Come on Vogue…

The Cannes Red Carpet - that's my back.

The Cannes Red Carpet – that’s my back.

I’m really lucky.  In my line of work I get to attend some great events.  Fancy do’s with beautiful people and spare no expense excess.  It can be a lot of fun – but I always face the same problem (get ready – this is one of those problems that falls in the “My diamond shoes are too tight” category).  I never know what to wear.

The Red Carpet at the Cannes Film Festival.  The black-tie Kennedy Centre Honors.  Fancy cocktail party outside the Louvre in Paris.  Really, what do I care.  The paparazzi aren’t photographing me.  But nevertheless, I’m a woman and I care about fashion and how I look.  So how on earth do I handle caviar styles with a mac and cheese budget?   All these events are populated by well-heeled attendees who are particularly well-heeled in their Christian Laboutins and couture.  I on the other hand will be wearing something from the Spring 2000 line of The Gap (Black Magic strikes again?) and accessories courtesy of Joe Fresh.

For the record, I always buy my accessories at the local Superstore with the Joe Fresh capsule shop.  Here’s how it goes:

“I love that necklace.”

“Oh this old thing.  I picked it up while buying avocados and diapers.”

Classy, right?  Super fancy.  But its actually ok.  I would love a beautiful couture dress, don’t get me wrong.  But the reality is, I don’t live in the champagne and caviar world.  I just visit it occasionally.

However, on my last business trip to Paris I was given a treat – a beautiful dress from Lanvin.  I couldn’t believe the generosity and was truly touched by the gesture.  This dress is a beaut!  A pretty colour with the perfect drape.  Perhaps I could get used to a little high fashion in my wardrobe after all.

A selfie of the new dress...

A selfie of the new dress…

A little something from Lanvin

A little something from Lanvin


Black Magic Woman

Black Magic joined me on vacation in Mexico in 2002

In 2000, I took a little trip with some girlfriends down to Seattle for a shopping weekend.    I know we had fun and that we bought a lot of clothes and drank a lot of red wine.  We might have even crashed a wedding.  What I do remember is I bought a little black dress at the Gap Outlet shop for $15.  That LBD has gone on to live a long and fruitful life in my wardrobe and I still rock that bad boy to this day.  Hell, I’ve owned this dress longer than I’ve known my husband.

That’s right – if I amortized the total purchase price over the occasions when I (or others) have worn it, I would be running about 10 cents a wear.

Made of some polyester jersey fabric, the dress looks as good today as the sunny day I bought it from the outlet mall off the I-5.  I can roll it in a ball, pack it in a suitcase, pull it out on arrival with nary a wrinkle in sight.  I’ve worn it through various weight variations including two pregnancies and have loaned it out to friends.  I wash it in the washing machine with regular detergent and hang it to dry and the thing hasn’t frayed or aged a day.  That’s why I like to call it Black Magic.

Its a v-neck, cap sleeve, mid-knee cut with the perfect drape that flatters anyone that wears it.  Sure I’ve had to pop on my beloved Spanx on occasion, but still it works.

Black Magic Cape Town

Out for dinner in Cape Town with Black Magic and Shorty #2 in 2009

I remember first wearing it with a dark denim jean jacket and a pair of cow print black and red clogs (I did tell you I bought this dress in 2000).  Lately I like to pair it with some black patten pumps and a leather jacket.  Add a great choker if the occasion is fancy or a fun long necklace if its a little more casual.  Winter or summer – you can wear this dress any time of year, just change up the accessories to match the season.

In no particular order, I have worn this dress on first dates (including my husband), weddings, my parent’s milestone surprise birthday party, to the rehearsal party for my own wedding, several black tie events, on tour as both a cocktail dress and beach cover-up, on vacations, business functions, several staff holiday parties (its like camouflage – change the accessories and no one remembers the damn thing) at least one (maybe two Juno Awards) and a Grammy Awards.

For the Grammy appearance – I was 6 months pregnant and that dress just morphed around my great big baby bump.  Its like its made of plasma or something out of Star Trek.  I’ve loaned it out to friends and it just seems to shape itself perfectly to the wearer whatever their height and size.

My friend H borrowed Black Magic this past April.

My friend H borrowed Black Magic this past April and rocked it!

I liken it to Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper – it won’t wear out.  I’m sure if The Gap knew that this dress was so incredible – they would never want to make it again.  It would negate women from ever needing to buy another LBD in their lifetime.  (OK – thats ridiculous, seeing as I personally own about 10 black dresses.  But to be fair I do work in the music business where black is standard issue and in cases when you’re behind the scenes – a necessity).

I picture some Judy Jetson type picking it up in a futuristic thrift shop in 2113 and wearing it on one of her first dates.  I hope Black Magic brings her as much luck as it has me.  I love you BLACK MAGIC.  You will outlive us all.