I have to do a tedious “rack check” each week before our live taping, where our insanely lovely exec producer Jay and a rotating cast of characters from "THE NETWORK" come to have a look at and give me commentary on what I’ve spent 3 solid days lining up for all the actors to wear. I spend 15 intense minutes explaining my choices to everyone, and to say that there are sometimes conflicting notes on those choices is an understatement. I dread those 15 minutes all week long.
Everyone puts their own pants on in the morning, so don't you know that makes them an EXPERT at my job?
It's really burned me out on talking about clothes ever again. The rack check attendees sometimes just do not get my style at all. It could be due to the fact that I am in love with all sorts of clashing (or as I like to call it at work, "contrasting") colors and patterns. But I had never, ever considered putting red and purple together until I saw this beautiful Black Halo dress:
Purple and red together initially sounded way too hideous when my shopper was trying to describe it to me. (Yes, we have a dedicated shopper on our show. It's nuts how many clothes we burn through -- I could never shop for them all by myself!) I am a hardcore pattern clasher in my personal life, so I don't know why I was initially so resistant to this color combo?!
I forgot until I laid eyes on the Black Halo dress that there is a really cool 50-year-old and over ladies club called the Red Hat Society, whose by-laws come courtesy of Jenny Joseph’s poem "Warning": “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me.”
The women of the Red Hat Society get together every month in their red hats and purple dresses for fabulous tea parties and socialization. They have local chapters all over the US! I’ve seen them coming out of my favorite Austin haunt, Carmelo’s, acting like they are in on some amazing inside joke us bores in our sensible black dresses couldn’t even begin to understand.
The older I get, I more I can appreciate where those ladies are coming from. They just wear what makes them happy, and don't really give a damn, Scarlett dear, what anyone else has to say about it. The idea that women should quietly disappear as they age is way old, and was always dumb. The Red Hat Society is really a more gentrified, conservative version of Advanced Style, the only fashion blog worth reading anymore.
We have become such an ageist society -- people tend to look down on or dismiss older/elderly people altogether, which is pretty ridiculous because you can be sure as shit that we will all be there one day ourselves, if we are lucky. So the moral of this diatribe is that I am now all about red and purple working together in joint awesomeness.
In ancient Roman times, only the very wealthy could afford to wear purple. It was made from the shells of the murex mollusk, a type of sea snail. It would take 250,000 murex to attain one ounce of purple dye, so it was highly valued. If you feel fancy and imperialistic while swanning about in your purple garb, that's probably why. It's historic!
The purple bandanna contraption above lists itself as a headpiece -- I am assuming that means you can wear it as a headband in addition to wearing it across your forehead Wonder Woman style to be just like xoVain's very own beloved Hannah!
Then purchase one of these luscious red dresses from Parker to wear with it!
If you happen to already have a red dress lurking in your closet, slap on a pair of purple tights and rock this stupid trend I just now made up, easy-peasy without spending much money.
I hate any hint of sheerness in my tights, but color trumps density in this case. Besides it's getting warm out soon, so you don't really need super warm tights anymore, right?
SockDreams.com is a great website if you are a tights and socks tweaker like me. (I own something in the neighborhood of 900 pairs of socks and tights.) They are the number one thing I "borrow" from shows and then who wants a used pair of socks back, right?
Now that I've come out as a creepy sock thief, I'd like to point out that I just ate an entire bag of Twizzlers for dinner, so I'm not sure how much stock you should place in any of my brilliant ideas. But I did once get the Rev. Al Green to wear a purple shirt on a TV special by telling him, "But Al, purple is the lord's color!" (How's that Jane Pratt style name drop working out for you?)
Yes, I am the person who orders a case of Twizzlers to be shipped to my home from Walgreens.com. (In case you ever wondered who did that.)
I'm on Twitter, and I'm sure everyone who follows me wonders why: @IveyAlison.