all. And she was so nice. She told me about how she and her husband started designing from wood because he is a carpenter who actually makes furniture.
Then she said the seven most beautiful words in the English language: Do you want to try them on?
I set down my champagne and pulled off my boots. Ms. Wood helped me slip into the shoes and wrapped the leather around my ankles. She tied a bow to the side and told me to walk around. I was at least four inches taller than normal, but they were actually comfortable. I walked to the giant mirror across from the racks of clothes the models would wear. They were beautiful. And I looked great in them. Ms. Wood’s assistant even said I obviously knew how to walk in them. Meant to be.
The wedges of wood were light brown, almost a tan. And the leather was black. I love contrast. One of my favorite parts was a slight indentation in the middle of the heel where the leather wrapped around the wood.
Walking art. That was easy to walk in.
I kept them on for a little while and walked around backstage, looking at the clothes and watching the models in the make-up chairs. I stood tall and my shoulders
went back on their own. I belonged. Backstage at a fashion show. In those shoes.
Eventually, Ms. Wood needed the shoes for the show and we needed to go get our seats. I untied the shoes and handed them back. But I had already decided that I would get a pair. Those shoes were made for me.
My step-mom led me to our seats right next to the runway and waiters served us a salmon lunch and more champagne. There was even chocolate crème brule for dessert. The fashion show was fun and lively, with upbeat music and smiling models. The clothes were from local designers and boutiques. Beautiful things you could actually wear.
I loved most of the looks that went down the run way, from jeans to formal gowns. But nothing effected me like those shoes. So, I made a decision. I am going to have them.
It will take me some time to save; they are an investment. But I am worth it. And I look forward to buying them for myself, by myself.
I can get my own glass slippers.
How do you feel when you buy something special for yourself?
Is there anything you’ve been wanting but haven’t bought? What do you really want?